Caffey-McKenna, Suzanne, beloved wife, mother, grandmother (Bema), aunt and friend died of leukemia on Thursday, January 31,2013 at home in Emerald Bay, Laguna Beach, California. Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 8, 1933 to the late George E. Morris (England) and Florence Tate Morris (Kansas, Missouri) she grew up in Berkeley, California with her five siblings and graduated from Berkeley High School in 1952. |
In 1954 she married Jay W. Reynolds. They had three children: Jay, Julie and Kelly. Suzanne remarried Richard F. Caffey in 1968. They lived in Encino, California along with Suzanne's children and Richard's daughters until Richard's death in 1980. In 1992 she married widower Benjamin Franklin Caffey IX who had three adult sons: Benjamin Caffey X (Suzanne) of Pasadena, Lochlin Caffey (Donna) of Benicia and John Michael Caffey (Richard Kastle) of New York city. Suzanne and Ben shared an unexpected midlife happiness.They lived in Emerald Bay until his death in 1998. The blended families from these marriages forged ties that continue to grow and are testament to Suzanne's radiating love.
Suzanne met her final great love, Terence Patrick McKenna on an Alaskan cruise in 2002. They married in 2008. They shared many passions: dancing, travel, good wine, great food, the Laguna Play House, time with friends and family, their summer home in Inverness, walks on the beach with their dog Coco, their devotion to Mary the blessed Mother, sharing quiet time in front of the fire, sharing their dreams and laughter. In 2012 Suzanne and Terry were recognized for their service to Alzheimers' Family Services Center. In 2009 their story was featured in an award winning HBO special on those living with Alzheimer's, "The Caregivers".
Suzanne was a fantastic intuitive cook and loved savoring the taste of all the best things in life. If you were in her life then you were by default the best: TOP-TOP and she enthusiastically shared your accomplishments. She loved a story, a laugh and was funny to her last breath. Always game for adventure, Suzanne faced challenge with great soul. If you were in pain she would tell you to lean in to it and ask what it is here to teach you. As Carl Jung said, "The world is changed one person at a time". Suzanne has done more than her share of the worlds work for she has touched so many lives. Our own "Queen of the Startings", she will be deeply missed.
She is survived by her husband, Terence, children Jay W. Caffey (Diane) of Long Beach, Julie A. Caffey (Linda Schumacher) of Oakland, Kelly M. Caffey-Epstein (Jon Epstein) of Woodland Hills; children by marriage to Richard Caffey; Melissa Caffey (Douglas Clyde) of Park City, Utah and Cristen Caffey Wise (Scott Wise) of Naples, Florida; children by marriage to Benjamin Franklin Caffey IX; Sisters: Margaret M. Morris of Healdsburg and Nancy Petersen (Sidney R. Petersen) of Laguna Beach, Sisters-in-law: Joan M. Coholan and Marilyn Morris, 14 Grandchildren: Alex, Laura, Jack, Brooke, Jessica, Colin, Luke, Britta, Caitlin, Nicole, Benjamin Xl, Sean, Brandy and Christopher; beloved dog Coco, many loving nieces, nephews and cousins as well as dear friends she considered part of her extended family.
She is predeceased by her parents and her brothers: Thomas Morris, James Morris and Richard Morris. Donations may be made in her memory to Leukemia Lymphoma Society http://www.lls.org/ Or: Alzheimer's Family Services Center http://www.afscenter.org/
A memorial service in celebration of her life will be held at St. Catherine's of Siena in Laguna Beach, 1042 Temple Terrace, Laguna Beach, CA on Saturday, February 16 at 10 am. Directions to the reception that follows will be provided at the service.
Published in Orange County Register on Feb. 17, 2013