SUSAN AILEEN KENT DAVIDSON
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SUSAN AILEEN KENT DAVIDSON October 22, 1945 - September 19, 2014 Exuberant Writer, Patient Revolutionary While scoring top marks in English at Calgary's Viscount Bennett High, Susan rocked the Kent household, spinning LPs on the family hi-fi and nurturing what would become a lifelong passion for political activism. To a backbeat from the Beatles and Trotsky, she earned her BA with Honours at the University of Alberta (Calgary) in 1967. Susan's keen intellect enlivened a bungalow brimming with challenging offspring. Mom Aileen patiently kept her brood in line as Dad Parker clacked at the old Underwood, at times framing his Calgary Herald editorials more firmly to the right in response to his eldest daughter's views. Her career as an editor began a year later at Mel Hurtig's fledgling Edmonton publishing firm, where she helped give the enterprise a national profile with a string of nonfiction bestsellers. She then moved to London, England, landing a job at the prestigious literary publisher André Deutsch and working with legendary editor Diana Athill. In letters to friends, she vividly described glamourous parties attended by the most celebrated international authors of the day, also the trials of living in a cold-water flat. Upon returning to Canada, she worked briefly at Maclean's under Peter C. Newman's editorship before rejoining the book world as an on-staff editor at the University of Toronto Press and, later, as a freelancer for various Canadian publishers, including McGill- Queen's University Press. Amidst all of this, Susan took a sojourn at the University of Sheffield, where she read German Comparative Literature. Ever the family authority on grammar, syntax and style, it was a chastened Kent sibling who dared ask Susan's advice on a written text: nothing less than perfection would be the goal. When Internet communication and advocacy beckoned, Susan became a spirited blogger for the Pogge (Peace, Order and Good Government, eh?) website, expressing the ideals she held as a committed member of the New Democratic Party. Susan was devoted to her husband Rik Davidson, a much-respected editor at UTP, whom she married in 1988. Their Annex home was the site of many memorable parties, Robbie Burns fetes and Christmas dinners featuring the traditional goose. It was also a haven for numerous cats in need of rescue. Susan cared tirelessly for Rik through a debilitating illness until his death in 2006. In recent years, Susan lived in Oshawa; she passed peacefully there on September 19th at Lakeridge Health from complications resulting from cancer. The family thanks the caring physicians, nurses and caregivers at Lakeridge for providing such compassionate support, also Lorna and Gus in Oshawa who helped Susan in countless ways over the past few years. Susan was predeceased by her father Parker Kent and her mother Aileen Kent. She is survived by members of her loving family: eldest brother Peter Kent and his wife Cilla; sisters Adele Kent and Norma Kent; brother Arthur Kent; Susan's lovely niece Trilby Kent and her husband Daniel Webb and their beautiful daughter Clea Webb; Rik Davidson's children Laurence and Sacha Davidson; and extended members of the Davidson family. Susan will be much missed by a host of admiring friends and colleagues. A celebration of Susan's life will be held in Toronto at a later date in Toronto. Please visit Armstrong Funeral Homes' website armstrongfuneralhome.net for further details and updates. Susan was an unconditional cat lover. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the cause of animal rescue and in particular to the Humane Society of Durham Region (Whitby, ON, 905-665-7430) would be appreciated. You may also visit humanedurham.com to make an online donation.


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Published in Toronto Star on Sep. 23, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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16 entries
August 18, 2020
Remember well Susan as a member of a group of intelligent students on the 13th floor of Roberts. Her academic ambition at the time, one that stuck out, was to write 2 brilliant pages like Derrida. At the time a few of the lads had crushes on her. Also part of the group was Anne Carson. Shocked and disappointed with life to see her gone. My condolences to the family. I hope she wrote that page.
Olaf Pollmann
Acquaintance
October 14, 2014
I am so very sorry to hear of Susan's recent passing. She had a keen intellect and a kind heart; my sympathy to her family and all who cared for her.
Joanne Cook
September 27, 2014
Never met Susan, but I loved her nonetheless, reading her wonderful remarks online. One would just know that she was a jewel of a person, and I envy all of you who knew her. Very sad to lose her.
Jill Halvorsen
September 25, 2014
Farewell to skdadl, a memorable face in Canadian political blogging.
John Saskboy Klein
September 24, 2014
Sincerest condolences to all of us who have lost a friend, a mentor and a strong and coherent voice for the powerless. I will never forget her wonderful sense of humour and empathy that helped many of us through tough times. Susan was a constant online presence for me for many years, and we connected in so many ways. We met in person a couple of times, and if it hadn't been for the distance, it would have been many more. The world will be a colder and less intelligent place without you, dear skdadl. I extend my sincerest condolences to the Kent family in this difficult time of loss.
- brebis noire aka Debbie
Debbie Tacium
September 24, 2014
I have been trying to find the right words to convey how saddened I am with this news.

Susan/skdadl was so kind, generous and brilliant - she made it easy to get involved with community forums and blogging.

I had always hoped to touch base with her again, one on one, to get much needed guidance on work I hoped to pursue. She was so supportive and an exceptional writer, it was hard not to turn to her for help. And her love of cats bonded us forever.

My condolences to her family.
Cristina Usubiaga
September 24, 2014
Known to us in the blogging world as Skdadl. Excellent writer. RIP Skdadl. Condolences to the family.
CK Twight
September 24, 2014
I met Susan at Babble and eventually she became the star poster at Bread & Roses. We met briefly twice but spoke often through the board or email.
She was dearly missed when she left the internet behind and will be more so now.
She told me that the chives in her garden reminded her of me, coming back and growing strong regardless of the difficulties they faced. I still treasure that faith she had in me to always muddle through.
Rest In Peace dear friend.
Debra Scott
September 24, 2014
Many people who knew Susan as skdadl on the internet are mourning her today. She was a lovely person; condolences to her family.
Valerie Jobson
September 24, 2014
Rest in peace my friend. We miss you and our many cat discussions as well as your inspired writings

Michael and Taryn Ellis
September 24, 2014
My condolences to the Kent family. I didnt agree with everything Susan blogged about or said.. but we had some good discussions. On behalf of Progressive Bloggers (where Pogge.ca was a long standing affiliate member) I offer our condolences and mine.
September 24, 2014
Farewell Dear Lady. We only knew each other virtually but it was always an honour and pleasure to read your comments online and your blogposts at POGGE. You will be missed, and have been missed already.

Condolences to Norma, Arthur, Peter and the rest of the family.

Antonia Zerbisias
September 24, 2014
Farewell Lady. It was a joy and an honour to know you, even if merely virtually. You have been missed and will continue to be so. Condolences to her family.
September 24, 2014
Like many, I came to know Susan as ‘skdadl', first on the message board, rabble.ca/babble and later on other platforms. Even online, Susan was a very influential voice, providing strong opinions and gentle encouragement to the community, including me. For several years, it was daily joy to share cat stories, news events and personal anecdotes. Whether it was taking on another cat, or taking on a writing task, skdadl usually found a way to encourage me to go for it at a time in my life when I needed encouragement to put myself out there. I spent several moments this morning pouring over old threads, and I always looked forward to a ‘skdadl' post on POGGE.
-‘Kuri' aka Christina
Christina Hopkins Crichton
September 24, 2014
I enjoyed her blog writing very much. We will all miss "skdadl” across Canada. Sincere condolences to her family.
from " Cathie from Canada"
cathie fornssler
September 23, 2014
May the heavenly winds always be at your back good, fierce, beautiful lady.
Donna Boyle
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