Susan Holloway, born Assunta Ferrara, Suzi to all her friends, was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in March 1921, to a family of Southern Italian immigrants. With a family of 12, there was never a shortage of love and laughter. As a young woman she helped the war effort by working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, supplying ships that sent much needed supplies to Europe.
After the war she taught herself accounting and held bookkeeping positions in various manufacturing firms that flourished in Brooklyn. Her books were so immaculately kept, all by hand, that even when she was always late for work, the bosses kept her on, since nobody could match her for accuracy and neatness.
A devoted “Ma,” she raised two children in Williamsburg, where many Italian families settled. There would always be a gang of kids playing in the streets of the neighborhood, where Ma could keep an eye on them.
Always an inventive entrepreneur, she ran several small businesses, having a great deal of fun with flea markets and second hand stores. With her unbounded energy, we often referred to her as the Energizer bunny. Everything she tackled, she did with gusto, and it all had to be perfect with Suzi.
She had a lovely smile, was very easy going, and gave much love to everyone. She could strike up a conversation with anyone she met and become friends almost instantly. She was always ready with a spot-on wisecrack, and, if anyone epitomized the essential original Brooklynite, it was her.
In her later years, she moved to South Florida, where she was often seen pedaling around the neighborhood on her three-wheeled bicycle, helping her neighbors with chores around their homes.
In her last years, we had the honor of her living with us on Whidbey Island, Wash. She was a spirited member of the Monday lunchtime crowd at the Commons in Langley. She also discovered her innate talent for art — filling many books with her wild and crazy energetic colored drawings.
If someone were to ask her secret to a long and healthy life, she would say “sleep late, drink strong coffee.” Indeed, she smoked cigarettes until past age 90.
In her 100th year, with loved ones nearby, Suzi, while in her sleep, slipped the bonds of earth in a superbly peaceful transition, to meet her family.
Interred at the Woodsmen cemetery in Langley, Wash., a celebration of her life will be held at Maxwelton Beach — her favorite.
Shed no tears for Suzi.She is at peace, having a strong cup of coffee.
She leaves her daughter Louise Holloway Stanley; son James Holloway; son-in-law Ted Stanley; four grandchildren; and one great grandson.