MARTHA RIST SUITOR SHELBURNE - Martha Rist Suitor, 92, passed away peacefully in Wake Robin of Shelburne on Feb. 12, 2011, surrounded by her family, David, Gib, Alice, and Unk. Proud of her six generation Vermont heritage, she moved back to Vermont with her husband, John, from Kittery Point, ME in 2001. "It was here that I first saw the light of day ... here that my dead lie pillowed on the loving breast of our everlasting hills." Born April 3, 1918 in Burlington, the daughter of Gilbert F. Rist, M.D. and Mary Weller Rist, she attended the Adams School on South Union St., graduated from BHS in 1935 and from UVM with a B.S. in 1939. At UVM, she was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and the Mortor Board Society and began a lifelong loyalty to the "green and the gold". While at UVM, she met her future husband, John Suitor, Class of 1938. Summers at Camp Hochelaga in South Hero were good preparation for a future career spanning forty years as owners / directors of Camp Timanous in Raymond, ME. After UVM, Martha taught one year (1939) in Swanton schools, followed by one year (1940) at BHS. Married to John Suitor, UVM '38, on June 21, 1941 at the family home on South Union St. in Burlington, they began a thirty-eight year career at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Mass., with Camp Timanous occupying their summers for the next forty years. Martha enjoyed all athletics: walking up the Toll Road at Stowe and skiing down (before the chair lift), tennis, swimming, archery, squash, trap shooting, and golf in the later years. Her golf game seemed to improve every year, usually with lower scores than the men. At Camp, she often ran the water ski boat, kept the books, managed the kitchen and meal menus, and was always sitting next to Johnny at Council Fire. Martha was a skilled seamstress, placing second in a 1957 Boston area sewing contest. A Christmas rarely went by without knitted hats, mittens and sweaters for family members. With cooking, she took pride in new creations and Vermont recipes passed down from her mother and grand- mother. Her Florida friends, to this day, still "rave" about Martha's Beef Burgundy. There was always a project going on, like hooked and braided rugs, antique gold leaf paintings on lamps and trays, and furniture refinishing - all skills acquired from the crafters in historic Deerfield, Mass. Martha loved to travel, which she did often, from skiing the Alps, an African Safari and the Greece Aegean. Proud of her Vermont heritage, she studied family genealogy, resulting in membership to the Mayflower Society and Colonial Dames. Retirement years were happily spent between Maine, Ft. Myers Beach, Fla., and finally, Wake Robin of Shelburne. Martha was predeceased by her husband, John, in 2004. She is survived by her brother, Dr. Gilbert Rist of Burlington; three sons and their spouses, John Suitor, Jr. and his wife, Brigit, of Aspen, Colo., Dr. Gilbert Suitor and fiancee, Alice Winterbottom, of Burlington, and David W. Suitor and wife, Linda, of Southboro, Mass. and their children, Kasey and Abigail; grandson, John III and wife, Gail, of Dorset and their children, Elizabeth, Madison and Catherine; grandson, Erich of Aspen, Colo.; two nephews, Douglass, Jr. of Ft. Myers, Fla. and Robert of Falmouth, Mass.; and four great-niece/nephews. Thank you to Gene Moore, M.D. for taking care of John and Martha for the last ten years; and to Lil and Ann for their caring companionship. We know how much you meant to her. And special thanks to the wonderful staff at Linden SNU, always providing the highest standards and finest nursing care for Martha. A Circle of Remembrance will be held at Wake Robin on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 at 2 p.m. Those who wish to remember Martha and help send a boy to summer camp may contribute in her memory to The Al Furness Scholarship Fund, Camp Timanous, Raymond, ME 04071. Arrangements are in the care of Stephen C. Gregory and Son Cremation Service of Shelburne.
Published in The Burlington Free Press on Feb. 17, 2011.