Susan M. Clyne: A Tribute
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.
C. S. Lewis
Susan M. Clyne. Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Scholar. Colleague. Friend. These words, in a way, sum up her life, but do not illustrate the remarkable woman that she was, nor the profound effect that she had on the lives that she touched.
Wife. Charlie and Susan met on a blind date in 1985. Two years later, on June 6, 1987, they married. The strengthen of their bond and their love for each other is echoed in the words of Charlie himself. One can hear the pride when he described her many accomplishments, the bemusement when he spoke of her devotion to all things computer, and the anguish when he mentioned that they never got the chance to say good-bye.
Mother. Of all her many accomplishments, Susan felt that her children were her greatest achievement. She was devoted to them as they were to her. The twins Marie and Michael, Kevin, and Timothy could readily be seen smiling, laughing, and clowning from the various pictures that decorated her office. Her treasures. The older boys have inherited her love of computers, and all the children her desire to help others. In the days following the attacks, they worked diligently on their newest project, a memorial fund. It was decided that they would collect money in their mother’s name and buy computers for those in the school district who couldn’t afford them.
Scholar. Susan spent many long nights after high school attending classes to get her degrees. After graduating with a degree in finance she set her sights on Law School. She graduated Touro Law School and passed the NYS bar on the first try. She continued her education by completing her MBA in 1991, with a brief respite to focus on the birth of her twins. Her dedication and perserverence served her well. Her career at Marsh & McLennan flourished as she rose from programmer (self taught) to manager to Senior Vice President.
Friend. Susan was blessed with many. And they loved her as much as she loved them. That love has been expressed often in the tributes that followed the attacks. She was said to know "how to put a smile on somebody's face, or how to make you laugh." She would "always take time out of her busy schedule to talk to you, or to help you in any way she could." Her neighbors and friends in Lindenhurst and at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic parish and in the school system intimated their love further by donating "time, energy, money and so much food to the Clynes that some of it almost went bad." On December 9, 2001, the village co-sponsored a Susan M.Clyne memorial 5K run/walk and a number of different events dedicated to doing "everything (they) can to keep her memory alive." Her collegues from Touro held their Fourth Annual Susan M. Dietrich Clyne ’88 Memorial Golf Outing this past August.
The most poignant example of the love that others had for this remarkable woman comes from her husband, Charlie, as he and the children tried to fathom what had happened.
"On the Thursday and Friday after the towers came down, (the children) asked if I thought writing letters to Mom would be a good idea, for when she came home. I said it would be a great idea. They wrote notes. They cut out hearts. They drew pictures. The ideas and thoughts came straight from their souls. By Friday of the second week, when hopes were dim, I went to bed, and when I got up, they had made this absolutely beautiful, gift-wrapped package, with all the notes inside, and they asked, ’How do we get it to her, now that she’s not coming home?’ And Kevin says, ’Balloons.’ Saturday, we went down to the beach at Robert Moses State Park with 50 or 60 helium balloons. As physics would have it, the balloons wouldn’t lift the box, so they had to modify the idea. They attached the notes and letters with their thoughts and hopes to individual balloons, and we watched those balloons fly away, and it was wonderful."
I will never be able to look at balloons drifting across the sky in the same way again.
This is just one of 2,966 tributes. To get a link to see the others visit the 2,966 Project website. Be sure to say a special thanks to Dale who has devoted an extraordinary amount of time to this wonderful campaign.