Susanne “Super” Purcell Curtis passed away on July 12, 2019 in Asheville NC at the age of 79. Sue was born on September 26, 1939, at Mercy Hospital in Watertown, NY. Most of her youth was spent growing up in Chaumont, NY on the northeastern shore of Lake Ontario and in Cape Vincent, NY. Sue was the third of four children of Henry and Mary (Barvian) Purcell. Sue attended the Chaumont Public Schools, graduating from Lyme Central High School in 1957. Sue then attended Russell Sage College in Troy, NY, graduating in 1961, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
While in college, Sue worked summers at Camp Wono in Brewster, MA, where she became a legendary Head Counselor and picked up the nickname “Super”. At camp, she met Warren Lutes, and they were married in 1961. Sue and Warren settled in Troy, NY, where she worked as a physical education teacher, and grew her family by adding three of her four boys - David, Ian and Brian. In 1971, the family moved to Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada, where Sue completed her family with one more son, Jeffrey. In Sackville, Sue taught swimming and coached both competitive and synchronized swimming. Sue also served as the Recreation Director for the Town of Sackville for a number of years.
In 1980, Sue moved back to New York state, settling near Syracuse in the Village of Manlius. In 1981, Sue met the love of her life, Harry “Curt” Curtis, a retired executive for Agway. From 1984 to 1989, Sue lived the life of a rover, traveling with Curt throughout the US and Canada in a motor home and spending 6 months a year in Cancun, Mexico. They eventually gave up their traveling ways and settled in the Town of Mineola, Texas, where Sue became a master of Texas Cuisine. Curt and Sue also became deeply involved in the local Lions Club, heading up an annual fundraiser and being recognized as Volunteers of the Year.
Sue and Curt then moved to Asheville, NC in 1995 to start a new chapter but Curt’s untimely death less than a year later changed that. Sue threw herself into volunteer work with the local Hospice Care organization as well as working as a caregiver to a young disabled child. She made many new friends through her involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous, where she was a mentor to many members. She also developed a strong and lasting friendship with Margaret Miller, who remained her best friend to the end of Sue’s life. In Asheville, Sue also mastered a new role, that of Grandmother. To her four grandchildren she was a “great” Grandma, smothering them with love and gifts.
Sue is survived by her older brother Henry as well as her four boys; David Lutes (Alison), Ian Lutes (Áine), Brian Lutes and Jeffrey Lutes as well as her grandchildren Eleanor, Henry, Sofia, and Bree. In addition to Curt, Sue is predeceased by her brothers Robert and David.
The family will host a memorial service for Sue on Saturday, August 23, starting at 1PM at Shuler Funeral Home, 125 Orr’s Camp Road, Hendersonville, NC. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to the Asheville Humane Society in Sue’s name - https://www.ashevillehumane.org/donate.