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Susan [Powers] Gladstone of West Henrietta, passed away peacefully on September 15, 2022, at age 101. She was predeceased by her husband, Donald B. Gladstone; son, James M. Gladstone; and daughter, Katherine Gladstone, Esq.
She is survived by her loving children: Francis (Dr. Diane) Gladstone, Margaret (Paul) Churnetski, Patricia Gladstone, Donald T. Gladstone, Brian (Colleen) Gladstone & John (Beth) Gladstone; grandchildren: Paul (Julie) Churnetski, Thomas Churnetski, Ellen (Taggard) Andrews, Michael Gladstone, Daniel (Elizabeth) Gladstone, Matthew (Konstantina) Gladstone, Katrina Gladstone, Andrew Gladstone, Michelle Neff, and Brianna Morton; as well as 16 great-grandchildren, and beloved nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to call 1:00 – 4:00 PM on Sunday, September 18, 2022, at Miller Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc., (3325 Winton Road South). Susan’s Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on Monday, September 19, 2022, at St. Mary of the Assumption, 99 Main St, Scottsville, NY 14546. Interment, Maplewood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Susan’s name to:
The Catholic Medical Mission Board
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St. Peter’s Kitchen
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St. Marianne Cope Parish
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The youngest of four children born to Irish immigrant parents, Susan and her three older brothers grew up on a farm in Hartwick, NY. She was proud of her Irish heritage and the land her family had come from. Early life on the farm included walking to school in a one room schoolhouse, a beloved little red hen, and a lot of hard work; but this was also, undoubtedly, the source of her incredible work ethic, determination, strength of character, and a permanent love of the outdoors. These were characteristics she also found in her devoted husband Donald (although she made it known that she had many suitors to choose from). After a wartime courtship of patience and correspondence, they moved to Rochester to start what was to be a long, love-filled, and very fruitful married life. Susan’s hands were never idle (which would be hard with eight children), but she was never happier than working in the garden beside her husband to grow fruits and vegetables for the family or tend to the flowers she loved. She tirelessly weeded, but always left the milkweed unharmed, essential for the monarch butterflies. She handed down this love of getting your hands in the dirt, and creating both beauty and bounty, to her children and grandchildren. There are many fond memories of spending time in the garden with her, which she continued to happily tend even at the age of 100. We all reaped the benefits of her labors – in fresh produce, jams, pies, and (for many of us especially), the family addiction of homegrown strawberries on vanilla ice cream.
Her love of nature and the land was deep and did not limit itself to her gardens. She had a beautifully ironic love of stones, the woods, the wind, the flowers, the change in the air when fall was coming, but also all of God’s creatures (with the possible exception of the fox she felt sure ate her favorite albino squirrel). She loved birds, and kept a list of those she saw, even the first robin, and always had a bounty of cardinal pairs at the feeder – but her favorites were always the chickadees.
Her favorite place, and where she always seemed most at peace, was Goey Pond; part of the family land where she grew up. It was to her, and is now for the loving family she leaves behind, the base of a million happy memories – of camping, canoeing, laughing late into the night by the fire, and the pure joy of the water, the woods, the stars, and of family. Even there, with Don building and excavating the campsite, she created a natural garden of
stone walls and wildflowers. Watching an eagle soar above the water, watching shooting stars from the middle of the pond, wading for salamanders and collecting fossils from the shore – The magic of those times together cannot be explained in words, but every one of us lucky enough to share them with her will have those memories, and the love of that place, as part of us always.
Susan was never an extravagant woman; she loved simple, beautiful things. She loved garage sales, and a good bargain (a trait many of her family share), and collected many cute little trinkets along the way. Among her favorites were a collection of mismatched tiny crystal cordial glasses, which was her chosen size for a ‘glass’ of Champagne on her 100th birthday.
Her talents were many. From sewing clothes (for both humans and dolls), to her excellent penmanship (a skill that is sadly lacking in most these days, but that she never lost). She also had an artistic and creative sense that she truly had a chance to explore after her children had grown, and then shared with her children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. She never forgot to send a handwritten card or note for birthdays, anniversaries, even the loss of a beloved pet. She loved to read, be it scripture, books of poetry, or the Sunday comics, and did so, without glasses, until the very end.
Susan’s faith was her rock. Her devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary was evident throughout her home, and St. Lelia would be proud to know her dedication to helping others. This faith sustained her through the loss of her parents, several nieces, and was perhaps most essential in enduring the devastating losses of her son Jimmy, her beloved husband Don, and her daughter Katherine. Her devotion and faith gave her strength in the darkest of hours and she embodied that faith in all of her actions.
Susan LOVED her family. There is not a single one of us lucky enough to call her mother, sister, aunt, cousin, grandmother, or great grandmother, whose lives were not made warmer, brighter, and better for knowing that love. She was both strong and soft, firm and
loving, brilliant and humble, hardworking and hilarious, practical and adventurous. She was, for many of us, the person who exemplified all the things we value most. She was a woman of faith, hope, charity, and love. She WAS the warm safe place we all needed. Her witty sense of humor and wonderfully warm personality was infectious. The sound of laughter was a welcoming sound common in her home. Very much like the chocolate chip cookies and milkshakes, the guarantee of a blanket being offered (even if it was warm out), and the assurance of a helpful private talk as you meandered the garden, she was someone you knew you could rely on.
Susan watched generations of children play in her backyard, climb trees, sleep over in sleeping bags on the floor, and no matter when they showed up they were always, always, welcomed with a hug, a smile, and the constant reassurance that they were loved. She’d happily stay up late for the laughter and antics of grandchildren and made everyone feel special. And they were. Her family was the most precious thing in the world to her. Her favorite thing, and the reason she loved hosting at the holidays, was the sheer joy it brought her to be surrounded by the faces of her loved ones and to just watch them be together.
There are never enough words to express the loss of someone so important to so many, but we have all been blessed to know her. There is nothing that can replace the absence of our beloved matriarch, but what she has given us is immeasurable. As a family, It has been a blessing and an honor to be able to take care of her in the way she has taken care of all of us, until her last day.
“Until we meet again…”