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Susan Walton Wynkoop, age 60, of Westport, Connecticut,died peacefully surrounded by her family on April 7, 2014. She is survived by her husband, Morgan Magee ("Dutch") Wynkoop and her daughter, Katherine Saunders Wynkoop.
Susan was born in Huddleston, Virginia to Margaret Saunders Walton and the late Wyatt Henry Walton, Jr. She was a graduate of Stanton River High School and Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, majoring in Sociology.
After working four years at Wachovia Bank in Winston-Salem, Susan was recruited to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Susan was tested psychologically, scholastically and physically for nine months before being asked to serve. She was one of the first 200 female agents at the FBI. After training at Quantico in criminal law, investigative techniques, firearms and defensive tactics, she began her active service.
During her 12 year experience, Susan investigated bank robberies, corruption and international terrorism cases. She participated in undercover roles, some outside the country. She was the first female FBI agent inducted into the New York City Policy Department Honor Legion as a law enforcement officer to have survived a life threatening arrest.
In addition to investigating the Colombo organized crime family, Susan supervised the investigation of the $1.6 million Brink's robbery in Nanuet, NY in which were two police officers were killed. She worked on the Brink's case for 26 months, and eventually all the suspects were arrested.
Colleagues from the Bureau attributed Susan's successful career in the FBI to her unique blend of aggressive tenacity and cultured Southern charm. Upon hearing of Susan's death, Jim Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, wrote, "Thank you for your remarkable service - on behalf of a grateful FBI and a grateful nation."
Dutch and Susan met while they were both living in New York. Dutch had an immediate connection with Susan since he is a University of Virginia graduate. They were married on July 22, 1989, and their daughter Katherine was born the next year. Soon thereafter, Susan resigned from the Bureau.
Even after her retirement from the force and until very recently, she performed sensitive intelligence investigations relating to individuals seeking top federal security clearances. She also remained involved as the Project Director of the FBI Foundation's Oral History Heritage Project.
For the last 25 years, Susan lived in, decorated, refurbished and entertained at the couple's home in Westport. Built around 1683 (the only pre-1700 structure in Westport), the house was originally in Dutch's family. The home has been designated as a "Local Historical Landmark". Her interest in antique homes naturally fostered her involvement in the Westport Historical Society. Susan served as the organization's President from January 2012 until recently.
Susan was an active member of the Southport Congregational Church, serving on the Board of Deacons for most of the last decade, and serving as the Chair of Deacons in 2004.
In addition to her husband and daughter, Susan is survived by her mother, Margaret Saunders Walton of Huddleston, Virginia; a sister, Leigh Walton of Nashville; a brother, Wyatt Henry Walton, III (Janet) of Huddleston, Virginia, sister-in-law, Catherine Wynkoop, Pine Ridge, NY, as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Southport Congregational Church, 524 Pequot Avenue, Southport CT or the Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place, Westport CT.
A service will be conducted at the Southport Congregational Church on 11:00 am on Saturday, April 12, following by a reception in the fellowship hall. Internment will be at a later date at Bethesda Methodist Church in Virginia.
Published in Connecticut Post from Apr. 9 to Apr. 11, 2014