Suzanne Smith Dean, 96; Connected To Otsego Lake As Child, In Adulthood


Suzanne S. Dean, 96; Cherished

Otsego Lake While A Child, Adult

Susie Smith Dean as a young woman and, recently, on Cape Cod.

COOPERSTOWN — Suzanne Smith Dean (Susie), 96, of East Orleans, Mass., passed away peacefully on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019.

She was born on April 15, 1923, in New York City, daughter of Dorothy Bostwick Smith Campbell and W.T. Sampson Smith, Sr. Mrs. Dean spent her early years in that city attending Shipley School and Miss Hewett’s Classes.

She was a member of the Red Cross Nurses’ Aid Corps and later volunteered at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. She was married in September 1942 at St. Thomas Church in Gilbertsville to Dr. John Van Benschoten Dean.

Susie and John raised a family and lived in East Norwich and Glen Cove, Long Island, where John had his practice before moving to New York City. Susie alternated many summers with the kids, between staying on Leatherstocking Farm with her mother and at their summer home on Duck Farm Lane on Cape Cod in East Orleans, Mass, where they eventually retired.

After John passed Susie spent many of her later years living in Cooperstown and Siesta Key, Fla., where she worked as a docent at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium until she finally settled on Cape Cod 11 years ago.

With family ties dating back to the early days of Cherry Valley, she spent much of her early years in Cooperstown, growing up at Leatherstocking Farm surrounded by her many siblings and creating life-long friendships. She loved Otsego Lake and the rolling green fields and before she settled on Cape Cod, often rode in her recreational shell off the property where she built a home for herself on the lake 30 years ago.

Susie was devoted to her own mother, Dorothy Bostwick Smith Campbell, and spent much of her time close by, as her mother lived to be 101. In recent years on Cape Cod, she became very close with many of her caregivers and referred to them as her “friends.”

Susie was a loving mother and homemaker, and a great lover of natural beauty and animals. She was an avid gardener, great reader, and loved to watch all of the birds that flocked to her feeders. She will be greatly missed.

Susie is survived by three sons and a daughter, William Randall Dean of Ann Arbor, Mich., Thomas Lockwood Dean and his wife Bonnie, of Blue Hill, Maine, James Pickering Sheldon-Dean and wife Abby, of Charlotte, Vt., Suzanne Bostwick Dean of Brookline, Mass.; six grandchildren, Zero Zachariah Dean of San Diego, Calif., Jocelyn Mingrone Dean of Portland, Ore., Schuyler Tremayne Dean and wife Becca of Nashville, Tenn., Phoebe Sampson Sheldon-Dean of Los Angeles, Hannah Mehaffy Sheldon-Dean of Brooklyn,  Emily Bostwick Opack of Honolulu, and her stepbrothers, Colin Goetze Campbell of Williamsburg, Va. and Douglas Goetze Campbell of New Canaan, Conn.; beloved nieces Cory Smith Moffat, Robin Smith Butchard, Mercedes Rudkin Gotwald and extended family and friends.

Mrs. Dean was predeceased by her husband Dr. John V.B. Dean, who died in 1984, son John V.B. Dean, Jr. who died in 1949, sister Dorothy Smith Rudkin, brother W.T. Sampson Smith, Jr., and step-brothers Robert Goetze Campbell, Frederick Goetze Campbell and “Skipper” Alan Goetze Campbell.

There will be a Celebration of Life with family and close friends at 2 p.m., Dec. 29, at 23 Duck Farm Lane, East Orleans, as well as a celebration in Cooperstown, TBD, in the spring/summer of 2020.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in her memory to the Susquehanna SPCA, 4841 NY-28, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

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