SOLON — M. Suzanne “Sue” Hartman-Byerley, beloved mother, wife, grandmother, teacher and friend, age 76, of Solon, Ohio, (formerly of Pierpont and Cleveland Heights), passed away suddenly on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.
She was born Jan. 20, 1937, in Seguin, Texas, to Gertrude (née: Sweat) and J. W. “Bill” Forse, and she married Andrew Byerley on Oct. 10, 1981, in Cleveland Heights.
Sue was a writer, educator, and editor of fiction, poetry, and essays. She found great inspiration and comfort from nature, the arts, travel, and loving relationships with family and friends. Scores of her short stories were published in commercial and literary magazines such as Woman’s Day, Cleveland Magazine, Family Circle, and Kansas Quarterly.
She earned BA and MA degrees from the Universities of Iowa and Michigan, respectively. While at the University of Michigan, she won a Hopwood Award for fiction and a Fulbright Scholarship for study in Heidelberg. She moved to Cleveland Heights in 1966 and was an active participant in her community, as a teacher, board member, director, and volunteer. She taught writing courses at Case Western Reserve University from 1966-1980, where she was also the Director of Communications. In 1984, she became the Director of Communications and Development at the College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University. She taught workshops for minority writers at Karamu House for many years and, in 1971, was a founding member of the board of New Day Press, a Cleveland publishing company devoted to work by and about American minorities. In 1987, she and her husband relocated to Mendocino, Calif., where she taught at The College of the Redwoods and was honored as the Associate Faculty of the Year. She was the CO-Director of the Mendocino Coast Writers’ Conference from 1996-2005. She returned to Ohio in 2004 and continued to teach creative writing workshops at libraries in Kingsville, Conneaut, and Geneva.
As a breast cancer survivor of 20 years standing, Sue was a volunteer for Hospice of the Western Reserve.
Suzanne is survived by her husband, Andrew Byerley of Solon; daughters, Tanya Hartman of Chagrin Falls, Elisa (Peter Kazanzides) Hartman of Baltimore, Md., and Lorien (Sean Reilly) Hartman of University Heights; grandchildren, Andrew, Lily, Benjamin, Zoe and Emerie; brothers, David (Patricia) Forse and John (Cheryl) Forse, both of Minneapolis, Minn.; and nieces, Diane, Erin and Nicole.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
A Memorial Service will be held 2 p.m., Sunday, June 16th, at The Unitarian Church, 21600 Shaker Blvd., Shaker Heights, Ohio 44122. Final resting place is Foxfield Preserve, Wilmot, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible donations may be made to the Suzanne Byerley Memorial Fund, Mendocino Coast Writer’s Conf., P.O. Box 2087, Fort Bragg, Calif. 95437.
Arrangements by THE BEHM FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 26 River St., Madison, Ohio. Obituary and condolences at www.behmfuneral.com and starbeacon.com.