Susan (Susie) Kenney Afflerbach
In the same peaceful and dignified way that she lived her life, Susie was embraced by the Lord and taken from the arms of her husband to cross the Rainbow Bridge. She was guided by her dad Al, her father-in-law George and other family and friends who made the crossing before her. She was met and comforted on the other side by all of the furry friends that she had so unselfishly given herself to: Elmer, Morgan, Ollie, My Girl and hundreds of others that had been fortunate to benefit from her love, empathy and compassion. While on earth, Susie touched many hearts and souls with her musical and artistic talents, generous and compassionate spirit and kind soul. Her first and foremost love was for all creatures great and small. She was nicknamed Snow White and the Animal Whisperer by her family and friends who often witnessed her affinity with and empathy toward animals. She not only spoke to the animals but understood and responded to their individual needs both as a care giver and soul mate.
Susie began painting at the age of 45. Her specialty of course was wildlife art and she devoted her substantial talents to making a statement for her four legged friends who could not speak for themselves. She soon became a popular local artist. She called her business “Elmers Rainbow” named after her favorite kitty that passed away in Florida at the age of 15. Susie’s art was also inspired from her many visits to and support of the Wolf Sanctuary of PA where Niksa, Delilah, Casper, Murphy and many of the local ‘residents’ were immortalized in her paintings. Her domestic and wildlife paintings were hauntingly distinguished by the eyes which truly captured and revealed what Susie found in their souls. Two years ago, Susie collaborated with ten other central Pennsylvania artists to open and operate the Gallery at La Cigale in Mt. Gretna. She was involved in coordinating the Mt. Gretna First Friday celebrations featuring art, music, fine food and wine and assisted with the annual Lebanon Valley Art Walk. She also designed and maintained websites for these artistic venues.
Musically gifted as well, Susie began playing the piano at age five. She was particularly fond of both classical and popular music genres and was inspired by Rachmaninoff, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel and Elton John. The piano was her constant companion overshadowed only by her love of animals.
Born in Millville, NJ, Susie lived in South Jersey, Philadelphia, Florida and Central Pennsylvania which she loved most and considered her home. It was in Central PA that Susie began her painting career and where she adopted and cared for the local wildlife. There is no doubt Susie was put here on earth for others to witness, learn and feed from her soul, just as the deer and turkey fed from her hands. She was and continues to be the love of her husband’s life. She and Gregg were married in October, 1991 and have shared truckloads of memories ever since. Susie is also survived by her mother Patricia, Karen and Jim, Bert, Mark and Linda, Robbie and Kelly her nieces Michelle, Lauren, Rylie and Tatum and her nephew Shaun. Surviving relatives include the Cunningham, Serra, Hartford and O’Donnell families and Afflerbach, Rothsching, Mell and Goldthorp in-laws.
A celebration of Susie’s life will be held at the Timbers Restaurant and Dinner Theater 350 Timber Rd, Mt Gretna, PA 17064 on Saturday, February 1, 2014 beginning at noon. Her friends and family are invited to participate. Donations in Susie’s name can be made to the Humane Society of Lebanon County (www.lebanonhumane.org).