Too soon to say farewell to beloved LHS teacher Sue Buxton

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Sue Buxton dances with her husband Tim at their son’s wedding last year.

The room where the Londonderry High School faculty members had gathered last Thursday afternoon was completely silent as Principal Jason Parent got up to speak. He quietly explained to the colleagues and dear friends of Sue Buxton that she had passed away earlier that morning.

Upon hearing this news, some teachers audibly gasped. Some immediately began to cry. Others just sat there stunned.

How could this person who we had just seen yesterday be gone? How could someone who was so feisty and strong-willed, yet who had the biggest heart of gold, no longer be with us?

What were her current and former students going to do without her? What were WE going to do without her?

Mr. Parent continued and told us how she had actually called the school that very morning to make sure her students were okay and to give them instructions for that day.

But of course she did. That is just how she was.

Her students were always at the front of her mind because they weren’t just students to her. They were her kids.

To get to Sue’s obituary, please click on the above image that Sue’s brother Marc left for her on his Facebook page.

She’d listen to them when no one else would.  She’d give them a hug when they needed it most and a lecture or nudge even when they didn’t know they needed it.

She’d call their bluff–and their homes–when necessary.

And she never gave up on them.

She fought for her kids every day and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer from anyone. She made sure teachers knew who her kids were and what those kids needed to be successful in their classes.

She would push her kids to work harder, so they might have the chance to walk across the stage in a cap and gown come June of their senior year.

When her students did graduate? She was always at the top of the list of the people they had to thank.

Sue was loved by her students, her colleagues, her friends and her family, and she will be greatly missed. Please read their tributes to her below to learn more about who she was and the impact she had on those who knew her.


Sue and her husband Tim, her daughter Sarah and her son Michael on his wedding day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


From the LHS Special Education Department

Our tears still fall, yet our smiles are just beneath.

We smile for Sue because…

She knew our stories in a way that was real and radiated an energy that we all still feel.

She worked with endless passion and gusto, and advocated with all her might.

Her endless quest for chocolate helped to keep her going morning, noon and night.

Sue thrived at the challenge of this work and raised us all up always striving for perfection and never ever giving up!

Even when she drove us crazy we knew her by her heart of gold.

To her dear family, please never doubt, that her story lives in our hearts, and shall never ever grow old.

We could go on and on there’s so much to share although our tears may still fall our smiles are still there.


From Alan LaBranche, special ed. teacher at LHS

I met Sue Buxton 16 years ago. We were in the same new teacher class. We were the new special education case managers at LHS. I had no idea how much I would come to rely on her for help with the daunting task of understanding special education paper work.

I quickly learned that she was the go-to person when I had a question about the ever changing paperwork requirements in the special ed world. We also were two of the people who arrived at school early every day. Sue was seldom absent from school. She was one of the first people I saw every day. Sue always would want to talk to me about the students on her case load.

She loved her students and was dedicated to doing everything she could to help them be successful. I miss seeing her every day and listening to her talk about her students.


Pamela Kobilarcsik, special ed. teacher at LHS

Hey Sue, I wanted to thank you for years of memories from right here at LHS.  Let me share a few things I am grateful for: your continued technology tips, your explanation of how head cheese is made (won’t go near that stuff EVER) your updates on Sp. Ed. forms and what goes with that almost daily. I learned just how special your family is to you, listening how proud you are of Michael and his military service, his wedding to Jillian and your future grandchildren. 

Sarah’s dating and engagement, then your trips checking out wedding venues for her and her fiancé.  Oh, and I can’t forget the daily phone calls you and Sarah had as you entered the building at 6:10 every morning depending on her shift schedule.  Then we discussed our folks, your Mom and my Dad and the trials of getting older. 

