On August 16, 1954, as the hot sun warmed the rock and sparkled the waters of the Precambrian Shield that came to be known as Flin Flon, Manitoba, Susan Ruth McIntosh was born.
With hopes and dreams of a good life for their families, many ventured north. Amongst the deeply textured backgrounds and diversity of the people that felt the call were a young couple whose prairie roots and depth of family brought them back from New Westminster, B.C.
Wallace George Weldon (Red) McIntosh and Ruth Elizabeth Black's first two children were born in B.C. Patricia Anne in 1948, then Brian Dwight in 1952. After Susan in 1954, James Blair was also born in Flin Flon in 1965.
Like so many, Susan loved her childhood growing up in Flin Flon. She cherished her cousins of whom there were so many close by from both sides of her family. There were kids everywhere. There was freedom and adventure without fear. Walking everywhere, transistor radio in her ear, happy times.
A love of music would accompany her forever. There was a family piano in the home, Red played the harmonica and the spoons and Ruth's voice was so beautiful. Her sister Pat, whom she idolized began to teach Sue the piano. As a teenager, after Pat left, Sue began to play the organ at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, sometimes a bit shakily after Saturday night midnight sun adventures. She belonged to the junior and senior choirs where her well loved voice began to develop.
Susan's friendships with so many blossomed through music, her and her girlfriends singing and strumming their way through the angst of growing up. Her final days were accompanied by her dear friend Heather strumming a guitar while a song honouring Sue was born.
She often told her story of sitting behind a guy in her world religions class who had a nice neck. Nine months later, on June 16, 1973, she was married to that guy. John Michael Floch. Their love is a passion that never subsided. "A Love Supreme". For 50 years they lay together. They laughed and giggled. They cried.
Their passion led to the birth of Alina in 1974 and Cohen in 1978. Susan would have stood in front of a runaway train to protect her children. Alina brought her daughter Jasmine to life in 1997. Cohen's union with Lauren Fortuna led to the birth of Zoe in 2021. Two granddaughters 24 years apart! Knowing her family is well was all Sue needed.
Her accomplishment as an educational assistant in the schools of Kamsack for 27 years was to see George Duch graduate from high school, after beginning with him in grade 1.
Susan and John were always involved in the appreciation and creation of art. Early on they dreamt of a little shop. Building and operating imadgin Art & Craft gallery at Madge Lake for 5 years fulfilled that dream.
She raised her family with love. She performed her work with love.
In their late 50's, Sue and John became enamoured by the art and being of Patti Smith. They jumped onto the Pattiwagon full on. Four trips to Europe in 5 years. 19 concerts, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Czechia, France. They lined up for half a day at unbelievable venues-the paradiso, villa arconautl, grona lund...to make sure they were on the rail at the front, no cellphones flashing, in the moment. It was in Hamburg that Susan met her twin. Though born 32 years apart, the love between her and Janine was palpable and deeply touching.
Susan and John were great believers in the bredth and beauty of Canada and its people. They always found another road. Paying homage to Stompin' Tom Connors In Skinner's Pond, PEI or JOni Mitchell in Maidstone, Saskatchewan, they traversed the path less travelled.
Her advise to all of us has always been, "ride the wave". That she did. A wave of love.
Susan was predeceased by her parents Red and Ruth and her brother Brian. She is survived by her sister Pat and her brother Jim. Her immediate family, Alina and Adam, Cohen and Lauren and Zoe, and Jasmine and Dawson will forever carry her love.
Susan died as she lived, fully present and aware. Her kindness and smile are a reminder: be kind, be considerate, be alive.
The care that Susan received on all levels gave us life these past two years. We are grateful to them all whether they be a cleaner, a receptionist, a doctor or a nurse. In particular: her oncologist Dr. Attwell (he knew who Patti Smith was!), her surgeon Dr. Cohen, all of the nurses that poked and joked at the cancer clinic and Nurse Practitioner Brittany Morrison, we can't say enough about Brittany. Al and Jane from Sooke Hospice. Everyone we met: Barb the barber, Jane the island nurse, kind people everywhere, we thank you all. We are grateful for the compassionate care that Susan received from Dr. Milvi Tilslar and her wonderful nurse from Newfoundland.