Susan Bickel
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Susan Bickel

Susan Grieve Bickel passed away peacefully after a lengthy illness on April 24.

Susan was known in our community for her profound love of animals, forever taking strays into her home, and finding homes for others when she had no room for more. She was also well-known for her daily walks in her Avenue D neighborhood with her dachshund, Gizmo, herding a parade of cats. Tourists regularly stopped to snap photographs of the uncommon spectacle . Susan expanded her efforts on behalf homeless dogs and cats by volunteering at the Franklin County Humane Society shelter. She eventually became president of the organization where, under her leadership, a major expansion of the shelter's animal lodging took place.

Susan's activities in civic affairs also included the conceiving and establishing of Apalachicola's annual Christmas Celebration. She brought Santa Claus to Apalachicola's children by shrimp boat, and began the festival tradition of placing luminarias throughout downtown Apalachicola. She also worked with the City to begin installing Christmas lighting and decoration along downtown streets. These traditions continue today with the Christmas festival now bringing thousands of visitors to Apalachicola each year.

Susan was a graduate of Syracuse University and worked as a supervising ticketing agent for USAir in Pittsburgh. Later she founded a Pittsburgh travel agency with her husband, Richard. The company served major Pittsburgh corporations and became one of the leading independently-owned travel agencies in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Upon moving to Apalachicola (after selling the Pittsburgh travel agency), Susan owned and operated the Franklin Travel Agency on Avenue E for several years.

At Susan's request, there will be no memorial ceremony. However friends are welcome to celebrate her life by contributing to The Franklin County Humane Society.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Apalachicola Times from May 18 to May 13, 2021.
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