Sue Cameron Furth, age 91, died peacefully with family by her side Saturday evening, Aug. 8, 2020, at Northern Light Hospital in Blue Hill.
Sue was born to Charles and Jewel (Welch) Cameron, Nov. 24, 1928, in Shawnee, Okla. She was the middle child of three: Sally Green was five years older, and Shirley Lange, five years younger. After graduating from Berkeley High School in 1946, Sue attended UC Berkeley, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1950. In 1968, she completed a master’s in Education from Bank Street School in New York, focusing on the inspired work of Jean Piaget.
She met the love of her life, Donald H. Furth, while the two were working summer jobs at Fallen Leaf Lake in the Sierras. They were married in 1951 and shared life’s journey together until Don’s death in 2007. Sue’s life unfolded in four geographies: her birthplace of Oklahoma; the west coast of California, growing up in the San Francisco Bay area and starting her family in Los Angeles; raising her family and blossoming in her political activism and educational career in New York; and retiring with Don, close to family in Maine. Sue leaned into living fully and always carried that vitality with her.
Sue was dedicated to her family and was an extraordinary grandmother and great-grandmother. She loved knitting and was always stitching creations for everyone in her family — from bookmarks to sweaters and big-needled chunky hats. She was fearless when it came to trying new recipes, she loved good movies and was forever sharing articles and books with the expectation of discussions and some sort of concluding agreement. Sue showed up and took advantage of every opportunity to be involved. She was an ever-present attendee of everything from music circles to art exhibits — exclaiming her joy and love of the experience for days. She had a passion for history and politics, and was always seeing the big picture with an understanding and willingness to believe in a future of endless possibilities. Sue practiced daily meditation and believed if we all joined her, the world would become a much better place.
As a second-grade teacher in Ossining, N.Y., and a teacher with The Early Learning Center in Stamford, Conn., she applied educational skills and knowledge that supported the best for the whole child — body, mind and spirit.
Sue was active in the Democratic Party her entire adult life, participating in every facet of political engagement from helping with mailings to setting the state platform. In New York, she was active with the League of Women Voters. In Maine, she served as chair and co-chair of the Hancock County Dems and loved that work. She lived with the knowledge that democracy is a practice, not simply an inheritance, and wants us all to embrace that reality and do our part for societal and planetary health.
Sue was predeceased by her husband, Donald H. Furth; son, Paul Cameron Furth; and sister, Sally Green. Sue is survived by her sister, Shirley Lang (Richard) of California; daughter, Jane Cameron Furth (Raymond H. Clark) of Waterloo, Iowa; and son, Alan Richard Furth (Katie B. MacGregor) of Whiting; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Sam Furth and children Finn, Inez and Jonah of Maine; Abe Furth (Heather) of Maine; George Furth-Cassidy (Sarah) and children, Torin and Francis of Iowa; Charles Furth-Cassidy (Rachel) of Maine; and step-grandson, Paul Vinzani, of Maine; many nieces and nephews and a dear circle of friends.
Sue succumbed to a ruptured aneurysm that none of us saw coming. That meant that she lived life to the fullest right up until the end. At the time of her death, she was residing at Parker Ridge in Blue Hill. Activity Director Alma Mote shared that just days before her death, she attended an activity — The Way Music Used to Be. Residents had been invited to bring a song of their choice to share. Sue’s offering was “I Am Woman.” As the song played, Sue was beaming, feet were tapping, hands waving as she sang out…
“…I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
…If I have to,
I can face anything
I am strong…”
Sue was strong. She will be greatly missed. A celebration of Sue’s life will take place at a later date when all can gather together. The family wishes to thank the staff of Parker Ridge.
Those wishing to make a memorial gift may contribute to either Cobscook Institute, 10 Commissary Point Road, Trescott, ME 04652 or Maine Democratic Party, P.O. Box 5258, Augusta, ME 04332-5258.
And finally, Sue is really counting on you to do your part and vote on Nov. 3.