Our beloved sister and aunt, Susan Gurley, recently of Blacksburg, Virginia passed away peacefully on Monday, May 9, 2022 after a courageous five-month battle with Glioblastoma. She was 75. Susan faced this challenging journey with grace and uncomplaining gratitude.
Susan was born on August 12, 1946 in Cheverly, Maryland. She spent many of her childhood years in Northern Virginia: on the farm in Loudoun County and the town of Falls Church among others. After many travels, later in life Susan resided in Minnesota, Arkansas, and in Vienna, VA, Floyd, VA and then settled in Blacksburg.
Susan was preceded in death by our beloved brother Michael Forester and parents Claude Thurman Gurley and Sara Ellen “Sallie” Roberts Gurley. Susan is survived by siblings Linda Sisson (Jonathan) of Bangor, Maine, Jim Gurley (Rose) of Winona, Minnesota, and Judy Weitzenfeld (Billy) of Floyd, Virginia; nephews and niece Greg Sisson, Dan Forester, Jesse Weitzenfeld, Daniel Weitzenfeld and Mary Ann Forester as well as special cousins Kevin Powers, Florence Richman and Edie Richman. Susan’s great-nephews and nieces who always held a special place in her heart are Nick, Hallie, Emmett, Jackson and Violet Weitzenfeld. Susan’s best friend was Barbara Phillips and Susan spoke highly of all of her friends at Warm Hearth Village.
Susan attended Zion Lutheran Church for several years and sang with the Floyd Community Choir. More recently Susan was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Blacksburg, VA where she was a member of the choir.
Susan excelled in school and music as she sang, played piano, guitar and acted in school plays. After graduating high school in Bloomington, Minnesota, Susan attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville for two years. She studied music therapy at the Menninger Institute at Topeka, Kansas. Susan graduated from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 1983 with a degree in Music. Susan was a member of various church choirs during her life; and sang most recently with the Warm Hearth Singers. Susan was a member of the Montgomery County League of Women Voters. For many years she tirelessly assisted many elderly and low-income citizens to register to vote.
Susan held various positions as a Music Therapist. Susan volunteered as a member of the Floyd Retired and Senior Volunteer Program when she lived in Floyd County. Until her illness, Susan enjoyed many years of retirement in her beautiful apartment at Warm Hearth Village in Blacksburg. Susan was a very good cook and loved to entertain. Her beauty, singing, humor, wit and sharp intellect will be greatly missed.
The family wishes to give heartfelt thanks to: friends and staff at Warm Hearth Village; all who sent cards, called, sent healing thoughts for Susan and visited her; to the doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers at Carilion Cancer Care, Skyline Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Floyd and Medi Home Health & Hospice for their caring, kind and loving support for Susan in her last months.
Susan generously donated her body to science. A memorial service to celebrate Susan’s life will be held at a later date yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Susan’s memory to: Warm Hearth Village, Blacksburg, VA online at retire.org/donate-give/donate-click-pledge/; or to the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, VA mailing address: P.O. Box 10133/Blacksburg, VA 24062-0133; or the charitable organization of your choice.