Mary Susan Duncan

Mary Susan Duncan

It is with much sadness that Mary Susan “Sue” Duncan passed away peacefully on May 8, 2024, at UVM Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont following a brief illness.

She was born Mary Susan Towle, July 21, 1939, in St. Albans, Vermont to William Claire and Ruth Agnes (Haughey) Towle, where shortly thereafter her family moved to Richford, and finally Newport, Vermont, where she attended Sacred Heart High School. She was tall and athletic and played basketball, but her true passion, which followed her all her life, was being a caregiver.

After High School she attended the Jean Mance School of Nursing where she ended up meeting and marrying the love of her life, William S. Duncan on April 8, 1961, with whom she enjoyed a wonderful marriage of 41 years, until his passing in 2002. She worked the “graveyard” shift at Birchwood Nursing Home in Burlington for over 30 years, and those hours allowed her to maintain her passion for caring at work, while also working her “maternal” duties first and foremost. She was home in time to get her children to school and be up by the time they came home. She always took care of everyone else and left little time to herself, which she never complained about.

When the children left the nest, she pursued her love of golf with her good friends at the Williston Country Club where she was a member for many years until her hips prevented her from playing up to her potential, and she moved onto “indoor” sports.

She loved going to bingo in various venues whether it be Essex, Colchester or Burlington, and if she wasn’t home at night, you knew she was probably at one or the other. She developed many lifelong friendships that will live on in her absence, and she certainly will never be forgotten.

With her passion for bingo came a love for gambling, specifically the penny slots, at Akwesasne Casino in New York. She would ride the bus with her bingo crew from the Elks Club and usually stay overnight, and as luck would have it usually came home with more money than she left with.

These last few years there were fewer trips to the Casino, but the void was filled with a weekly card game with the girls and a weekly luncheon which seemed to keep her engaged and happy; she was always at her best when she was with friends and/or family. She thoroughly enjoyed the company of her grandchildren, all of which she was so proud of.

And, if she didn’t have enough to do, she also utilized her nursing skills as a private care provider for a select few people whom she knew and/or knew of her. At a time when someone really should’ve been taking care of her, she was still caring for others right until the end.

She was predeceased by her husband William S. of 41 years, her brother William H. of Florida and sister Elizabeth “Betty” Ohno of Saugerties, New York.

Sue was a devout Catholic and her faith got her through many difficult times. She attended Christ the King/St. Anthony parish where she was an accomplished and welcomed reader at the 11:00 Mass every Sunday. My heartfelt thanks to Fr. Justin Baker for caring for and support for Mother right up until her last breath.

She leaves a son William of Essex Junction, VT, a daughter Suzanne of Grand Junction, Colorado; her best dear friend Carol Wright of South Burlington, VT; her grandchildren Sydney and Olivia Duncan of Essex, Jamie and Kendra Herald of Grand Junction, Colorado and William Purcell Jr. of New York City; several nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and last but not least, her companion for the last 7 years, her beloved cat, Molly.

We would like to acknowledge all the caregivers that helped her through the last very difficult few weeks of her life, either at Birchwood Nursing Home or UVM Medical Center. They all gravitated toward her to the point where one nurse at the hospital called her “Mama”, while he gently turned her, changed her or just talked to her. I know she appreciated that, and it helped her find peace ultimately.

Visiting hours will be at Ready Funeral Home on Shelburne Road on Monday, May 20, from 4-6 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, May 21 at Christ the King Church in Burlington at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements are in the care of Ready funeral and Cremation Services. To send online condolences please visit www.ready