Can’t forget the major reconstruction on your home, from counter top, to sinks and the faucet choices–boy were you happy when that was finished!  Your trip to Paris with Tim and all the pictures that helped to tell the story.  The decorating that Tim does would shame Martha Stewart.  The bazillion dog stories that we both shared daily and watching Mr. Spencer grow and grow and grow, yikes.  I will close by saying thank you for reminding me that each day is a gift, my friend.  Rest in peace until we are reunited again. Until then, I need to use your three-hole punch. 


Noah Ellis sent in this photo of Mrs. Buxton to be placed with the message he shared.

From Noah Ellis, former student of Mrs. Buxton

Mrs. Buxton’s daughter Sarah found the letter below while looking for photos of her mom as they prepared for her mom’s services. Sarah posted a copy of the letter on Facebook, asking if anyone knew who had written it to her mom because it was unsigned.

Mrs. Buxton’s former student Noah Ellis recognized his handwriting and realized he was the one who had written it. Noah’s response to seeing it again is below his letter.

I was getting ready for the day of being as a student of Mitchell College. I checked Facebook seeing a post from Sue Buxton’s daughter, Sarah Buxton, as she was trying to figure out who had written her mom that letter. After looking at the picture I saw that was my handwritten letter to Mrs. Buxton. I couldn’t remember if I signed it until today or when I had written her that letter. She was the definition as I described her in my letter. It made me happy to have had a reconnection to that letter. It makes me happy to have made that impact on Buxton.


Courtesy of Betty Mak
Sue and Betty Mak “twinning” on the first day of school.

Betty Mak, math teacher at LHS

First day of school…same outfits.  What were the chances?

I swear…we are “Sisters from different mothers”.  We addressed one another as “ Mak & Buxton”, shared the same type of humor and canny sarcasm, while playfully insulted one another with stereotypical Asian & Caucasian jokes!

More importantly, we shared the same vision and passion to help our students grow in confidence and surpass their potential! We never “sugar-coated” issues, rather we confidently confronted them together.  We would envision how it would be if we would establish our own school one day…Funny how we would laugh and complete one another’s thoughts.

Although I’ll miss you in the LHS hallways saying, “Hey…Mak!”, I’ll always remember the impact you made in my life the past 10 years. I admired your honesty and professionalism.

Rest In Peace Sue.  I’m gonna miss you❤️! By the way, God, you just inherited a true angel & comedian.  Embrace her!


From Val Nelson, LHS school counselor

Sue was the very first staff member that I connected with 14 years ago on my internship here at LHS. I was assigned a student and she happened to also have Sue as a case manager. We worked together pretty much every day, even making house calls to the student to get her to come to school. Sue was one of the best. Her sarcasm and wit helped her to connect with teens!  She had a big heart and was always willing to share a story or a good cry. I will miss her tremendously, she was one of a kind!


From Chris Pantazis, ISS supervisor at LHS

If you’re out in the working world for long enough you have losses like this happen numerous times, and they ALWAYS hurt…Sue was such a wonderful, caring, invested person who had her kids foremost in her mind at all times, and she worked intensely for their good no matter how challenging the problem or challenge was….a HUGE, deeply-felt loss for us here, and as I say to family members and close friends when they suffer this sort of loss, “May sweet memories help you through this difficult time.” Sweet memories of working with this wonderful, dedicated lady will help me through, but I’d trade just about  all of them to get to see and chat and laugh with her again….


Sue enjoys Ribfest with her family.


From Steve Secor, LHS assistant principal

Sue was such a strong advocate for the students on her case load.  Her smile and laughter were contagious and her sarcastic sense of humor never failed to brighten my day.  She will be deeply missed.


From Mary DeWinkeleer, English teacher at LHS 

Sue’s humor and big heart will be missed at LHS. I always admired her dedication to her students and how she’d do whatever she could to protect and help them. Last year one of her kids was in my journalism class, and she always bent over backwards to help me help this student be successful. Journalism was a difficult class for this student to be in, but Sue believed she could succeed, and she DID succeed. Sue’s student ended up designing a beautiful page about Unified for The Lancer Spirit–something this student felt immense pride and joy in.  Without Sue’s support and gentle pushes, this student may never have realized what she was capable of. Sue always believed her students were capable of anything, and so she did whatever she could to make sure they had the tools to do it.  She really was a Mama Bear for her kids!! We will miss you, Sue. Rest in peace.


