Susan Nohlgren (née Parry) died of natural causes in her home in Lake Katrine, New York, on Dec. 14 at the age of 79.
She was born in 1942 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Halloween, which was always one of her favorite holidays. A graduate of Macalester College, where she studied Political Science and English, Susan was always up for an adventure. After spending two summer breaks in Lebanon and Glacier National Park, she realized that she wanted to live outside of the country after she graduated.
In 1964, she was in Ethiopia training to be in the Peace Corps when she met Doug Nohlgren; when they learned that they could not be stationed together unless married, Doug promptly proposed. They were married within two weeks and remained very happily married for 28 years until Doug’s sudden death in 1992. Upon returning to the United States, they settled in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, where Susan was known as a firecracker mom who was always up for taking the kids on the block on adventures. The friends she made on 50th Street remained her closest friends for life.
Susan spent her professional career in a variety of positions, including teaching high school English and working at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, Mexican Folk Arts Store and managing the official City of Chicago Store. She last worked for Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs in Human Resources, a job she loved in a city she adored.
Before moving to New York, Susan loved gardening (particularly as a member of the Hyde Park Garden Fair), the University of Chicago Symphony, and spending all her money at 57th Street Books. After retiring in 2011, Susan moved to upstate NY where she spent her time knitting, reading voraciously, and listening to NPR. She could not have been happier with this quiet life. She is survived by her three daughters Laura, Lynn and Bethany. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to WAMC Radio or your local NPR station.