The oldest of five children from Dorothy Marguerite Abraham and D. Kenneth Brown, Susan was born Sept. 2, 1948, in Sacramento, Calif.
Susan received her Nursing Degree from Sacramento City College in 1968, her BSN from California State University-Sacramento in 1976 and her master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of California-San Francisco in 1980. She enjoyed a 40-year career of outstanding achievements in healthcare and community service. Some of her notable career marks include serving as the chief nursing executive at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, being the founding executive director for the Center for Aids Research, Education and Service (C.A.R.E.S.), and passionately serving the people of Del Norte County under a grant from The California Endowment. Using her talent and experience as a facilitator, Susan was instrumental in developing and implementing the road map for the “Building Healthy Communities” initiative for Del Norte County and adjacent tribal lands. Through her lifelong work she touched and made a difference in so many lives.
Susan will be remembered by all for her unparalleled compassion and love for people, animals and life. She was exceptional in her family life and her career, which were both enhanced by her courage and bold sense of adventure. Susan approached each day with exuberance and curiosity and with a strong desire to live life to its fullest potential.
Susan traveled extensively in China with the Nursing Ambassador to Ambassador Program, made multiple trips to Europe, traveled throughout North America and more recently enjoyed road trips with Jim down highways and byways in their Airstream trailer accompanied by her loved parrots, cats and beagles. Susan savored every experience.
She was comfortable scuba diving in Cozumel, Mexico, and sailing the South Pacific with Jim for two years in their beloved 35-foot sailboat “Freelife.” She expressed her creativity as a cultivator of lost arts, spending many happy hours knitting beautifully-colored works of art and testing new recipes that resulted in exquisite meals and desserts, which she enjoyed sharing with family and friends.
She and Jim were married nearly 24 years ago at Sea Ranch overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a chapel shaped like a seashell. Inscribed inside her wedding band is a line from a favorite poem, “Come live with me and be my love, and we will all pleasures prove.”
In addition to her loving husband Jim, children and stepchildren, Susan is survived by her four brothers: Dick (Dottie), Mike (KC), Jon (Bev) and Jeff (Debra) and many loved nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her loved stepmom Miyoko Honda Brown, step-siblings Alan (Judy) Honda, Vivian (Ray Chiang) Honda-Chiang and Blaine (Anna) Honda and their children. Susan loved the six Strong brothers and sisters and their spouses and will be greatly missed by the many Strong nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews, but most of all she will be missed by her very close friend and sister-in-law Joy Strong.
Per her wishes, Susan’s remains were cremated and will be scattered at sea. A memorial honoring Susan for friends, family and colleagues will be held later this year.
Her family requests that in lieu of flowers or other expressions of love and sympathy, donations may be made in Susan’s name to C.A.R.E.S Medical Center, 1500 21st St., Sacramento, CA, 958111, or Susan G. Komen “In Honor Campaign” at secure.info-komen.org.