Sue Deans, Geelong, 30 June 2010

Within two weeks of the death of Bev Wright, Sue passed away. Although it was expected it was an event of extraordinary sadness when it happened. Sue was also once a paddler, but when illness prevented this Sue eagerly volunteered as Drummer in the boat and she and Bev alternated this position, which was so wonderful for them and for the club. Sue was a very strong and courageous paddler (she often paddled in competition with a port in her arm) which was a measure of her determination to continue doing what she dearly loved.

Sue was diagnosed with Breast Cancer soon after the new century was heralded in and she was a Member of Dragons Abreast Geelong for 6 years. As a club we travelled Sue’s journey with her witnessing all the pain, all the high and lows, all her hopes and dreams. Through Sue, we met her wonderful husband, Allan who never faltered in his support of his wife and eventually retired in order to devote himself to Sue’s full time care. She had a lovely family who were all regulars at Regattas in which Sue was involved. Al went beyond the call of duty. Many times he was sighted sitting in his car in the dark in our carpark whilst Sue was upstairs at a meeting in the clubrooms, having driven her in from Anglesea. What ever made Sue happy, he did.

Sue was an outdoor girl through and through. She and Al retired to Anglesea so that they could live in the bush and by the ocean. She was not a roses type girl, Susie, she was an Australian wildflower type girl. She loved physical activity and she and Al shared many outdoor holidays and adventures together both here and in New Zealand. She was a wonderful, wife, mother and grandmother and gave all that she could to prepare her own children, Adrian and Naomi (she called them Ade and Ome) and her beautiful grandchildren for their lives ahead.

We will always remember the heartbreaking sight of Sue, in her wheelchair and with oxygen to assist her, attending Bev’s funeral in Highton. Allen had assisted her in one of her last wishes.

9 days after this Sue passed away, with her family at her side, at St. John of God of Hospital, Geelong on Wednesday, 30th June, 2010. If anyone has set us an example of how to remain strong in the face of long term illness and death, it was Sue. She remained in control of her own destiny to the end. Deansey, another of our beloved Angels Abreast, together now with Joanie, Sparky, Peaches and Rusty.

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