From Barbara Marzik, social studies teacher at LHS

Sue was a dedicated teacher for her students. She spent a great deal of energy trying to make sure they had everything they needed in order to be successful. I consider it a privilege to have worked closely with such a caring and thoughtful person.

From Lori Painter, 504 Coordinator at LHS

Sue,

How sad I feel writing this.  You were such an amazing Educator, Friend, Wife and Mother.  You will be greatly missed by the LHS community.  I remember “yelling” at her many times for working until the late hours of the night or waking up at 3 because she needed to finish up paper work.  We joked about her type “A” personality and how much of an overachiever she was.  Though we joked about it…it always showed me how much her students meant to her and their families.  She dedicated her life to her students here at LHS and anyone that was lucky enough to have her knows exactly what I am talking about.  I will forever be grateful to have had the opportunity to work alongside Sue for many years.  I am so sorry for her family…who she talked about on a daily basis and was so proud of!!!  To the Buxton Family: Please remember that you all will always be part of Lancer Nation as your Mother and Wife will always have a presence here.

With deepest sympathy,

Lori Painter (formerly known as “Kip” to Sue)


From Kerry Miller, special ed. teacher at LHS

Sue-When she wasn’t out on a mission to find chocolate and take a quick trip to Dunks.  She was being a fierce advocate for her students.  Sometimes she came off as being harsh, but she had a heart of gold!  No one fought harder for those students than she did.  She was passionate about making sure all students had the support they needed to succeed.  Often her students were the last thing she thought of before going to sleep and the first thing (after 3 cups of coffee) she thought of upon waking up.  Although we often bickered like an old married couple, we shared a strong bond of friendship and respect for one another.  We share a love for our students and our positions here at Londonderry High School.  We shared the belief of being strong advocates for our students and a passion for making sure our students were fully included in every aspect of their high school experience, to teach each student to advocate and strive for greatness.  Sue will be truly missed, she has left a huge void in our lives.


From Kim Kerns, science teacher at LHS

Sue you were always caring to all your students.  Thank you for your sense of humor as you always made me smile!  I remember last spring how excited you were to work with me again in the science program for your incoming freshman.  I will miss our talks and your kindness immensely.


Photo courtesy of Liz Juster
Sue was part of the original LEED team (Learners Exploring Experimenting and Discovering) at LHS.

From Liz Juster, English teacher at LHS

When I think of Sue, I think first of her laugh–joyful, inclusive and bubbling with happiness. I next think of a colleague and friend–one who was my “date” to the prom one year when we were both chaperones and one who truly got my sometimes obscure cultural references since, like me, she graduated high school in 1981. And I will always remember her as someone who was kind, passionate about learning and passionate about helping others learn. She helped me be a better teacher by helping me see my students more fully. I swear I can still hear her laughter and joy filling the hallways of LHS and I think I always will.



Sue Buxton’s daughter Sarah relayed the sad news of her mom’s passing on Facebook. Family, friends and colleagues shared their condolences in the comments section of that message. Here are some of them below:



From Paula Bartlett, Spanish teacher at LHS

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I am so very sad to hear of Sue’s passing. Working with Susan was always a pleasure. She had a big heart and really cared about the students we shared over the years. Recently, we enjoyed sharing dog stories. RIP Susan. You are greatly missed.


From Diane Malley, retired curriculum coordinator at LHS

My heart is filled with sadness. She was a caring, compassionate educator, a beautiful personality, and a genuine person . . . one of the most caring educators I know.


From Maureen O’Dea, LHS Guidance Director

Sue was a great person. She cared so much for her students.


From Debbie Pederson, friend of Sue’s from high school

She was a fun, smart and spirited friend in high school.


