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Suzanne McCarthy: Sad News

June 16, 2015


Suzanne Ethelwyn McCarthy

December 14, 1955 – June 12, 2015

With deep sadness and love, we announce that Suzanne Ethelwyn McCarthy, née Hayhoe, passed away at the Dorothy Ley Hospice in Toronto, after a long struggle with breast cancer.

Beloved wife of Jay Frankel, beloved mother of John Cormac McCarthy and Helen Eva McCarthy, beloved mother-in-law of Lindsay Marie McCarthy, beloved grandmother of Wyatt Hudson Cormac McCarthy, and beloved sister of Doris Morris [Bill], Elizabeth Francisco [Bruce], Ruth Hayhoe [Walter Linde], Douglas Hayhoe [Maurita], Alice Hayhoe, Cecil Hayhoe [Joan], and Louise Sinclair [Blair].

Suzanne was born in Toronto on December 14, 1955, the seventh of eight children of Richard Scott Hayhoe and Doris Emilie Guignard Hayhoe. After attending Humberside Collegiate Institute, in Toronto, where she studied several languages, among other subjects, Suzanne specialized at the University of Toronto in the study of linguistics, French, German, Greek, and Hebrew, and for a year pursued French-language biblical studies at Institut Emmaüs, in Vevey, Switzerland. In 1978, she received her B.A. in Classics and Modern Languages from the University of Toronto as a French Specialist. She pursued further studies there, focusing on the teaching of primary and secondary French, and receiving a diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language, in 1979. She received her M.A. in Education from the Franco-Ontarian Centre at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, at the University of Toronto, in 1994, writing her thesis on the Cree syllabary and writing system.

Suzanne was an authority on the history of biblical translation as well as written language systems. In addition to her scholarly contributions to understanding the Cree writing system, she was an incisive critic of the recent movement in some circles to translate the Bible in ways designed to reinforce and sanctify the submission of women—the topic of her book, whose publication we look forward to.

Having worked as a French teacher, Suzanne later worked for many years as a teacher of children with special needs in the Vancouver, BC school system. She loved the outdoors, especially the woods, and was also an avid reader and an elegant, graceful writer and poet. She faced her long final illness with characteristic courage and dignity. She was an honest, forthright, humble, respectful, and kind person, and her active love for her children and others in her life was her foundation for living.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2015 12:12 pm

    So very sorry to hear this, and so very grateful to have benefited from her life, as have countless others. Memory eternal; her soul shall dwell with the blessed.


  2. June 16, 2015 12:17 pm

    So sorry to hear this sad news of her passing.

  3. jamesbradfordpate permalink
    June 16, 2015 12:17 pm

    That is sad news.

  4. krwordgazer permalink
    June 16, 2015 1:15 pm

    I’m grieving. This woman was one of the blessed souls who impart freedom and dignity to others, and her influence on my life is profound, even though we never met personally.

  5. June 16, 2015 1:26 pm

    I am so sad to hear of this.

  6. June 16, 2015 1:44 pm

    I am sad at this. I had hoped to meet her in person in Vancouver or Victoria some day. I wondered why I had not heard from her for a while. I didn’t know she was a Hayhoe. I knew several of this family, among them some friends in Ottawa, Toronto, and Saint John. Though I did not subscribe to their readings of the Biblical text, I was intrigued by their diligence, and influenced thereby.

  7. June 16, 2015 5:44 pm

    Fully Adam

    Lying on the soft duff
    A sprinkle of snow on the moss
    Salal cushions the twigs
    And hard earth.
    Splayed towards the sky
    Surrounded by firs
    Watching trunks tower in parallel lines
    Narrowing to a meeting point
    Just beyond my view – infinity
    Crowns spray like black fireworks
    Thrown against the winter lemon sky

    Wandering those paths in August
    Leaning underneath the lacy branches
    Of high huckleberry
    Tart red berries tiny to the hands
    Are collected in the pail
    And musky salal berries
    Stain the fingers
    With their dark bitter fruit
    Cast along with sharp
    Mouth puckering Oregon grape
    Whose lemon yellow sprigs
    Herald late winter.
    Wilderness berry jam
    Brings the woods inside.

    But often I think of lying
    On the warm dirt path
    With duff scuffed away to humus
    And cedar roots exposed
    Fungus in the air
    Overwhelmed by the smell
    Of pungent needles, sage and saxifrage.
    I want to lie spread eagle down
    And drink in the scent of earth

    All are Eve open to the sky
    And harvesting the woods
    But she is fully Adam facing down to dirt
    Embracing that return

    [by Suzanne McCarthy]

  8. June 16, 2015 8:13 pm

    I have appreciated her writings so much. I will miss her.

  9. June 16, 2015 9:28 pm

    I truly miss Suzanne. Her blog posts are short snippets from the enlightenment era. Loved her curiosity, tenderness and her deep caring for the oppressed.

    Suzanne truly lived by this:

    Bertrand Russell: “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.”

  10. Courtney Druz permalink
    June 17, 2015 2:00 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this. My condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.

  11. June 17, 2015 3:10 pm

    Thank you for posting this, though I never met Susanne in person, like others above I have for years appreciated her writing on various blogs, she is missed.

  12. June 21, 2015 12:02 am

    May the angels lead her into Paradise,
    May the choirs of martyrs welcome her,
    And take her to the holy city,
    the new and eternal Jerusalem.

    May she come to be
    where Lazarus is poor no longer.

    May she find eternal rest.
    May she find eternal rest.

    Very sad news. I admired Suzanne’s expertise, and appreciated her welcome and support behind the scenes. I will miss her distinctive flavor in this B*L*T.

    I learned from my friend and study partner Cindy, who died earlier this year of cancer, that the rabbis say that in heaven, we’ll spend all our time studying the Torah. I imagine Suzanne and Cindy finding each other at the feminist table there, companionably studying the texts that they both loved.

    My condolences and prayers for Suzanne’s family and friends.


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