Susan Randall Breitling Tucker of New Haven, Connecticut, died at home on July 2, 2022, surrounded by the warm embrace and love of her family, after a protracted battle with kidney cancer.
Susan was born on June 19, 1945 in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, a quiet, verdant suburb of Philadelphia. She attended Nether Providence High School there and graduated in 1963. She graduated from Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio in 1967 and ultimately earned a Master's Degree in Library Science from Columbia University in 1981.
One of Susan's great loves was reading, and she lived and worked surrounded by mountains of books. She worked at Yale University’s largest library, Sterling Memorial Library, for 22 years, protectively ‘mothering’ generations of student workers. Susan would often tell family and friends of the chills she got when entering and walking under the 60-foot ceiling of the building's cavernous Nave, which she said epitomized the concept of a "Cathedral of Learning." She made wonderful work friends at the library, and the group continued to gather and share good times after her retirement in 2012.
Susan met her future husband, Michael Tucker, at a small dinner party in New York City. For their first date the couple attended a Vietnam War protest in Washington, D.C., an example of the activism and commitment to peace and justice that Susan embodied. Susan and Michael were married in 1973 at the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church, with Michael’s red hair longer than Susan’s. The pair raised a son and daughter in New Haven and lived in the same house there for 40 years.
The highlight of the family’s adventures together was a wonderful 2008 trip that Susan organized. For two weeks the family trekked a portion of the Camino de Santiago from León to Santiago de Compostela in Susan’s beloved Spain, where she had studied as a college student.
Susan's greatest love was her family. She is survived by her loving husband, Michael Tucker; her son Andrew Tucker, his wife, Nicole, and their two sons, Cameron and Logan of Brooklyn, New York; her daughter Lauren Tucker, her husband, Will Roche, and their daughter Tirsa, also of Brooklyn; and her brother, Peter Mansfield Breitling of Devon, Pennsylvania. She was predeceased by parents J. George and Dorothea (Dodd) Breitling.
Susan was ever the champion of the underdog. She is remembered fondly as one of the sweetest persons you could ever know, one who epitomized all the best qualities of a human being, and one whose strong, silent strength sheltered and protected her family.
Susan was peacefully laid to rest in a private burial in New Haven's historic Grove Street Cemetery on July 7, 2022. A celebration of Susan’s life is planned for later in the year. In place of flowers, the family ask that you consider making donations to these organizations that Susan believed in and supported:
Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDFR)
New Hope for Cambodian Children (NHCC)
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT)