Suzanne (Suzy) M. Tankersley passed away on April 13 at home with her family by her side after a courageous battle with ALS. Born March 10, 1949 in Cincinnati, Ohio, she was the only child of Emil and Katherine Quayle. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1970 with majors in textiles and retailing. Suzy met her husband there on a blind date, set up by a Zeta Tau Alpha sorority sister. They married in 1970 and she went to work at Lane Bryant, supporting her husband while he attained his masters and Ph.D. She always said she’d support him for 4 years if he’d support her for the rest of her life. She moved to Syracuse in 1974 and never left.
She initially worked as a Divisional Manager, helping open the Sibley’s store at Fayetteville Mall before “retiring” to raise her two sons. Suzy stayed at home until her two boys were old enough for her to go back to school and obtain her Master’s in Instructional Design from Syracuse University. She worked for the American Diabetes Association, OCC and ESF as an educator, administrator and grant supervisor before finally retiring in 2012 to spend a semester in Florence, where her husband was teaching.
After her family, her greatest love was quilting. She was a member of Towpath Quilting Guild, where she served as President several times, and the Modern Quilt Guild. She loved designing quilts and giving them away to friends and family, especially baby and marriage quilts.
Her second passion was international travel. In 1971, she and her husband took their first trip to Europe, being serenaded by a gondolier in Venice on their first anniversary. That adventure spurred a lifelong love of travel. She exposed their children to international travel by taking them on a Rhine River cruise before settling down in London for the semester, where they traveled all over the British Isles. She also lived in Florence, Strasbourg and London (several times) as she followed her husband for semesters abroad. She loved to travel and visited China, Cuba, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Peru, Russia, Scotland and Spain. She was to visit Poland, where her family came from, when COVID hit and never got to complete her bucket list.
Her happy place was spending time at their camp on Tuscarora Lake, quilting, partying with friends, watching her grandsons enjoy the lake and gazing at beautiful sun sets.
Surviving is her husband of 53 years, Clint B.; her sons Clint J. (Tiffica Benza) and Doug (Carrie); and grandsons Derek, Gavin and Arlo. She wanted to thank her friends for all their love, support and is grateful to them for being part of her life. The card and board games took her mind off the ALS.
Calling hours will be held Saturday, April 29 from 3-5 at Burns-Garfield Funeral Home, 3175 E. Genesee St. In lieu of flowers, contributions made be made to ALS Association, Upstate NY Chapter or ALS Research & Patient Care Fund, University of Rochester School of Medicine.