Sue and her sister Lisa Spanos.


Kerry Miller, special ed. teacher at LHS

Sue will be missed! Sue was my mentor and friend, she quickly took me under her wing three years ago and made sure I felt welcome and a part of the team. My heart breaks for her family, friends, and students. I will miss my partner. . . She had a heart as big as Texas.


Missy Goulet, science teacher at LHS

I will never forget how dedicated she was to each and every one of her students. She made me laugh and was never too busy for a question.


Cherie Hebert, friend

I’m at a loss of words, Sue was always so energetic and vibrant. She was always there if anyone needed anything. I wish you comfort from the fond memories you will be passing along to keep her forever in your presence


Darlene Newbury, LHS parent

My heart breaks at this horrible news. Sue was a very special person. She always went above and beyond with her students.


Victoria Newbury, former LHS student of Mrs. Buxton 

I am so sorry for your loss, Ms. Buxton was one great person at LHS and always took the time to talk with her students and she always made sure her students came first in the school. I have so many great memories with her that it’s hard to pick out my favorite memories.


Erin Vater, Spanish teacher at LHS

I love Sue! ❤️And I’m going to miss her so much. She always said what she meant and never held anything back. I have only been at LHS for 5 years but Sue and I became friends quickly. She was honest with her students, sarcastic, and helped her students (and me) in anyway she could. I know she was looking forward to retirement with her family. It breaks my heart that she didn’t have that time. Yet still, I know she enjoyed her summer and her new fire pit. I’ll miss seeing her in the hallways, her advice, and her.


Paula Ross, friend

I got to know her through Girls State and she was always so willing to help me when I first started going. Prayers and love to your family.


Brenda Lambert, friend

Got to work with Sue over the past 15 years, loved her humor, honesty and respected her immensely. Am going to miss her much. Thoughts and prayers to all of you.


Rolande Suchocki, friend

So sad Sue was so devoted to St. Louis Parish she will be sadly missed and so proud of her family, had great conversations with her regarding her wonderful family. The St. Louis Family will pray for Sue and her family.


Beverly Ann Tedeschi, friend

I am so stunned and sorry for Tim Sara and Michael. Sue was one of my first friends when I moved to Hudson in the mid 70’s. We have so many memories together from high school. My love and prayers to you all.


Natalie Baker, friend 

Sending my prayers to you Buxton family! Sue was a huge influence in the Girls State world and she will never be forgotten


Staycie Adair, friend 

Such fond memories over the years. Legion campouts, outings, parades . I’m deeply saddened. Sue will be missed.


Sue and her husband Tim at their son’s wedding last year.


Sara Dooly Bernard, counselor at LHS

Sue and I started at LHS together…she went above and beyond for students. She will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers to her family.


Karen L.S. Robinson, video and multimedia teacher at LHS

Sue and I always started talking about our mutual students and then eventually evolved into a variety of topics, dogs quite frequently. I always spent more time chatting than I meant to but today I’m glad to have spent that extra time with her. My thoughts are with the whole family. Gil, I am especially sorry for the loss of your new mother-in-law. Hedgehog kisses.


Cathy DeArville, math teacher at LHS

Sue and I would often talk in the halls and she even gave us the old ping pong table after she knew I was looking for one. I loved our talks and will miss her. My heart breaks for your family, you are in my prayers.


Kristy Buyck, former LHS student of Mrs. Buxton 

I’m deeply saddened reading this… I was a former student of her’s 10+ years ago …she would make house calls to my house just to get me out of bed senior year just so that I would graduate. We became so close. She became like a second mother to me motivated me and she is the reason I graduated…even after graduation. On top of her entire caseload, she always made special time to make sure I was doing what I had to do even calling me at night in between her busy life that she had her own. After high school she still kept in touch. I haven’t spoke to her in such a long time.I believe in my heart that there are certain people who touched your life forever change you teach you go above and beyond Mrs. Buxton you were that person in my life and I will never forget you. I am so sorry for the family and I will keep you all in my prayers.


Daniel Alexander, former STEPS teacher at LHS

There are those you work with who you never forget Sue was one of those people very sad to hear the news. Wishing the best to her family and my old LHS family.


Casee Cullen, school nurse at LHS 

I’m so sad for your loss. Sue was so dedicated to making sure her students were on target. A genuine person and ever the professional! We liked to chat almost daily about little odd topics… I’ll miss her! She was taken too soon!

She was so proud of her kids and the successes they had! She talked about you both all the time! She was happy talking about your new jobs, graduation from the Marines, weddings, engagements… etc…. she lit up talking about you…. and her fur babies…. and Tim.


Patty Polewarczyk, friend 

So sorry for your loss. 😢 I worked with your mom now and about 15 years ago at Library Street School. She was such a good person, she will be missed.


John Tastula, childhood friend

Tim, I have known the 2 of you since 3rd grade at Saint John’s. I grew up on the same street as Sue, I am so sorry for your loss. Know that she is smiling from above. Heaven has gained a beautiful angel.


Dianne Vogt McDonald, friend 

I was shocked and saddened to learn this at Alvirne today. Sue and I had a lot of laughs together and I will always treasure the friendship we shared.


Katie Balfour, former LHS student of Mrs. Buxton

So, so sorry for your loss. She truly had an impact on not only my education but my life  Mrs Buxton you will be missed by so many . Heaven is lucky to have you. Thank you for everything you have ever done.


Kim Kerns, science teacher at LHS

I am deeply saddened. She was a wonderful friendly caring person. I will miss her immensely. So sorry for her family.


Rayelle Thomas, friend

What a huge hole for the Buxton family. Susan could always bring smiles to the people around her. My thoughts and prayers to all of the Buxton’s.


Sue loved her dogs very much and over the years shared many stories about them.


Karen Rivard, LHS parent 

Sue was the reason we had faith that our son would graduate high school. She was our rock, strength, and partner in crime for four years at LHS for our son Nicholas. She compared Nicholas to her son Michael “Bucky” on many occasions and always promised us it would get better as her son turned out to be a great young man. We never could thank her enough for her passion for her job, her love and caring of the kids she worked with, the dedication and support of our son and for her friendship. She will surely be missed. We send our love, prayers and sympathies to The Family, her husband, Mike and Gil, and Sarah and her fiancé. 💕Karen, Mike and Nick Rivard.


Hunter Langley, former LHS student of Mrs. Buxton

She was one of my case managers through my high school years, and showed me that there is still light even in the darkest times. Her humor and compassion was inspiring, and made me feel so loved. Everyday I would walk into study lab or her office and she would brightly say “ well hello ms hunter how are we today?” It always made me smile. She truly cared about everyone she has ever worked with, and all she wanted for was us to succeed. I will never forget her, and she will always be one of my greatest role models, and will stay in my heart forever. I graduated with the help of her ( and my other wonderful case managers) and i will forever be indebted to her. Rest in peace I am so, deeply sorry for your loss. the halls of Londonderry High School will feel a little empty without her. She was one of the best mentors I have ever had. rest in peace to a beautiful soul


Kim Wells, friend 

We are so very sorry to hear this very sad news! Sue Buxton’s life and family are so untwined into the Wells family! She was case manager to my daughters, Alvirne high school with the farm and her son to FFA , parties and weddings! Tim, Sara and Bucky you all have our deepest sympathy for your loss! She will always be remembered and never forgotten! Love you all 


Julie Manni, special ed. teacher at LHS 

Tim, Sarah, Michael, Gil and Quentin- I am so sorry for your loss. Today was way hard. 💔 Sue was one of the most educated, loyal, dedicated, passionate, honest, sarcastic, humorous, inappropriate, detail oriented, organized woman I know! As my office “roommate” for almost 15 years, thank you for letting me steal your tape, pens and pencil sharpener without complaining (too much 🤣). Thanks for the inappropriate language and conversations we had everyday! You made work a fun place to be. You are the real deal and I always knew where you stood and could always get your honest opinion. Just yesterday, I heard you on the phone (for an hour 🙄) trying to gain more information to help one of your students. Pure dedication, this one! I will miss your dedication, our friendship and time together. Clearly God needed you more. 😇. Buxton family, my heart is heavy with you tonight! You are in my thoughts and prayers, Always!


