In Memory

Susan Yocom (Kent)

Susan Yocom (Kent)

September 23, 1944 - April 15, 2018

The following is taken from an email sent to me on April 16 from Susan's home in Humshaugh, England, by her brother Tom:

"Susan Yocom Kent died quietly last night with my sister Jennifer, my wife Roberta, and me all sitting on her bed holding onto her in one way or another.  Acute myeloid leukemia...took her life just about 3 weeks after she was first diagnosed...  It's really hard to believe and accept.  Susan was extraordinary in just about every endeavor she put her mind to pursue.  Her artwork alone that covers the walls in her riverfront home on the Tyne River is breath-taking...  We have a memorial event scheduled for this coming Sunday that will include a musical performance by one of the choirs with which she sang."

Susan had many interests and diverse talents.  Professionally, Susan - who began college with a mathematics major, but earned her degree in psychology - was a computer analyst, manager, and program designer.  She relocated to the U.K. as a consultant for Shell Oil, but didn't intend to live there permanently.  However, she met her future husband, John Kent, while on an organized hiking holiday in the French Pyrenees.  They were married in 1985 and moved to their most recent home in the north east of England after Susan retired, about 17 years ago.  Their home was a very old former mill on the Tyne River surrounded by the lush Northumberland countryside and nearby Roman ruins, traces of Hadrian's Wall, and Ancient Hexham Abbey.  Here she could indulge her love of hiking by walking the Hadrian Wall Path, and could pursue her life-long interest in vocal music by joining local and regional choirs.  And it was here that Susan was inspired by the beauty of her surroundings and became a prolific painter. 

Click here to listen to a BBC interview and  recording of Antiphon Choir (including Susan) performing live just before it began its world tour last spring.  Photographs taken by Tom Yocom of several of Susan's best paintings have been uploaded to a new "Classmate Gallery" which can be found at the bottom of the Photos page.

Susan was predeceased by her Husband John in 2014.  She is survived by her brother and sister and their families, and by two step-children, their spouses, and one grandchild.

Sylvia Salassi (Talarico)

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05/23/18 07:39 AM #1    

Jan Zahorski (Boel)


Susan was my best friend in high school. We weren't in any classes together (she was in al the accelerated ones), but we went to the same church.  She loved to sing and was in the choir.  So was I, but I was only supposed to mouth the words because I couldn't carry a tune.  We did all the youth group activities together, including cleaning the church to earn money and going on a two week trip to Las Vegas, Utah and the Grand Canyon.  I used to hang out at her house all the time.  One time I remember waving to her while driving as I turned i her cul de sac, and, as a consequence, knocking  down her neighbor's mailbox.  Most of the time we laughed and had fun.  We went our separate ways in college and lost touch with each other.  About 15 years ago, with the assistance of the internet, I located Susan in England where she was living with her husband.  We communicated regularly trying to catch up on each other's lives.  About four years ago, she came to Marine County to visit her brother, Tom, and we took a drive to Los Altos to have lunch with Allison Young (Johnson), Jane Garibaldi (Fuchs), and Sylvia Salassi (Talarico) and then dinner with Lee Shahinian and his wife.  We had a great time.  It was with great sadness that I read the email from Tom a month ago that she was ill; and then she died so quickly after that.  She was a lovely, talented and fun person.  Rest in Peace dear friend.



05/24/18 05:05 AM #2    

Steve Grant

Farewell, Sue. Your wondrous smile and laughing face brightened every/any day I saw you in school.   I love the paintings posted in our gallery -- a great talent. Classmate and friend, your memory shines.

05/24/18 07:48 AM #3    

Suzanne Riedinger

So sorry to hear of Susan’s passing. She was a very nice person.

05/24/18 02:08 PM #4    

Susan Mack (Sugden)

     I'm sorry to hear of Susan's passing.  It's wonderful to hear about our classmate's talents & life's successes, but sadly, after they are gone.  Friends & family were fortunate to share in her life.  With condolences to everyone,

    Sincerely, Sue

05/25/18 02:10 AM #5    

Virginia Small (Chambers)

So sorry to hear about our loss of Susan...  I wish I had known her.  Thank you for sharing her life story, a few of her lovely paintings, and the beautiful music she sang.  Glad she was able to have a small reunion with some of you.  Love, Ginni

05/25/18 03:58 AM #6    

Mary Ellen Hoy

What an extraordinary life! I was friends with Sue in high school, but lost touch after my family relocated to the East. I did not reconnect with high school friends until recent reunions. I have happy memories of Sue and our group of merry misfits at sleepovers, folk dancing, the Senior Lawn, Mrs. Pelton’s English class ... Bits of time captured in amber.  I send my condolences to her family. 

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