SAMUELS SUSAN LYNNE HASSMAN SAMUELS 1941 ~ 2013 Susan Lynne Hassman Samuels passed away quietly the evening of August 24, 2013, after a long battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. She was 72. During her lifetime, Susan made many contributions to important institutions in the Washington area, particularly in the arts. In spite of all her work across a broad spectrum of her community, Susan was most proud of her work as a wife and mother, to which she dedicated her life. After graduating from Northwood High School in Silver Spring, she studied acting and theater at the Hedgerow Theatre School in Philadelphia. Later, she received her B.S. from George Washington University, where she also worked as the administrative assistant to John Cibinic, Jr., Director of the Government Contracts Program of the Law School. After her marriage to the Honorable Michael Samuels, she accompanied him to Sierra Leone and Geneva, Switzerland during his two stints as a U.S. ambassador, and in both places made important contributions for the U.S. interest and to the local communities. In Washington, she served on the Boards of Arena Stage, its affiliate Living Stage, Partners for Livable Places (now Partners for Livable Communities) and the Historical Society of Washington, DC. She was part of a small group of women in the early 1970s, who struggled to bring the American Ballet Theater to Washington and to make the city hospitable to ballet in general and ABT in particular. In later years, she was an active supporter of Signature Theater. In all of these endeavors, she was known and valued for her particular strengths in strategic planning and fundraising. Susan's international interests drove many of her activities throughout her life. She was active in the Washington diplomatic community for three decades and was a long-time member and leader of Internation- al Neighbors Club IV. She was a member of the Development Committee of the Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
and also had advisory roles in other organizations. A longtime collector of African art, she served as a member of the original governing Commission of the National Museum of African Art when it came under the wing of the Smithsonian Institution. Her years in Sierra Leone fostered a deep interest in and support for African causes that culminated in a growing concern for the problems of health for women and children, especially in Eastern Congo. That concern led her to become a trustee of Mapendo New Horizons, led by Kigabo Mbazumutima and Rose Mapendo, and to assume the role of Vice President of a related African health charity, Africa Health New Horizons. Susan was recognized with important awards from several of the organizations with which she was active. She received the 1979 Arena Stage Award for her "outstanding contribution to the life of the theater." In 1985, she was honored by Living Stage for her "important contribution and significant leadership." And in 1994, she was awarded the Rev. L.T. Rice Humanitarian Award "for her continuing outstanding support to her family, community and friends" by Corinth Baptist Church, then located in Washington and now of Prince George's County. Her long association with Corinth lasted throughout the remainder of her life and offered many valuable friendships, particularly in her later years. Of all the hats Susan wore, her most important activity was in building and supporting her family. Although she had only one child, for years she coordinated all other events in her life around her responsibilities to her son, and she reveled in the joys - big and small - of parenthood. Beyond her small nuclear family, she had an extraordinarily large and deep group of friends, in great measure because she drew people to her. She was seen by those who knew her best as a woman of style, with verve and humor, unfailing grace and elegance, courage, insight and a deep capacity for friendship. She is survived by her son, Joel in Columbia, South Carolina; husband, Michael in Washington; mother, Dorothy and sisters, Inez and Ellen Zoe in New York City. She had a special relationship with her father, Sam Hassman, who spent much of his career at USAID and who predeceased her. She was buried at Congressional Cemetery, a hidden Washington treasure that in many ways captures her essence. A celebration of her life will be held on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Signature Theater in Arlington, Virginia or Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC. She was buried at Congressional Cemetery, a hidden Washington treasure that in many ways captures her essence. A celebration of her life will be held on Friday, October 18, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Signature Theater in Arlington, Virginia or Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC.