Obituary of Susan A Nabel
Susan A. Nabel, of Stamford, Connecticut, passed away on Monday, May 1, 2023, from pancreatic cancer. She was 75. Her family and friends mourn the loss of a beloved wife, mother, sister, friend, and public servant.
Susan was born on February 25, 1948, in Miami, Florida, to Jean Rose Potts and Frederick Neuberger. The family relocated to New Jersey early in her childhood, and she grew up in River Edge with her younger sister, Jan Valentine Neuberger, with whom she enjoyed a close and lifelong friendship.
A talented student in high school, Susan went on to attend Barnard College, where she studied English literature and graduated magna cum laude in 1970. In her early career, Susan traveled internationally and worked for Prentice Hall Publishing as one of its first female editors. She studied French and developed an abiding interest in French literature and culture. At age 30, Susan decided to pursue her passion for cooking and baking, working in multiple restaurants across New York City, including the Quilted Giraffe and David Liederman’s (founder of David’s Cookies) Manhattan Market. While studying at the Culinary Institute in New York, Susan’s cooking impressed the late Julia Child, who subsequently sponsored Susan to attend the prestigious École de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris.
In 1977, she met her husband, William (Bill) Nabel, a Broadway actor who was working in a production of Showboatwith her sister Jan. They met at a New Year’s Eve party, and he courted her with tap dancing lessons and tickets to Broadway shows. Susan and Bill married on November 11, 1980, in Manhattan Market restaurant. Their two golden retrievers, Mark and Tillie, served as ring bearers. At 43 years, their marriage was as long as it was joyful. The couple relocated to Stamford, Connecticut in 1983. There they welcomed a son, Jake, in 1985, and a daughter, Hannah, in 1987.
In Stamford, Susan embarked on a long and distinguished career as a public servant. She was a member of the Stamford Board of Representatives from 1997–2000 and again from 2013–2023. She also sat on the Board of Education from 2000–2009, during which time she served three terms as President of the Board. A fierce and devoted advocate for Stamford’s public schools, she was especially proud of her role in the creation of the Academy of Information Technology & Engineering, and of her time teaching in Stamford’s ESL programs. As the representative for Stamford’s 20th district, she fought to provide her constituents with better facilities and public services, from parks and bus stops to water and sewers. In addition to her role in local politics, Susan was an integral member of several corporate teams. After three years at the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, she served as Office Manager for Korn Ferry in downtown Stamford from 2004 until her retirement in September 2022.
Despite the many accomplishments of her professional career and civic service, Susan considered her family her greatest achievement. She was a model of devotion to her husband and children, who grieve the loss of the heart of their household. In her home she was the nourisher, sustainer, and protector of her family all at once, her love the bedrock foundation on which its every success rested. With that same love they keep her memory now.
An avid gardener, Susan loved to watch things grow and thrive. Her passing in spring has a pale consolation in the emergence of her autumn bulbs – one vestige among many of the beauty and grace that she fostered in the world, a legacy perpetually green, undimmed by death.
Susan is survived by her husband, William Nabel; her son, Jake Nabel; her daughter, Hannah Lake; and her sister, Jan Neuberger. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Elizabeth, who died on February 11, 1982. Funeral services will be held at Temple Beth El in Stamford on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at 2pm, followed by shiva at the family home. The family will also sit shiva from 4–7pm on May 4 and 5. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Stamford Public Education Fund or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
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