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SUSAN PACONDA COPP - BURLINGTON - Susan Paconda Copp, 93, died peacefully in Starr Farm Nursing Home on Jan. 17, 2014, with her family by her side. Born Dec. 8, 1920, in Albany, N.Y., of Frank and Rosa Paconda, Sue graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in voice and drama, and did post graduate work at the Juilliard School of Music in NYC. As a soprano, Susan sang opera with The Alexander Kipnis Opera Studio of NYC, and the Delphi Opera Singers of Connecticut, taking leads in such roles as "la Boheme" and "The Marriage of Figaro." She performed musical theater, sang in churches, schools, nursing homes, night clubs, and gave concerts in NYC, Washington, DC, and throughout New England. She loved performing and was a bright presence on stage. Susan married husband, DeWitt "Pete" Copp, a writer, of Middlebury, Conn., on June 14, 1947. Deeply dedicated to her music and family, she flourished as a wife, mother, and singer, able to negotiate all three with grace, care and humor. Excited when traveling the US or Europe with her husband, she had an inquiring mind and nomadic spirit, learning about places and people wherever she went. She was a thoughtful person, always reaching out to say a kind word or send a note to her friends. At home, she enjoyed her family life; she gardened, rode horseback, took afternoon tea religiously, read voluminously, did yoga and in later years, studied watercolor and portrait painting, exhibiting her work in Washington, DC and Vermont. Susan is survived by her daughter, Wendy Copp and spouse, John Hodgson, of Burlington; son, Peter Copp and spouse, Sarah Copp, of Manchester; grandchildren, Max Hodgson of NYC, David Stringer of Charlotte, N.C., and Jonathon Copp of Edinborough, Scotland; great-grandchildren, Abby, Grace and Mason Stringer; and nieces, Sandi Savage, Marilyn Von Reiter and Carolyn Johnson. She was predeceased by her husband; parents; two sisters; and three brothers. We are very grateful to Equinox Terrace of Manchester, the Converse Home of Burlington, and PACE VT for their excellent care and attention to Sue during her declining years. We also would like to express a deep and heartfelt thank you to Hospice of Champlain Valley and to the nurses, aids, and staff at Starr Farm, as they tended and cared for Susan during her very last years, days, and hours. Their generous-hearted and sensitive support touched us all. A memorial will be held in the spring, date to be announced. Memorial contributions made in Susan's memory may be sent to Hospice of Champlain Valley, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester, VT 05446.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Jan. 26, 2014
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