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Susan Ballinger

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Susan Toel Ballinger

Susan T. Ballinger - beloved wife, mother, neighbor and friend - passed away at age 86 on Monday, March 18 in the Kentfield home where she had lived for more than 50 years. Her sons Douglas and Scott were at her bedside.

Mrs. Ballinger, the daughter of publishing company executive Court B. and Winifred Toel, was born July 27, 1926, in Chicago, and grew up in suburban Wilmette. She was graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, attended Pine Manor in Wellesley, MA., and in 1947 earned a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.

After graduation, Mrs. Ballinger moved to San Francisco with a college classmate, and worked with a handful of banking and investment firms before marrying her husband of 37 years, the late Douglas H. Ballinger. After their marriage in San Francisco on June 14, 1952, the two moved to Marin County, where they raised their three sons.

Son Douglas Ballinger of Woodside said Sue spent her early married life "chasing her sons around Marin and on the ski slopes of Lake Tahoe." Longtime friend Mary Grandin of Sausalito said "Sue's family - her husband and her kids - were her whole life."

As a member of the Marin community, Mrs. Ballinger was active in the Sunny Hills Junior Auxiliary and was also a member of the Francisca Club of San Francisco.

Mrs. Ballinger was preceded in death by her husband, Douglas, in 1989 and their first son, Court Ballinger, in 1974. Despite these losses, she persevered, and enjoyed close relationsjhps with many young people who sought her counsel or just a friendly conversation at her kitchen table.

Mrs. Ballinger is survived by two sons Douglas of Woodside and Scott Ballinger of Kentfield, her caretaker in the last months of her life. Also surviving are daughter in law Leslie Ballinger and three grandchilden -Court, Charles and William Ballinger - all of Woodside. Sue's only sister, Nancy Conover of Pittsburgh, PA., preceded her in death.

The family will make an announcement next week about a celebration of Sue's life to be held in Marin.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice by the Bay, 17 East Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Larkspur, CA 94939

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 23, 2013
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