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Susan Briggs Eley, 87, of Mathews, Virginia, passed away at home peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. Susan was a devoted wife and mother.

Susan was born in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 13, 1935. She grew up on Rosemont Avenue near the Masonic Temple in Alexandria.

Susan was a talented musician and played the piano from a very early age. She attended Maury Elementary School and walked the two miles to school every day. Susan attended George Washington High School in Alexandria where she met her beloved and lifelong partner Tommy (William Thomas Eley, who passed away in March 2022). Many wonderful memories were made during those years including stories of “Tommy and Susie” scooting around in Tommy’s Model A Ford with a rumble seat.

Susan attended the College of William and Mary and earned a B.A. in Education. Susan was a proud member and Officer of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and a member of the famous William and Mary “Mermettes,” the Swimming Ballet team. As an avid swimmer she earned her Lifeguard and Instructor’s certification. Susan graduated in 1957 with Honors. She made the Dean’s list all four years. She later earned a Master’s Degree in American History from William and Mary in 1962. She and Tommy married in 1960. Susan was a teacher for 45 years. She taught school at Langley Elementary School in Langley, Virginia, Loudoun Country Day School in Leesburg, Virginia, Gloucester Day School, Gloucester, Virginia, Mathews and Gloucester County Public Schools and wrapped up her teaching career at Ware Academy in Gloucester.

Susan continued to actively tutor many Mathews County students over the years in math, reading and English. During her tenure as a teacher, she was one of 100 teachers chosen nationally by NASA for the Teachers in Space Program.
Tommy and Susan moved from Northern Virginia in 1977 to their much-loved home, Cedar Grove in Mathews, where she dedicated the rest of her life to gardening and caring for her home. Susan could often be found in her garden tending to her flowers.

Susan was a devout Episcopalian serving on the Vestry of Kingston Parish in Mathews.

Susan and Tommy spent five years in England where she spent much of her time traveling and walking all over the country. She loved the British and spent many hours scouring antique and china shops for collectibles. However, she always looked forward to coming home to Mathews.

Susan is survived by her sister, Anne Shine; her two children, Stephen Briggs Eley and Robin Elizabeth Eley; her two grandchildren, Isabelle Marie Rennockl and Alex Christopher Eley, and several nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life in Susan’s honor will be held at a later date after the holidays.


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