On August 25, 2019, surrounded by her children, Susan passed away peacefully at home in the health care section of Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in Charlottesville, Va. Funny, caring and with a gift for making those around her feel comfortable, even to the end of her life, Susan was well loved by all who knew her. Susan was born on July 8, 1938, in Portsmouth, Va., at what was then called the Norfolk Naval Hospital to Herme Carol Neuzil and Admiral Ellis Kerr Wakefield. As an infant she traveled with her family to various Naval bases throughout the Pacific, including in Hawaii, Guam, the Philippines, Japan and China, initiating her to a lifelong love of travel, socializing and adventure. She stayed with her mother and brother in San Francisco during World War II while her father fought in the Pacific, and after the war the family moved to Japan as part of the American occupying force. There Susan developed a deep affection for people she had feared only a few years before an experience that greatly influenced her curious and open attitude toward others. After several years in Japan, the family settled in Arlington, Va., where Susan became reacquainted with life stateside. She threw herself into sports and orchestra and graduated from Wakefield High School in 1956. She attended college for two years at Ohio Wesleyan University and then transferred to George Washington University where she majored in anthropology and sociology, graduating in 1960. After graduation she traveled in Europe, studied singing, and worked for a time in New York City and at Incarnation Camp in Ivoryton, Connecticut before returning to the D.C. area and taking graduate courses in English at American University. She then moved with her parents to Cherry Hill, New Jersey, earned a Masters in Education at Temple University in 1965, and began teaching English at South Philadelphia High School. She returned with her parents to Northern Virginia in the late 1960s and began teaching in Fairfax County Public Schools (where she would teach until her retirement in 1998). In addition to teaching English, sociology, religion, speech and writing, she coached basketball, softball, cheerleading, and sponsored debate and Model United Nations teams, often taking students on adventure-packed outings. As a teacher she was known for her warm embrace of all students, especially those who had a hard time fitting in, her unorthodox teaching methods (making liberal use of costumes and practical jokes) and generally out-mischiefing her students. She counted her beloved teaching colleagues as life long friends. Susan was a long time parishioner at St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church in Annandale, Va. Through her best friend Valerie, Susan met her husband Douglas D. Fenn and they married on August 2, 1969, in the not yet air-conditioned St. Barnabas'. She was especially close with both her parents, and lived with them until her marriage. In addition to camping, boating and fishing outings, Susan enjoyed attending Naval Academy football games with her parents. She lovingly nursed her mother Herme through the last years of her life. She was also close with her in-laws, Donald and Amelia Fenn, and supported Amelia through her final years as well. She was a memorable Girl Scout Troop leader, Lincolnia Park Swim Team Booster, and Braddock Road Youth Club football Mom, among other activities in which she charmed both children and parents alike. After retirement, she and Doug spent much time in Southern Shores on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where she developed many special friends at All Saints' Episcopal Church. Throughout her life Susan had a special bond with animals and treated her own pets, as well as others', as members of the family. She sang in church choirs, loved gardening, was a skilled photographer, an excellent writer (limericks and heart-felt letters were specialties) and a fantastic storyteller. Whether recounting her father's exploits during World War II or punctuating a ghost story to Girl Scouts by popping out her dentures, Susu knew how to command a rapt audience. The apotheosis of her narrative exploits came when she gave the graduation address at Edison High School the year she retired, in which she illustrated the theme "expect the unexpected" by removing her academic gown to reveal a sequined dress and popping on a blond curly wig. She taught those around her to value knowledge, warmth, humor, not taking oneself too seriously, perseverance, embracing one's individuality and service to others. She was predeceased by her husband of 43 years, Douglas D. Fenn, and a nephew, William R. Wakefield. She is survived by her children, Kathryn and Andrew Fenn of Charlottesville, Va.; her brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Barbara Wakefield of The Villages, Fla.; her niece, Jody Wakefield of Alexandria, Va.; her cousin, Donna Mader of Alexandria, Ky.; cousins, Dorothy Neuzil Jones, Donald Neuzil and Marilyn Neuzil Fuller of the Cleveland, Ohio area; cousin, Vit Neuzil and wife, Jirina, of Kovalovice, Czech Republic; her dear friend, Valerie Tonsgard of Chicago, Ill.; and many other friends and family members. The family would like to thank the CNAs, nurses and staff at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge for their dedicated care of Susan over the years, for the pastoral care of those at St. Paul's Memorial Church, and for the support of Hospice of the Piedmont in her final month. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Hospice of the Piedmont, the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA, the Jefferson Area Board for Aging, or Shelter for Help in Emergency.

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