Susan Carter Avanzino, of New Canaan, CT, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, September 26, surrounded by family. She was 79 years old.
Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, she was raised in Montclair, New Jersey, Williamstown and Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts before the family ultimately settled in Princeton, New Jersey. Susan attended Edgemont School in New Jersey, Pine Cobble and Beaver Country Day in Massachusetts, and Miss Fine’s School in New Jersey. She graduated from Bradford Junior College in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1962. Susan was the daughter of the late Raymond Hitchings Carter and Katharine Gribbel Carter of Princeton, NJ.
After a brief career in Manhattan, she settled in New Canaan, Connecticut where she raised her three children and contributed to a variety of community service programs. An active member of the New Canaan Sewing Group, she spent countless hours designing and knitting baby sweaters while watching Roger Federer on television or “reading” the latest Louise Penny novel on tape. Proceeds from the sweater sales went to STAR in Norwalk. If you knew her and had a baby in the last 20 years, you were the likely the recipient of one of her handcrafted creations that she so adored making.
Susan had a passion for creating. Be it in the kitchen or painting landmark ornaments, or in her “third” career as a graphic designer, she inspired others with her innovative ideas and concepts. She generously shared her recipes that she acquired from various sources and by her own admission, once used her wit and charm to escape a renowned New Orleans restaurant with the chef’s signature recipe for Barbeque Shrimp tucked into her purse! As a self-taught painter, she was always willing to offer advice or finish many student art projects. Over the span of several decades, she served multiple terms as Room Parent at Center School and contributed photos and articles for her children’s various athletic pursuits at New Canaan High School. She gave tirelessly to others, including most of all, her family.
In her free time and despite her limited eyesight, “Mrs. A”, as she was affectionately known, kept herself active. She was a passable tennis player and enjoyed annual ski trips that provided many memorable experiences for both her and the children. She most enjoyed attending to and expanding her numerous perennial and vegetable gardens. Susie loved to be consulted to identify plants and shrubs, and was always willing to impart her extensive knowledge of horticulture on anyone who asked for assistance with landscape design. No obstacle was too daunting, even her cancer diagnosis, which she approached with dignity and an interminable spirit that was equal parts resilience and grace. Family above all, was her crowning achievement.
Susan is survived by her loving children, Kenneth C. “Scott” Avanzino, Jr. (Meghan) of New Orleans, LA, James C. Avanzino (Theresa) of Hampstead, NH, and Carolyn A. Mustin (Owen) of Weymouth, MA and her six grandchildren, Noelle Avanzino, Kenneth Avanzino, Carli Avanzino, James Avanzino, Elsa Mustin and Samantha Mustin. Susan is the sister of Elizabeth Bannerman and Raymond H. A. Carter, both of California and was predeceased by her sister, Sarah Carter Crawford of Alaska.
A memorial service will be held at LaVista Restaurant located at 355 Smith Ridge Road, South Salem, NY 10590 on Saturday, October 2, 2021 at 12PM. Please wear a bright color to honor Susan. In lieu of flowers, we would like to direct you to the New Canaan Sewing Group, c/o New Canaan Artisans, PO Box 215, New Canaan, CT 06840.