Susan Malaney Sperry
1950 - 2014
{ "" }
Share Susan's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share

Susan Malaney Sperry, 63, of South Glastonbury, beloved life partner of Kate Calvin, died on July 12th after a gracious and dignified journey with a mixture of several types of dementia. Born on August 3, 1950 in Bergen County, NJ, daughter of Alice Malaney and the late Edward Malaney, Susan lived in Connecticut her entire adult life. After high school Susan went to school for nursing, first earning her RN and then her BSN, finally culminating her formal education at Yale University where she earned her MSN. Following Susan's training she specialized in psychiatry and worked as a psychotherapist in various settings. She was a psychiatric nurse for a number of years at Elmcrest Hospital and then, turning her attention to more holistic care, she worked for 13 years and in various capacities at E-CaP (Exceptional Cancer Patients with Dr. Bernie Siegel) where she helped to guide many people through their struggles with terminal illnesses. Following her career at E-Cap, Susan became an APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) with the privilege to prescribe psychiatric medications. This new accreditation led to a job in the outpatient clinic at the Institute of Living/Hartford Hospital where she practiced as both psychotherapist and prescriber for 15 years. It was while in this position that Susan was diagnosed with early onset dementia and had to retire from her long and highly respected career. Susan was filled with innate gentleness, clarity, patience, grace, poise, style and dignity; she radiated a sense of depth and wisdom and was profoundly intuitive and insightful. She was an available and present listener and was adept at hearing the messages beyond the spoken. Susan cherished her animal "children" and enjoyed the daily companionship of Tallulah, Susan and Kate's therapy dog who retired from her long career on the same day as Susan. Tallulah, who had worked side by side with Kate for many years at a local mental health clinic, became a stay-at-home therapy dog and offered constant comfort and joy to Susan throughout Susan's illness. Susan was a much loved member of the Buddhist Faith Fellowship in Middletown, and as a many year participant in this wonderful sangha, experienced a deep spiritual life and developed many deep and meaningful connections. In addition to her partner, Susan is survived by her mother, Alice Malaney; her sister and brother-in-law, Bonnie and James Jefferies; her brother and sister-in-law, Scott and Debra Malaney; and many nieces and nephews and their children. She is also survived by Kate's father, Bob Calvin; Kate's sister, Linda Kern and her family; and Kate's brother, Stephen Calvin. In addition to her father, Susan was predeceased by her much beloved youngest brother, Ross Malaney, and very recently by Kate's mother, Marie Calvin. Throughout Susan's illness, there were many people who were especially attentive and available to her, including her "mother-in-law", Marie Calvin; numerous friends and fellow sangha members; various caregivers in the home; Dr. Karen Blank from the Memory Disorders Center; and the wonderful staff at Hartford Hospital. Friends of Susan and Kate's created and sustained a respite support network, a group eventually known as the "Susansitters", who by donating hours of companionship to Susan, gave Kate some time each weekend to "refill her bucket". A "village" helped Susan through her final journey on earth. Susan will be remembered on Saturday, July 19th at 3PM at the Congregational Church in South Glastonbury where the Reverend Mark Unno will officiate a Buddhist service to memorialize her. Reverend Richard Allen will also officiate as host minister of the church.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Hartford Courant on Jul. 14, 2014.
03:00 PM
Congregational Church
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by the family
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
29 entries
January 20, 2018
Shalom, Dear Susan
Richard Raegan Graziani
January 20, 2018
I just learned of Susan's passing today, January 19, 2018. My name is Richard Raegan Graziani. Susan knew me as Rick. I worked with Susan at ECaP In New Haven Connecticut in 1989 and 1990. After I left ECaP, I lost touch with Susan, but thought of her often throughout the years. She was an extraordinary human being; she had a warm and deeply caring and compassionate soul. She was lovely and delightful to be around. She was kind and gentle. She touched my heart with her tenderness. Susan had a deep capacity to listen; one immediately was impressioned with the idea of being heard and understood and honestly cared for. Shalom, dear Susan. Thank you for being so kindRick
Richard Raegan Graziani
February 20, 2016
I am at a loss to say how sad I am to just learn of your passing. Rest peacefully "New Jersey". Kathy BHSN class of '71.
Kathy Nieratko Tsaousis
September 23, 2015
May the long time sunshine upon you and all love surround you and the pure light within you guide you all the way home.
Ralph Sperry
July 20, 2014
I miss you more with each passing is that even possible? You brought such light to my life....17 years of such a great love. Thank you for being my life partner; I will love you forever,your grieving beloved Kate
July 19, 2014
She was a beautiful woman indeed. The world was made a better place by her work and love
July 17, 2014
Dear Kate, I am terribly sorry for your loss. Susan was an elegant and wonderful woman and will be missed.
Karen Blank
July 17, 2014
Kate and family I am so sorry for your loss. Susan was all you said about her and more. I will always remember her gentle and caring manner when she worked at the IOL.
Anne MarieGorman
Anne Marie Gormna
July 16, 2014
Kate, I am new to The Sangha in Middletown. I will remember her beautiful smile....May your heart be filled with loving memories...
Elona Pawelzik Elms
July 16, 2014
My thoughts and prayers are with you Kate as well as Susan's family. Oh how I enjoyed all of her stories about her mother. We had lots of laughs at the IOL. I will truly miss her but know that she is in a better place. May god bless you all.
Nancy Muñiz
July 16, 2014
I did not know you or Susan as well as I would have liked but for a brief time I was part of a women's group that met in your home in Glastonbury. I kept in touch with Susan's progress through Cathy S. and was so very sad to hear of the end last Saturday. So glad to hear it was true to Sue, beautiful and dignified.
Wishing you comfort in the love that surrounds you.
Sharon Drakos
July 15, 2014
My heart goes out to you Kate and to your family. For the time I knew Susan through Sangha it was clear she was a gentle and graceful soul among all the other things mentioned in her obituary. She will be missed and cherished.
Jean Festa
July 15, 2014
I am so sorry to hear about everything that you have gone through these past couple of months. Please stay strong, as I know you will. You're in my thoughts and prayers. Como dicen en la Republica Dominicana, estan en las manos de Dios.
Your old pal,
Daryl Smith
July 15, 2014
I am so saddened by Susan's passing. She sounded like such a caring and giving person and that she had the ability to make a difference in peoples' life. My wish for you is that the love you receive from your family and friends can in some way help ease the pain of Susan's absence.
With Sympathy and Love,
Debbie McDonald
July 14, 2014
Susan- Dear long lost gentle spirited friend Such a wonderful time we shared--

