Cover photo for Susan Rathbun's Obituary
Susan Rathbun Profile Photo
1943 Susan 2021

Susan Rathbun

May 23, 1943 — August 11, 2021

Susan Grant Rathbun passed away peacefully at her home on August 11, 2021, after a long battle with cancer. Susan was born in 1943 in Boston, Massachusetts to Marjorie and William Grant, and from there her adventure began. She attended high school in Hawaii (where she saw Elvis Pressley perform in 1957) and then moved to Norfolk, Virginia, where she graduated from Old Dominion College (later to become Old Dominion University). It was in Norfolk that she met her future husband and love of her life, Bill Rathbun, Jr. But before she married Bill, she lived in Tokyo, Japan for a year in 1964 (where she attended the 1964 Olympics). Susan and Bill were married in Norfolk in 1967, and in 1968 they moved to Syracuse, New York, where Susan has lived ever since.

Susan and Bill had three children – Harold William III, Cecilia and George Angus. Susan and Bill ascribed to the view that so long as they worked hard with the interests of each other and their children at heart, everything would work out well, and so it did. Susan was a loving wife (Bill passed away in 2003), and devoted to her children for her entire life. Although it took her time to acclimate to the Syracuse winters (20 years, by her estimation), she loved Syracuse and her friends there for the rest of her life. Susan was a lab technologist at Upstate Medical Center and, after her retirement and Bill's passing (and ever the student), she continued to take classes in all manner of subjects. Susan was an active communicant at Our Lady of Solace Church and then All Saints Church in Syracuse, where she was a frequent lecture and participant in parish affairs; she also enjoyed attending mass at the Syracuse Cathedral.

In her later years, she married Alan Delair, who passed away in 2013. During her last years, she fought cancer with the same resolve and grace with which she lived her entire life, always maintaining a prominent role and interest in her children's lives. Even in these last years, she continued her adventures, visiting her grandchildren and being a part of their lives, and making a trip to Italy.

Susan is survived by her three children, her seven grandchildren: Isabelle Rathbun, Connor Andersen, Chloe Andersen, Harry Rathbun, Ramona Rathbun, Nikita Rathbun and William Rathbun, her niece Elise Kohl Grant, her nephews: David Shawl, Jon Shawl and Raymond Kohl Grant, her brother William Augustus Grant and her sister Sarah Miller (the family will be eternally grateful to Sarah for her efforts in caring for Susan during the last stages of her fight against cancer). It should be noted that Susan was always interested in the wellbeing and achievements of not only her grandchildren, but her niece and nephews as well.

Susan's life was a life well-lived, and a fitting epitaph to how she lived it are the last words of the Apostle Paul: "I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come for me now is the crown of uprightness which the Lord, the upright judge, will give to me on that Day."

Calling hours will be held at All Saints Church, 1340 Lancaster Avenue in Syracuse on Friday, August 27th from 4pm-6pm and a funeral mass will be held at All Saints Church on Saturday, August 28th at 10:00am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Susan's name to the American Cancer Society or All Saints Church.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Susan Rathbun, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Calling Hours

Friday, August 27, 2021

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Mass

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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