Susan Alarie Vanasse, age 69, of Wolcott, passed away peacefully on March 15th, 2020 due to complications of Friedreich’s Ataxia, a neuromuscular disease. The eldest daughter of Louis J. and Ruth J. (Farquharson) Vanasse of Wolcott, Susan was an adventurer, having lived in the states of Connecticut, Ohio, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Washington. In each of these states, Susan’s beautiful artistic talent was displayed in various art shows and venues. One promotional clipping of a show quoted her as saying “I want to paint nature before it is all gone”. Never letting her physical disability define her, Susan fought to be part of mainstream high school and graduated from Wolcott High School in 1968. She went on to earn an Associate’s Degree from Mattatuck Community College in Waterbury; a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from University of Missouri; a Masters in Art from University of Hartford; and continued her life-long love of learning at the University of Ohio. She was a talented pianist in her younger years and an avid gardener.
Susan and her youngest sister, Joan Alyson Vanasse, who passed away in 1996 and was afflicted with the same disease, advocated for the rights of “handi-capables”, letting no boundaries deter them. The American Disabilities Act, enacted in 1990, opened many doors, in part due to their persistence and activism for academic equality.
In addition to her parents, Susan is survived by her sisters, Ann (John) Osborn of Newtown, CT and Michele (Thomas) Grande of Redding, CT; nieces and nephews, Michelle Osborn (Doug Greene), Joshua (Autumn) Vanasse, Dana (Michael) Bruscini, Alarie Osborn (Joey Patrick), Christopher (Blanca) Grande, Marissa (Richard) Bousquet, and Jonathan (Lindsay) Grande; as well as 13 grandnieces/nephews. She is also survived by long-time caring and compassionate aides; Roseanna, Sarah, Michael, Tatiana and Brittany.
A celebration of Susan’s awe-inspiring life will be held this summer.
Donations in Susan’s honor can be made to Friedreich’s Ataxia at FARA, 533 W. Uwchlan Ave, Downingtown, PA 19335.
Rest in peace, sweet sister – your struggles are over-be free with your sister in heaven.