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Susan M. Setta


1949 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Susan M. Setta Obituary
Susan Margaret Setta, 69, of Winnemay Street died on Monday, May 14, 2018 in her home after a long illness. Susan was born on May 2, 1949 to the (late) Michael and Lillian (White) Setta in Scranton, Pennsylvania. S usan graduated with her Bachelors Degree in religious studies from Wilson College in Pennsylvania, furthering her education and earning her Masters Degree in religious studies from Hartford Seminary and achieving her Ph.D. from Penn. State in American religious studies. Susan was employed at Northeastern University, where she was a professor in the philosophy and religion department for forty years. She was an enormously popular and accomplished teacher, twice winning the university-wide excellence in teaching award. She served two terms as the chair of the Philosophy and Religion Department (1991-1996, 2004-2015). During her second term, she was instrumental in creating an array of new programs, minors and majors, including the Religious Studies major, the Ethics minor as well as several combined majors. Her impact at the University extended well beyond the Philosophy and Religion Department. She was a founding member of both the Jewish Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies programs for which she served on the boards and executive committees and most recently, the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program. She made important contributions to the Dialogue of Civilizations Program and the realization of global experience in the University Honors Program as well as to Honors Pedagogy. She was past president of the New England Region of the American Academy of Religion and a Mary Baker Eddy Library Fellow. Her primary scholarly interests included: women and religion, new religions, religious ethics, charismatic authority in traditional and new religions, apocalypticism, and ways in which religious traditions approach decision-making for end of life issuesdetermination of death and withdrawing treatment. She was the author of many articles, book chapters and contributions to scholarly encyclopedias. Most recently she co-authored a seminal paper for the World Hea lth Organization, Determining that Death has Occurred: Perspectives from World Religions. Susan was a life-long musician and was trained as a classical pianist. She played for the Niagra Symphony. Susan shared her musical abilities as she was the Director of the choir at the First Congregational Church. Susan loved and took great pride in restoring her beautiful Victorian home. She had an affinity for gardening as was known around the neighborhood as the hydrangea lady of Winnemay Street. She loved the beach and traveling to Newport, Cape Cod and Maine with her family. She was a life-long girl scout. And enjoyed entertaining and organizing get-togethers. She will be remembered for organizing her neighborhood Christmas Caroling parties. Susan is survived by her husband, John Weagraff of 40 years and her beloved son, Geoffrey Weagraff, both of Natick. She will be deeply missed. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 19th in the First Congregational Church, 2 E Central Street, Natick, MA 01760 at 11:00 A.M. Burial will follow in Dell Park, Pond Street, Natick, MA. Calling hours will be held on Friday, May 18th from 4:00-7:00 P.M. in the John Everett & Sons Funeral Home, 4 Park Street, Natick, MA 01760. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Susans name be sent to: First Congregational Church Music Fund, 4 Park Street, Natick, MA 01760. John Everett & Sons Funeral Home, 4 Park Street, Natick, MA 01760 has been entrusted by the family to handle arrangements. For further information or to sign a memorial guestbook, please visit www.everettfuneral.com.
Published in MetroWest Daily News from May 16 to May 17, 2018
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