Susan Finch Hathaway

Susan Finch Hathaway

REEDVILLE—Susan Finch Hathaway of Reedville, 71, passed away in Atlanta, Ga., on October 26, 2019, after an extended illness.

She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Robert M. Hathaway of Reedville; three daughters, Amy E. (Mike) McGuire of Alpharetta, Ga, Kristin (Norman) Hansen of Dunwoody, Ga., and Kelly F. (Chando) Paiz of Arlington, Texas; a step-daughter, Christy (Stephen) Copeland of Newport News; two sisters, Nancy (Rick) Collins and Margie Mee; and seven cherished grandchildren. 

Born in Evanston, Ill., and raised in Newport News, Susie was a graduate of Ferguson High School in Newport News and Smithdeal-Massey Business College in Richmond. After raising her family in Northern Virginia, she and her husband moved to the Northern Neck 14 years ago and almost instantly recognized that in the creeks and backwaters of the Neck, they had found “home.”   

At various times in her career Susie worked as a pre-school aide, an office manager and a travel agent. But she was, first of all and above all, a mom and a grandmom. A fierce warrior for her children, she made certain that no one messed with her daughters. She taught them, by everyday example, spunk and sassiness, the virtues of hard work, the rewards of self-sacrifice, and the necessity of a caring heart. 

Susie, more so than most of us, possessed the ability to make the person with whom she was conversing feel as if he or she were the sole person in Susie’s universe at that moment. She remembered the details of your life and asked you about them. And often, then baked you an apple pie. 

She was also feisty and opinionated, a savvy wheeler-dealer, and a fierce competitor, whether the game was poker, black jack or backgammon. Few things pleased her more than besting her husband in these and other contests. (And she sometimes refrained from gloating over these triumphs.)

Susie’s family will host a celebration of her life once her beloved ospreys return to the area next spring. Those interested in memorializing Susie are encouraged to contribute to the Healthy Harvest Food Bank in Warsaw or the Interfaith Service Council in Kilmarnock, where she volunteered for several years.