We used to listen to this song:

"may the longtime sunshine upon you all love surround you and the pure light within you guide you all the way home"

Love Ralph
Ralph Sperry
July 14, 2014
Millie Hernandez
July 14, 2014
We will miss you at the Buddhist Faith Fellowship. You graced our community with your weekly attendance. We know you are now embraced by Boundless Compassion. Namu Amida Butsu.
Buddhist Faith Fellowship
July 14, 2014
With love and prayers for comfort...
July 14, 2014
I did /do not know either Susan or Kate, however a very good friend of mine, is a friend of Kate. My friend spoke of how Susan would always light up when my friend was around, and would remember certain things about my friend.
Susan has had a very remarkable career. I, myself worked in the Psychology field for 28 years, and it is very challenging. All that she had accomplished.
It saddens me that she passed away at such a young age. She was the same age as I am now.
Kate, I wish you all the Strength that comes your way, followed by as much Peace that follows, leading you to a place of comfort.
There are no words right now, however, know that many people have you in their thoughts, and prayers. I for one.
Rae Johnson
July 14, 2014
To Kate and Susan's family, my deepest and most profound sympathy. Susan will remain for me an example of graciousness, caring and sophistication. She brought so much to our profession as a nurse. We will miss her.
Anne Filion RN
July 14, 2014
We are so sorry to hear of Susan's passing. The respectful and beautifully written obit seems to not only reflect Susan but to reflect the loving care she was surrounded by. I'll always remember her as a gentle, kind soul from my interactions with her in our work at the IOL. Our hearts are with her loved ones.
Sarah and Jim DeGiovanni
July 14, 2014
Kate, I'm so sorry for your lost. You very well know that Susan was very special to me. We will miss her dearly
Millie Hernandez
July 14, 2014
My condolences to all of Susan's loved ones. I worked with Susan for many years. She was an absolute gem of a person that will not be forgotten.
Paula Rego
July 14, 2014
My condolences, to the family. I had the great pleasure in working with Sue and she truly was an amazing person.
Janet Diaz
July 14, 2014
My thoughts go to Susan's loved ones, to Kate and Bob. I'm so sorry. This has been a bad year, but Susan's life was devoted to helping others. I'm so grateful.
Donald Rettmann
July 14, 2014
Kate, sorry for your lose. Ann Accornero Posuniak
July 14, 2014
My heart goes out to Susan and her family and friends. My sister is only 60 and in the last stages of dementia. It is especially cruel that Susan had to suffer this fate after so much work helping others see through their mental health issues. Thank you for using dementia in her is something that many don't realize happens to the young, as well as the old. Peace.
July 14, 2014
My condolences to Susan's family. I knew Susan and her family when I was young, and have many happy memories to remember her by.
Karen Ecke
July 14, 2014
My condolences to Susan's family and friends. Susan was a dear childhood friend and I have many memories of the good times our group had together. With my sympathy, Christine
Christine Ecke King
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences