Susan Duvall Crafts
Susan D. called “Frenchie” at Medina High had that smile that classmates found attractive but she intellectually, rose above the flirtations and eventually attended college at age thirty-three to excel, achieving her “teacher’s expectations,” by completing a Phd. in Sociology at age 44.
Then her zeal as teacher was apparent as her professorial nature was utilized immediately as a “teaching assistant” for three professor’s while also “working as a waitress” when attending ten years as a UB student.
She began her college professorship(s) and soon always known as “Dr. Crafts” and recognized in conversation as a person of many interests and credentials other than just “sociology.” Her demure as a friendly conversationalist of any of her diverse interests grew thru this broad sphere outside of her sociology specialty to other experiences and pastimes and concerns of music, pets, travel, social justice and feminist challenges.
Her first professional year was at RIT. Quickly moving on to longer commitments as” Assistant Professor at Brockport College (six years) and finally an Associate Professor at NCCC and nearly completing her thirteenth in 2012..
All three schools felt the loss of leadership, her diverse course offerings, and experiences making her a formidable source of expertise. She was sought out by younger and older. She could “quickly “enhance each college and students sought her advisement for this. She was a teacher remembered because she taught the complex subject very effectively. She taught everyone how to understand “sociology” and that equipped you with an understanding of our complex society helping you to manage your own life better. Her teaching the “Sociological Perspective” and “Seeing Sociologically” in her published guide and interpreting and using all texts converted to those well organized and presented individual classes. She was that teacher that really helped you to understand intricacies of life that would help you to understand new perspective and skills to live in our complex society.
Her RA gradually, over years, increased her fatigue. This cursed Rheumatoid Arthritis caused her diminishment over her two decades as a teacher and the last decade of her retirement was even more uncomfortable for her.
However her pets, “especially gave her” that snuggling affection and for the fifty years we were together. Her pets gave her immense comfort and love. I will say no more, at this time, of her final six months in five different hospitals and two rehab centers.
Her love of pets (recent dog, cats and cockatiel) was consummate. She could have taught a course on “Pet Appreciation and Their Social Nature” using her extensive two hundred plus collection and library of a variety of pet fiction, non fiction, periodical, pet art and pet cards and also those volunteer years with Save-A-Pet, etc. These animals got her through adversity her whole life and our fifty years together. The “Schultz” poster she displayed, from before I met her, was of Charley Brown and Linus hugging. It said: “Dogs Accept People For What They Are” She always accepted her pets for what they gave back, especially a blanket companion on the coach or bed. This is my favorite and numerous “Kodak moment” of them in many pictures.
In lieu of flowers, Sue would wish help for” our furry friends. Her spirit lives in the barks, chirps and purrs of these wonderful creatures. These pets continue to give me comfort and your “pledge of friendship” can be as healing as having a “good will” pet beside you now. Sue’s legacy is strong in so many ways.
“What a Wonderful World”. I’m quoting one of our favorite musician’s Louis Armstrong’s song, he died only months before we married in 1971 and he was at the “early height” of his fame the year we were born, I somehow have learned that we all are influenced and learn from others in our sociological lives. Sue couldn’t sing, as I could, but she sure understood the meaning of lyric better than I. What a “wonderful hobby” we shared, seeing and hearing many artists thru the years and recently listening to their recordings in the comfort of our home.
. . She had such diverse experience and knowledge enhancing her manners and she never was “narrow” minded and as a consummate believer for many causes, interests and people becoming a strong advocate for many. She also took a liberal and diverse path enhanced by her many courses and books to learn Sociology, Anthropology, Musicology and Environmental Science(s) These studies were intense during those eleven years of college but also extended to “life-time learning” and conversations at get-togethers and extensive reading of leisure fictional novels and from other subjected books, movies, theater, music and travel.
Born Susan Duvall at Norfolk Naval Hospital to Helen Meister Duvall and Bud Duvall, August 9, 1947.Her father Harold “Bud” never did finish “his twenty year sign up,” and Sue, “at five” had such influence “on him” telling him to make his final ocean voyage back home to Hillburn, Rockland County where his siblings and parents were living and lodging his children. Here Sue and her brother, Wayne, two years younger (deceased 2005) and wife, Helen (were at) while he was at sea for eleven years.
Moving in seventh grade to Medina when her Dad transferred as an experienced “Naval Chief Machinist” to be the Senior Operation’s Engineer ( with out any college) just a “ qualifying vocational background” to land such an important leadership job at Abex Corporation’s newest foundry.
Bud like her daughter was truly recognized as the “captain of that factory for decades” until he was forced to retire at age 62, both not liking, that choice, ended their careers because of illness at ages 65 and 62. This understanding of her Father’s “social” status, him not being a college trained engineer, was another influence on her returning to college to complete her bachelor’s.
She also knew, as a woman, that women were under valued or ignored and being that equivalent of “half of society” possessing many traits of “inequality” and “societal lesser status” thought that she must fight for equality and as a teacher she knew she could be influential and she did this so well. I’m so proud of her and I was also lucky for meeting her as her parents “expressed opposite” that I redeemed her from her young exploits of too many boy friends, they claimed she finally settled down with me. Her parents became additionally special to me, too.
” She became a very active person for “feminist cause,” realizing how her father’s treatment of “being overlooked,” being the same as the historical attitude towards women, world- wide even today. Again applying knowledge of the social scientist community, those who advanced and made “Sociology” and other social sciences have their say. They both, however, had that quality and character that many respected and admired. That “giving type person” who adds to a community and family those many qualities representing a natural leadership role amongst those around you in many settings .She was good at her work and “making a difference” that really is the essence and importance of learning, she exceeded in. She certainly also became a teacher who met the expectations of how education is expected to elevate our nation and individuals who essentially make our democracy what it should be. Many attribute change to “generational passing” but Sue also knew that good character as persons like her parents had and “knowledge and better ways to live” are what society expects and needs to achieve essential growth and positive force of beneficial change over time, “not just generational or time passing” and passive roles of individual action and responsibility within a societal setting...
She was always “strong willed” and after working at various jobs such as Punches Potato Chips (age 16), Apple Grove Inn, one year with Robert Waters as “society writer” for the Medina Journal Register, a very popular waitress at Sharon Schaeffer’s Basket Factory Restaurant, and one year as clerk contributing to changes in business flow of a new reception area for Dr’s Dale, Mayhew, and Gumaer, new “large animal wing” at Ridge Animal Hospital.
Not satisfied as a Clerk’s job as a (Customer Service Representative) at Niagara Mohawk on Salt Works Road, Medina where she also becomes the first “Female Meter Reader” and a Union Stewart retires after ten years and deciding to advance to college entry.
She actually needs only one year at NCCC as her Wagner transfer’s were acceptable and is recruited in that first year by Professor Paul Dominic in his “Anthropology” 101 class to apply to the UB undergraduate Anthropology program. She is accepted at the undergraduate college of Anthropology (UB) and the rest, I call: “is history.”
Studying a half dozen specialties in an Interdisciplinary Degree Program completes a Masters of Science Degree and then on to her Sociology track to complete that Phd. in her eleventh year, “was credentialed,” finally completing her “Doctor of Philosophy.”…...I will add that she had a very hard fight to even get to her final defense in early 1993. I thank all those supportive and caring professors that really “stepped up to the plate,” giving her assurances of her ability against certain administrators that said she didn’t complete “with-in a deadline.” Here you need to understand that asking for help by another person(s) many times really, “can make a difference.”
Her sole surviving parent (my mother, Peggy Crafts, was so proud!). Sue was my Mother’s hero too! I will never forget how she could make friends. Sue always was the graceful host at the last event, party, dinner, etc and Sue always made persons feel special and welcome some thing that she learned from her parents. People who have that special way are the essence of good will and truly make life fun and memorable. Planning that last trip with her Aunt Dottie and, cousin Sharon, to Niagara Falls or for My Mother and new niece, planning the cruise on The Miss Apple Grove with that muleskinner, “Ozzie” and folksinger “John” or our bus trip to Toronto for Valentines Day to see The Phantom of the Opera, truly an exotic experience for my Mother and us as a threesome.
All those luscious meals she made that: “my Father praised,” far more, than, “my Mother’s” and comparable to her Mother Helen’s. The board games, after those meals, were fun with all generations playing many games and the competition and excitement too. These are the holidays, birthdays and celebrations that everyone needs. We had it all! I am grateful even to today.
We still drove to movies and live music, up until two years ago, after listening to our favorite music really did give us great pleasure in retirement when mobility and vision suffered. Even books and TV were replaced by those hundreds of live music purchased (CD’s) and of course our old stand by” free radio listening” to favorite NPR programs and Public Canadian Radio for news and other current events and featured shows as her vision declined because of the affects of diabetes.
Memorial donations for Sue: Niagara County SPCA 2100 Lockport Road Niagara Falls NY 14304 or the Arthritis Research Center Foundation, 1035 N Emporia St. Ste. 288 Wichita Kansas 67214-9902
There will be no memorial service at this time. Cards to 37 N.Main St., Middleport NY 14105.
Arrangements were entrusted to the Bogan &Tuttle Funeral Home, 226 Pearl St. Medina NY 14103. Please read the complete obituary at www.bogantuttlefunerals.com
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