Susan Hance Royer
Susan Hance Royer passed away on Sunday, August 30, 2020, at the age of 65, in North Falmouth, MA. Susan was born on September 24, 1954, in Bryn Mawr, PA. She was married to John Randolph Aubrecht (Randy) in 1984, and together they raised two children, William Hance Aubrecht and Sarah Elizabeth Aubrecht.
Susan graduated from The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr and went onto Ohio Wesleyan University where she earned a BA in mathematics. She was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Susan loved her college experience, and the friendships born there flourished throughout her life.
In 1976, Susan began her career in marketing research at Colgate-Palmolive in New York, NY. In 1980, she was hired by the advertising agency Young & Rubicam, also in New York. Susan worked at Y&R for 14 years and left as a Senior Vice President and Group Research Director. While at Y & R, Susan was instrumental in the development of brand personality and advertising strategy for a broad spectrum of accounts including AT&T, Hallmark, and the US Postal Service.
Susan also held senior positions in marketing research at The Advertising Council and Sesame Workshop, the maker of Sesame Street. At the Advertising Council as its first Vice President Director of Research and Planning, Susan introduced research as a primary discipline, instituting tracking research and campaign evaluation. Later, as Vice President and Executive Director of Education and Research at Sesame Workshop, Susan's group fielded a study that measured the attitudes of children 6 to 11 years old pre and post 9/11/2001. This study led to Susan's being interviewed on Good Morning America. Prior to her retirement in 2013, Susan worked for MM Strategic Insights and consulted to corporations in marketing research.
Susan's outstanding leadership sprang from her energetic and inclusive management style. She had an exceptional ability to connect with others. Susan said it was "all about the team" and faithfully ensured that the team members' contributions were recognized. She was a beloved mentor and encouraged the professional growth of her team members.
Her love and respect for others extended beyond the workplace. Susan served as an Elder at the Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair, NJ. During her service there, Susan taught Sunday school and was instrumental in connecting the church with Midnight Run, an organization that strives to forge a bond between the housed and the homeless. Susan led trips for teenagers from the church into New York City. As they distributed clothes to those in need, the children saw firsthand that the people of the streets are people first and homeless second.
Susan and her husband Randy shared a passion for renovating houses. With
Susan's clear and creative vision defining the architectural layout, the interior design, and the exterior gardens and with Randy's building expertise, they worked happily together to transform several older houses into beautiful and impressive homes.
Susan delighted in her children William and Sarah. She taught them the joys of playing outdoors, growing plants, making art, raising chickens, and sharing conversation and camaraderie with friends and family around the dinner table. Susan and Randy held annual Easter egg hunts attended by all the neighbors and also hosted many holiday dinners, which sometimes included more than 40 family members.
Susan and Randy retired to their beloved Cape Cod fulfilling her childhood dream. There, she enjoyed her passions of gardening, home renovation, and meeting new friends. During the holidays, Susan arranged for books to be given as gifts to all the children who resided in a nearby transitional housing facility. Susan was also determined to "clean up Cape Cod." Her daily outings often included a walk for trash collecting.
Susan was a woman of great vision, high energy, intellect, and kindness. She had tremendous capacity for love and empathy. She was inclusive of everyone, and she was always inquisitive as to the wellbeing of others. Her presence will be missed greatly.
Susan is survived by her husband Randy Aubrecht; her children, William Aubrecht and Sarah Aubrecht (Ace Guthrie); her grandson, Rowen Pierce Guthrie; her sisters Mary Royer (Nelson Burdick) and Isabel Welland; and many nieces and nephews. Her mother, Elizabeth Dripps Royer and her father, R. Bradley Royer, preceded her in death.
A celebration of Susan's life is planned for the spring. Memorial contributions may be made to The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Ohio Wesleyan University.
Published in Montclair Times from Oct. 13 to Oct. 22, 2020.