Susan Rose, 65

Apr 23, 2018

Susan Rose, devoted mother to Jayne, partner to Jay Heard, grandmother to Owen and Harrison, and perpetual hostess and entertainer to friends new and old, passed away on April 14 surrounded by friends, family and love.

Susan, formerly Susan Alford Sandman, was born in Boston on July 2, 1952, to Constance Durgin and Paul Alford, Sr. and was raised in the Columbia Point Projects and in various neighborhoods of Dorchester. As an adult, she lived in Arlington, Newton, Martha’s Vineyard and Wareham.

After working at Digital Equipment Corporation for many years, she decided that her calling was as a psychotherapist and went back to Cambridge College to earn her masters degree at the age of 40.

She spent her work days counseling those in need, and her free time dancing, designing art projects, caring for animals, and, most of all, bringing people together at countless celebrations where food and friendship flowed—first in the Boston area and later in life on Martha’s Vineyard and in Wareham. She traveled to France, Italy, the Caribbean, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Viet Nam, India and Nepal. Susan loved life and filled hers to the fullest with a zeal and joy that endured to her final days.

Her family is grateful for the doctors and nurses of the Dana Farber Oncology Team and Brigham & Women’s Hospital’s fifth floor, who took such thoughtful care of her during her yearlong battle with metastatic breast cancer, a recurrence of the disease she courageously beat into remission nine years ago.

Susan leaves behind her dedicated partner Jay Heard of Wareham; daughter Jayne (from her marriage to Mark Sandman) of Washington D.C.; brother Dennis Durgin of Florida; and niece Sarah Day of Boston. Her brother Paul Jr. preceded her in death.

A celebration of Susan’s life will be held for friends and family at a private residence. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to The Himalaya Project c/o Marion Institute, Marion MA.