Lee, Susan Thompson
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Former Oshkosh resident, Susan Rockwell Thompson Lee, died on March 21, 2014 in Santa Rosa, CA. She was born April 9, 1928, to Annette Wilcox Thompson and Robert Reese Thompson. She was the 1st of 4 children: Robert Wilcox, 1929, Andrew Cameron, 1932, and Craig Cowan, 1936. Only Craig Thompson survives.
Her mother was born and raised in Janesville; her father in Oshkosh. They met while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Susan attended school from K - 9th grade at the Rose C. Swart Training School on the campus of Oshkosh State Teachers College. She went to Oshkosh High School. She was elected to the O' Neil Honorary Society by the OHS faculty.
From 1941-1945 she enjoyed summers at the Manito-wish YMCA camp in Boulder Junction as did her brothers. Her love of the outdoors was nurtured. Later she would enjoy fond memories of camp with her brothers and friends.
She was encouraged by her mother in the love of drawing, painting, and fine arts. While growing up she spent special times with her maternal grandmother, cousins, and friends in Janesville or when they came to Oshkosh.
She and her family were members of Trinity Episcopal Church. She was an active Christian in several denominations. In the past few years she returned to her heritage by attending St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Kenwood, CA.
During summer time while at high school she worked either at the Buckstaff Furniture Co. or the law office of Thompson, Grunewald, and Fry.
After high school graduation in 1946, she attended Stanford University and earned a degree in Fine Arts in 1950. There she met her future husband, Howard "Wood" Hastings. Later, they were married at All Saints Episcopal church in Pasadena, CA.
To accommodate family life she lived in several states before settling in CA in several cities. She eventually earned her Teaching Credential and subsequently taught in the San Luis Obispo area for 20 yrs. before retiring.
In 1988, she married Rodney "Rod" Lee who was a painter in oils and water colors. It was a perfect match. In 1992, they moved to Santa Rosa and pursued their passion for painting, outdoor life, and dogs. They honed their painting abilities and skills as their sales of paintings increased.
Susan possessed a highly active mind pursuing the arts, genealogy, history, and geology. She read several books at the same time. She was also an accomplished swimmer. For 53 yrs she was a mentor to many people.
She is survived by her brother, Craig (Shelly) Thompson; daughter, Anne Whitaker, sons, Bob (Vicky) Hastings, Doug (Elena) Hastings and Craig (Amy) MacDonald; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; six nieces and nephews; stepchildren, Lawrence (Hannah) MacDonald, Gordon (Belinda) MacDonald and the late Rod MacDonald; sisters-in-law, Margaret Hastings Howe, Kay Thompson and Nancy (Marion) Thompson.
Susan's Celebration of Life was recently held in Santa Rosa CA. In her memory, donations may be sent to the Sonoma Humane Society, P.O. Box 1296, Santa Rosa, CA 95402 or Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation, Art Dept., 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401 or Camp Manito-Wish YMCA. P.O. Box 246, Boulder Junction, 54512.
Published in Oshkosh Northwestern from Apr. 27 to May 4, 2014