Remembering Suzanne Binnie
Suzanne was born in New Haven, Connecticut, October 8, 1948. Her parents were Charles and Barbara Ritch, and she had two younger sisters, Penny and Candy. Suzanne grew up in Lordship, CT, Schenectady, NY, Erie, PA , and then she graduated from McDowell high school in Dresher, PA.
Art was very important in the Ritch house as Suzanne, Barbra, Penny, and Candy were (are) all artists. Suzanne went to college to study fine arts. She attended Penn State University and Tyler School of Art where she met her first husband, Dick, and she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in 1971.
Suzanne married Dick McCrady in 1968 and they had two children, Heather and Sean.
Suzanne and Dick enjoyed playing tennis with their friends at Chantilly Golf and Tennis club on the weekends. Sadly, Dick passed away from lung cancer at age 49. In 1999 she married Peter Binnie and the family grew. Over the years from their combined five children, Heather, Sean, Claire, Kate, and Andrew, the couple became grandparents to ten grandchildren; Emileigh and Johnny (Heather and John Callow), Charlie and Olive
(Sean and Sabrina McCrady), William and Lily (Claire and Douglas Alexander), Myrtle and Valentine (Kate Binnie and Steve Santer), and Ian and Alexander (Andrew and Cindy Binnie). Everyone dearly loved by Nana.
Suzanne was a recognized artist and teacher in watercolor and zentangle, and taught watercolor classes in Virginia, New Hampshire, and Florida. Suzanne was a natural teacher and she was thrilled to be able to empower others to be able to derive as much pleasure and satisfaction as she did from her painting.
She was loved by her students and maintained good friendships with many. She passed along her passion for art to some of her grandchildren. Suzanne’s paintings ranged through watercolor, acrylics, and mixed media and her style ranges from realistic to contemporary with subjects primarily drawn from nature. Suzanne’s paintings won her many awards in all the places she taught.
After marrying Peter, the couple lived in Chantilly, Virginia. Suzanne was present at the birth of her first grandchildren, Emi and Johnny, and she enjoyed babysitting during the work week. In 2006 Suzanne’s mother’s health was deteriorating and it was clear she needed care. Suzanne and Peter moved to Hollis, NH and shared a house with Barbra.
They resided with and cared for Barbra for nine years until she passed in 2015.Suzanne and Peter moved to Reston, Virginia for a few months and then went to Carlsbad, CA for the remaining 6 months of 2016 to look after Sean and Sabrina’s new baby, Charlie.
Caring for her grandchildren was a highly pleasurable and delightful time for Suzanne.
In 2017 the couple decided that Florida would be the place to “retire”, so moved to Fernandina Beach, FL where for three years they enjoyed the sun and “island life” of beaches and pools, as well as an active painting community who welcomed Suzanne and her talents with open arms.
For 21 years Suzanne and Peter were seldom apart and made a great team, whether running an art business, being caregivers or babysitters, travelling, or just caring spouses and wonderful grandparents.
Suzanne was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018. She battled with strength and grace and she continued to live life to the fullest for as long as she could. Suzanne will be greatly missed in all the roles she played so beautifully as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, mother-in-law, aunt, grandmother, friend, artist, and teacher. She will be fondly remembered for her laugh, smile, talent, sense of humor, energy, afternoon naps, and radiating love.
The gallery below is a tribute to Suzanne Binnie from her family and friends.
Please share a prayer, memory, or picture.