Barbara Nemensky Mee, retired social studies teacher at LHS 

Julie Manni said it perfectly. I considered Sue far more than just a colleague…we were friends. We shared many students over the years, and had MANY one on one conversations whether we had time to or not. I will miss her…I am in shock.


Sue wears a “Mother of the Groom” t-shirt as she stands with her son Michael on his wedding weekend.


Sheila Brooks, friend

Tim, Sarah, & Mike we are so sorry to hear of your loss. Sue was a wonderful woman. She truly loved the American Legion Auxiliary and ALA Granite Girls State. She loved you [Sarah] more. Sue will be greatly missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. RIP Sue.


Amanda Knightly, friend 

I am so heartbroken to hear this. You guys were like family to me when we were kids. And I know we haven’t really talked in a long time, but please know I’m thinking of all of you and sending my love.


Kristen Haley Halpern, Spanish teacher at LHS 

Utter disbelief and sadness fill my heart with the loss of Sue. She was one of my early morning LHS people, always trying to get the “best” parking spot out front! There were plenty of mornings when we’d walk in together in the dark and stand just past the Welcome Center and talk way too long (and complain ☺️) about everything life was throwing our way (sorry Tim, sometimes you and my husband were BIG topics 😉). We suffered through our master’s classes together sending inappropriate texts and sharing eye rolls that would stop somebody in their tracks! I will miss the good-natured – but never settle way she handled every day. She had a big personality and even bigger heart ♥️. She will be missed and loved forever.


Greg Warren, former assistant principal at LHS 

I am very saddened by this news. I started each morning on Lobby Duty with Sue !! We had great conversations and I enjoyed my time working with her during her goal of attaining her principal certification. I do have tears running down my face as I write this. Kristen Halpern and Julie Manni summed it up perfectly. I will miss you Sue. You will be missed.


Sami Byron, former LHS student of Mrs. Buxton

I’m so sorry, she was my case worker at LHS. I can barely even fathom what’s happened. I’m in shock. We’ll all miss you and your sarcastic comments that we’re filled with love. I hope heavens treating you well.


Melissa Romein, Special Education Director at LHS 

She called me boss lady. She was not afraid to tell me what I did wrong sometimes she even told me what I did right LOL. I loved her and will miss her dearly as will her students


Danielle Lucas Loschiavo, choir teacher at LHS 

Sue and I took most of our masters classes together with some of our colleagues and did our admin internship/seminar at the same time. She was definitely someone I could lean on and trust to discuss things about our classes or life in general. We would talk about KSC and music, she knew some of my music teacher friends and we would share stories. She was so kind to have us in your (former) home to complete some of our group projects, one I brought my young son and you all were so kind to entertain him as we tried to put together our presentation! I will miss her deeply and I am so very sorry for your loss!!!


Catherine Bergeron, friend 

So saddened to hear this. Hudson was a small town when we were growing up. I think that there is always a special connection that exists when you share so many years and experiences that have spanned most of our time on this Earth…I loved her good nature, humor and generous spirit…Rest in peace


Linda Twombly, friend

She was a supporter for swim for the spirit at the YMCA during the time I was aquatics Director. I taught both Michael and Sarah how to swim. Many happy years together with she and Tim.


Elizabeth St. Germain, former social studies teacher at LHS 

This is heartbreaking news. May you Rest In Peace Sue. My prayers are with you and your family.


Sue celebrates Christmas with her family.

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