Susan Connelly is someone I refer to as my “pearl-friend.” Since the release of my book, “Bury Me With My Pearls” I like to remember those “jewels” who have added meaning to my strand of pearls called, life. Susan was one of those treasured women. She was “buried with her pearls,” and Susan Connelly’s purple casket reminds me to live life to the fullest.
Susan had more energy than any other person I had ever known and loved to entertain. Her invitations always read, “meet at the purple house.” The chartreuse, wood-paneled station wagon parked against her purple house shouted Susan and Charlie Connelly’s love for fun. Your senses were on over-load with the color of the house followed by laughter and the smell of delicious Southern food. Susan’s flair for Southern hospitality and wonderful gatherings bring back some of my best memories.
Her activities in the community were endless; Susan owned a dance studio, coached the Lancaster High School Dance Team, and directed the Miss, Little Miss, and Wee Miss Lancaster scholarship programs. I emceed many of her pageants and remember her riding tricycles, skateboards and bouncing on po-go sticks across the stage. The contestants would squeal with delight wearing ruby-red lips and “stick-out dresses.” Susan was a great friend of the Miss South Carolina Pageant and was the oldest serving volunteer in the Miss America system. At 84 years of age, she was still as involved as ever.
Susan lived her life with vitality and spunk until the last day of the last hour of the last second of her life. She was enjoying her lovely home at DeBordieu Beach, and while shopping, suddenly passed away.
There is book entitled, “When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”, by Sandra Martz. The following quote is a review of the book that sums up the life of my friend, Susan Connelly’s life.
I gave this book to my mother on her 75th birthday – she will be eighty soon, and refers to the title every time she does something out of the ordinary, like gardening in the rain, line-dancing, wearing jeans while watching the sun set in Key West, riding in my convertible with the top down right after she had her hair “done”, etc. I just bought two copies for my aunts who are in their eighties, and would never dream of doing what their “baby sister” does. Maybe they’ll lighten up and enjoy life while they are still able and healthy. This book encourages women of all ages to enjoy life to the fullest.
The purple casket made quite a statement at the funeral home. Susan’s kind face and snow-white hair was swept back with her signature headband. I leaned down and whispered, “Thank you, Susan,”