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Susan Lee Oldham


1937 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Susan Lee Oldham Obituary
Susan Lee Oldham Died peacefully on Saturday, March 3 in Davis, CA, with family at her side. Born Susan Lee Laurence on September 14, 1937 in Oakland, CA to Alec and Gladys Laurence, she was the second of four children. She excelled in school and was valedictorian of her graduating class at Fremont High School in Oakland. From there she attended and commuted daily to San Francisco State University, becoming the second member of her family to earn a bachelor's degree. She was an athlete who competed at the highest level of her sport, synchronized swimming. She swam on the Ed Sullivan show, won multiple national championships, competed throughout Europe and Asia and maintained lifelong friendships with her teammates, especially her childhood friend and duet partner Jackie (Vargas) Ryan. At San Francisco State, she met her future husband, Don Oldham, to whom she was married for 23 years and with whom she had three children: first Rob, then twins Lynn and Beth. Sue led the family on all sorts of camping and traveling adventures that many would not have attempted from backcountry horseback trips with toddlers, to a Grand Canyon hike with six year-olds, to cross-country camping trips across the US, to multiple trips to Hawaii. She instilled a love of adventure in all of her children, and when her daughters lived abroad, she visited no matter the location. Sue loved working with people and had a tremendous impact on those whose lives she touched. She worked as a school counselor in the Fremont Unified School District for many years and is remembered fondly by many students and colleagues. In the 1980s, she left the security of the school system to join the Kairos Foundation (now More to Life) and became their Chief Operations Officer as well as a lead trainer, traveling to the UK, South Africa, New Zealand and many communities around the globe. She spent more than 20 years with Kairos, and her impact on people from all over the world was tremendous. If there was a role that Sue cherished above all else, it was as a mother, sister and daughter. She was an incredible role model and support to all her family members. She was there in times of struggle. She was there to celebrate joyous occasions. She was there to lend a hand and advice. When her grandchildren came along, she traveled regularly to visit them whether in Alaska, Ohio or British Columbia. Sue is survived by her children, Rob (Schorre), Lynn (Ryan) and Beth (Loren); her brother Charlie (Susan) Laurence, and sister Margaret (Rand) Becker; grandchildren William, Helen, Hannah, Kelly, Ted, Carl, Ray, and Alex. She is also survived by her brother-in-law Tom Lord and nieces and nephews Tom, Mike, Cathi, Jim, and Carin. She was predeceased by her parents, Alec and Gladys, and her sister Ann Lord. Sue was a guiding light in the lives of many. She will be missed for her fierce devotion to family, her compassion, her intelligence, and her sense of humor. Services will be held on Saturday, May 26 at 1pm at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Corte Madera. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UC Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center through https://give.ucdavis.edu/MNEU/ SAD6864, or Senior Access, www.senioraccess.org .
Published in Marin Independent Journal on Apr. 8, 2018
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