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Obituary: Susan Mary Rokosa Woodstock, 69

Susan Mary Rokosa Woodcock, 69, of Tiverton, RI passed away peacefully at home on February 28th, 2014 after a courageous battle against cancer. Her final moments were spent embraced by her children and touched by the warm rays of a brilliant sunset over Mount Hope Bay. 

She lived a life full of learning, listening, giving, traveling, and strong connections to her dear friends and family.

Susan was born, the youngest of nine children, in Bristol, CT to the late Joseph and Anna Rokosa on October 31st, 1944. After spending her youth in Bristol, she attended Hartford College for Women before receiving her undergraduate degree from UCONN in 1966. She went on to earn two Masters degrees, one from the University of Maryland and a second from the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University. 

She wed James Woodcock in February 1966. They were married for twenty years, living for times in Biloxi, Tampa, and NYC before eventually settling in Severna Park, Maryland where they raised their two children, Katie and Alex. 

Susan worked for the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD where she researched and edited the Annotated Bibliography of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In the early eighties she changed careers and began work as a systems analyst at Bell Atlantic/Verizon, and stayed within this field for over twenty years until her retirement. Several years after retirement she moved to Tiverton, Rhode Island to be closer to family.

Work did not define Susan’s life, however. She took the most pleasure from playing with her grandchildren, laughing with her children, walking with her friends, corresponding with her extended family, and exploring the world through travel, literature, and the arts. Her insatiable desire to learn took her to all seven continents. 

Susan touched people in so many positive ways, always looking to help. Her love of learning inspired her to become a teacher early in her life, and she remained a great supporter of education and was a strong champion of the Tiverton Library. In Maryland, she was a group facilitator at Single Again, helping people to move forward after divorce. In Rhode Island, she embraced adult education, teaching well-acclaimed courses in theater and literature at The Second Half. She especially loved singing with the Arundel Vocal Arts in Maryland and the Greater Tiverton Community Chorus in Rhode Island. She enjoyed ushering at the Hippodrome in Baltimore and at Trinity Repertory in Providence. She treasured her morning rambles with the “Walking Ladies” to Coastal Roasters in Tiverton. Her life, although too short, was full, well-lived and marked by joy and deep connections.

Susan is survived by her beloved children Alex Woodcock and his fiancé Dana Taylor of Boston, MA; Katharine Kitchel and her husband Davis of Norwich, VT; and her grandchildren Owen, Liam and Sebastian Kitchel. Besides her parents she was predeceased by 7 siblings. She is also survived by her sister, Judith Rokosa Grisamore of Lake Bluff, IL; 14 nieces & nephews and numerous great-nieces & -nephews. 

There will be a service and celebration of Susan’s life on Saturday May 10th in Hartford, CT. In lieu of flowers, and because she had so many varied interests, her children ask that memorial donations in Susan’s name be made to the charity of your choice. 

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