Suzanne Evans Neckers
1938 - 2021
(News story) Suzanne Evans Neckers, a teacher whose classroom ease translated well to her volunteer work as a docent in the galleries of the Toledo Museum of Art, died Thursday in her Perrysburg Township home. She was 82.

She had Parkinson's disease, a condition diagnosed in 2007, said her husband, Douglas C. Neckers, a distinguished professor emeritus at Bowling Green State University.

Her long-term caregivers and those in recent months from Hospice of Northwest Ohio "were angels - absolutely made in heaven.

"She was so good with other people that she helped those who were caring for her," said her husband, who is a Blade columnist. "She helped us as much, or more, as we helped her."

Mrs. Neckers first volunteered in 1990 as a museum docent and guided groups of diverse age and type.

"Nothing delighted her more than having a group of children in the galleries," said Susan Palmer, a member of the art museum's board of directors who is a former director of docent programs and a former director of development there. "Suzanne had a unique skill of bringing out wonderful responses in children as well as adults."

With children especially, she asked open-ended questions: What do you see? What colors can you name? At a portrait, she asked the viewers what questions they had for the person in the artwork.

"She had a great smile and sparkling eyes," Mrs. Palmer said. The children "looked at her and realized she was inviting them into a work of art, whether a sculpture or a painting or a piece of decorative art. She was a gem."

Mrs. Neckers and her husband sang in the church choir wherever the family lived, as her husband pursued his education and his career. She most recently sang in the choir at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Perrysburg, where she and her husband were members, and formerly sang at Collingwood Presbyterian and Trinity Episcopal churches in Toledo.

She and her husband also were founding members of the Canterbury Singers, initially formed at Trinity Episcopal and under the direction of the late James Metzler. The choir has for about 20 years served residencies at churches, abbeys, and cathedrals across England.

She was born Aug. 26, 1938, to Edith and Richard Evans and grew up in Bemus Point, N.Y., on Chautauqua Lake. She and her husband, who grew up nearby, were introduced by a teacher who knew they both played the piano and sang.

She initially attended the University of Rochester, and her husband Bucknell University, before they transferred to Hope College in Holland, Mich., in order to attend the same school. She majored in history. During her teaching career she taught sixth through eighth grades.

They moved to Ohio in 1974 as her husband became department chairman at BGSU, where he later founded the Center for Photochemical Sciences.

She liked to cook and organized gatherings at the family home for new students of her husband's, choir colleagues, friends.

"There was no pretense," her husband said. "She genuinely cared about other people and did things that were beneficial to others her entire life."

Surviving are her husband, Douglas C. Neckers, whom she married June 18, 1960; daughter, Pamela Neckers; son, Dr. Andrew Neckers; brother, John Evans, and two granddaughters.

Services will be private, but will be live-streamed starting at 2 p.m. July 1 at

The family suggests tributes to the docent program at the Toledo Museum of Art; the Suzanne and Douglas Neckers fund at Hope College, Holland, Mich., or the Albert Neckers, Jr., Endowment at the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, N.Y.

This is a news story by Mark Zaborney. Contact him at [email protected].
Published by The Blade on Jun. 19, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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11 Entries
Andy, I am sorry to learn about your mom. When we were kids I fondly remember coming over to Secorwoods and hanging out. Both your Mom and Dad were always so nice and welcoming. My deepest condolences.
Merritt Obreiter
June 30, 2021
Dear Doug, We are sorry for your loss. Norman and I always enjoyed our visits with you and Suzanne at the Jackson Center and at Chautauqua. Nancy and Norman Karp
Nancy Karp
June 30, 2021
My sincere condolences in this time of loss. My memories of Mrs. Neckers (how I knew her) are of a kind and welcoming mom. Later, when my own mom passed away, she sent a sweet note, sharing a number of fond memories she had of my parents. It struck me that I hadn´t seen her in years, and she still took the time to reach out. Ever a kind and open soul.
Kelly (Moose) Plonka
June 29, 2021
Doug, our condolences are with you and your family at this sad time.
Hope College Chemistry Department
June 27, 2021
Sue was a very nice lady. Friday was always nail night she loved that. Also loved helping me with word search. You'll be missed
Mary Ellis
June 22, 2021
Suzanne was a wonderful Docent at TMA and it was always a joy to see her when touring. I greatly admired the contributions Suzanne and her husband made to PBS as they gave freely to educate the public.
Ann M. Desmond
June 21, 2021
Suzanne was my docent classmate and travel companion on docent trips. Her gentle spirit pervaded all she encountered. I was blessed to have her friendship.
Betty Laukhuf
June 21, 2021
Hearing of the loss of Suzanne makes me so sad. I had the pleasure of meeting her as a fellow docent at TMA and she was a lovely person to work with. My heartfelt sympathy to her husband and family.
Claudia Stein
June 21, 2021
Doug, so sorry to learn of Suzanne's passing. I know from personal experience how much of a loss it is to you after 60 years together. May she rest in peace. I hope you will be able to get some time this summer at CHQ and that we'll have a chance to get together. Best wishes, Tom.
Tom Hagen
June 21, 2021
We were saddened to hear of Sue's passing. We have such fond memories of seeing her (and you) in Holland and at the lake.
Jim and Roxanne Blackwell
June 21, 2021
She will be missed by so many for many different reasons but none far greater than having been who she was and for being a loving sister to your 2 brothers, a wife, a mother of 2, grandmother of 2 and aunt of many. Rest in Peace Aunt Suzanne.
Richard John Evans
June 21, 2021
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