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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Suzanne Trostle ’46

Suzanne LeSeur Trostle, aged 94, passed away in her home in Monteverde, Costa Rica on November 18, 2019.

Between 1994 and 2012 Sue and her husband John (who died in 2015 at age 92) lived part-time with their son James in Amherst, MA, and attended the Mount Toby Friends Meeting.

Sue was born in Batavia, NY on September 25, 1925. With her mother trained as a concert pianist at Oberlin, her home was filled with music.

Sue attended Antioch College at age 16 and graduated second in her class, followed by group work in settlement houses in lower Manhattan and in Philadelphia; a post-graduate study tour of post-War Europe; and an AFSC summer work-camp in Chicago where she met her future husband.

She dropped a career as a folk-singer in New York but led courses for the Eastern Cooperative Recreation School in folk-dancing, singing, and games. Following receipt of a Social work MA from Columbia, Sue directed the Elmwood Club, a program for former mental patients in Rockland County, NY.

She cared for her family in Skyview Acres, a cooperative community, was active in peace and civil rights work, and traveled extensively.

Sue and John moved to Costa Rica in 1974. There she helped start a women’s craft cooperative, served as board president of the Monteverde Institute, was active in the Friends Meeting and School, and taught hundreds to folk dance and sing. She was sister to some, grandma to many, and friend or confidante to all.

Her ability to see good in people was truly remarkable, as was her joy in human accomplishments.

Sue is survived by her sons Robert, James and Richard, daughters-in-law Nana and Lynn, and grandchildren Jenna, Noah and Juliana.

Robert told her she taught him this:

Joy and wonder are qualities that one can experience and express throughout one’s lifetime.

Being alive is first and foremost a positive experience, regardless of the difficulties encountered.

One cannot be too kind or too caring for others.

It is more important to listen than to speak and more important to forgive than to condemn.

One’s needs are always simple and always less than one’s wants.

Love of family, friends, and community is boundless and a source of strength.

And simple truths are often the most profound.

Donations in Sue’s memory may be sent to the non-profit Monteverde Friends School, c/o Monteverde Friends U.S., Inc., P.O. Box 1308, Greenfield, MA 01302.