Susan Keesee, age 62 of Chapel Hill NC transitioned into eternal rest on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at her residence in Chapel Hill, NC.
Susan Keesee, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, passed away on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at her home. She was 62. Susan Gail Hastings Keesee was born May 31, 1960, in Columbus, Ohio. She was the youngest of three daughters raised by Robert H. (1926-1985) and Lois T. Hastings (1930- 2016). Susan was predeceased by both of her parents and her oldest sister, Lynn (1953-
Susan grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, and received a public education from the Montgomery County school system. While a sophomore at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, she sewed costumes for the school’s theater group. Her interest in costume design and fabric performance led her to pursue a career in the textile industry. Susan attended Virginia Tech, where she met her future husband David Keesee on her first day of classes. She graduated in 1983 with a bachelor of science degree in clothing and textile science.
Susan and Dave were married in 1982 and at the time of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis, they had just celebrated their 40th year of marriage. After Virginia Tech, Susan attended Clemson University and graduated in 1986 with a master of science degree in textile science. After working a year and a half as a cooperative education undergraduate student at Allied Signal (now Honeywell) she continued her career full-time in the textile industry with Allied Signal in Petersburg, Virginia, after completing her graduate education.
Susan joined the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), a professional and technical membership society based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, as a student member in 1979. Following four years of experience in colorfastness testing, instrumental color measurement, and test method development while with Allied Signal, in 1989 she became an assistant editor for AATCC and was named editorial director in 1994.
Susan decided on a career change in 1999, and after overseeing the construction of their passive solar house in Chapel Hill, she enrolled in the University of North Carolina School of
Library and Information Science and graduated with a master’s of science degree in Library Science in August 2004. She specialized as a medical librarian and held a variety of positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University Medical Center Library, and at the Federal Medical Center at Butner Federal Correctional Complex.
She concluded her career at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center while supporting faculty and researchers in research grant publication compliance. Susan had a wide range of hobbies and interests outside of her career. She loved spending time with family, which included her human family, as well as cherished dogs she shared her life with throughout the years.
Susan delighted in staying in touch with new friends and the many long-time friends and colleagues she enjoyed during her life. Susan was passionate about preserving the environment, camping, and exploring the great outdoors. She loved sewing and quilting, cheering on the Hokies at countless football games in Blacksburg, and making a mean spinach lasagna.
Susan was always thinking about the earth and thinking about others. She loved hanging her laundry on the line on sunny days and sending cards and letters in the mail to loved
ones. She enjoyed giving to charitable organizations in support of the environment, animals, and human rights. Susan also loved giving to those she cared about, and she was an excellent judge of wool socks and a fine supporter of independent bookstores.
Susan leaves behind her beloved husband David; her two dogs Barley and Mercy; her dear sister Laurie Hastings Bryan (Brad); her nieces Kelly Smith (Jerryl Roberts), Alice Martins (Rui), Alisande Tombarge, Brittany Roberts (John), Bonnie Tombarge, Emmaline Keesee, and Claire Keesee; her nephews Keith Bryan (Marla) and Samuel Keesee (Elizabeth Kelley); her grandnephews Simon Smith, Rafael Smith-Roberts, Raven Smith-Roberts, and John Robertson V; and her grandniece Joana Martins.
Susan’s struggle with pancreatic cancer lasted four excruciating months. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in her honor to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org) or
to the Susan and David Keesee Endowment for Undergraduate Research with the University Libraries at Virginia Tech (Fund #860995). You can read more about the Susan
and David Keesee Endowment here: https://vtx.vt.edu/articles/2018/05/univlib-keesee- endowment.html
A celebration of life will be held at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill on January 4, 2023, at 2:00pm
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