Mrs. Susan M. Sterling|
Mrs. Susan Marie Sterling, 53, of West Broadway, Jim Thorpe, passed away on Sunday, Aug. 25, in her home following a three-month battle with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an especially aggressive form of brain cancer.
Born in Red Bank, N.J., she was a daughter of Grace (Emanuel) Gilkeson of Nesquehoning and the late George Maslin Gilkeson Jr.Susan was raised in Texas and graduated from Conroe, Tex., High School in 1977. In 1978, she attended McMurry College, Lubbock, Tex. In 1982, she received a degree in journalism from Stephen F. Austin University, Nacogdoches, Tex.
- Her loving husband, John William "Jack" Sterling, was by her side at the time of death.
She was a newspaper journalist in Middlebury, Vt., in 1983. In 1984, Susan received a master's degree in library science from Texas Woman's University and, from 1984-96, she held the position of research librarian at Texas Woman's University.
In 1996, she moved to Nesquehoning to care for her aged aunt, Miss Emma Emanuel. During this time, she first worked at Cedar Crest College as a research librarian and, in 1997, Susan joined the staff at the Dimmick Memorial Library, Jim Thorpe, as a librarian.
During this time, she met her future husband at the library, and, on Oct. 12, 2002, they married at Meeds Memorial Church, Nesquehoning. In 2005, she was promoted to director of the Dimmick Library, a post she held until her death. During her time at the library, she did much to modernize the systems, bringing in the computers as well as the digitized card catalog which linked other area libraries with the Dimmick via the internet.
She was a trained singer and performed with the Bach and Handel Chorale in Jim Thorpe. She was a member of the Jim Thorpe Rotary Club for many years, serving as president 2011-2012. She also served as vice president and secretary for the organization. In 2010, she was named a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary in recognition of all her work for the organization.
She joined the Mauch Chunk Historical Society in 2006, serving until her death.
She was a member of the Meeds United Methodist Church, Nesquehoning, where she was the financial secretary for many years. She also worked with the Victorian Weekend Committee in Jim Thorpe, which benefitted Kemmerer Park and Carriage House.
Surviving in addition to her husband and mother are a sister Margaret, wife of Dave McDowell of Carrollton, Tex.; a brother, John Mark Gilkeson, and his wife, Grace (Vandermartin), of Nesquehoning; an uncle, Frank S. Emanuel, and his wife, Jane, of Greensboro, Vt.; cousins, Jeanette Emanuel-Klingsmith of Round Rock, Tex., Dorothy Smitham and Lee Smitham of Aston, Pa., and Carol Smitham Van Note and Gladys and Cheryl Hughes of Bethlehem.
Service: Memorial service 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, Edward F. Melber Funeral Home, 524 Center St., Jim Thorpe. Memorial visitation 6-8 p.m. Friday. Interment at convenience of family, Mauch Chunk Cemetery, Jim Thorpe. Contributions in her name may be made to the Dimmick Memorial Library, 54 Broadway; the Jim Thorpe Rotary Club, P.O. Box 103, and/or the Mauch Chunk Historical Society, P.O. Box 237, all of Jim Thorpe, Pa. 18229. There will be a Celebration of Life Service held at a later date.
Published in Times News on Aug. 27, 2013