Susan D. Van Leer, 90, died Jan. 15

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Susan D. Van Leer passed peacefully at home in the presence of family on Jan. 15, 2021. She had recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

Born in Pittsburgh Dec. 31,1930, Sue was raised with her younger sister Alice in Verona, N.J., by her parents James and Francis Duff. She graduated from Smith College.

In 1954 she married Ted Van Leer, her friend and partner for 66 years. Sue and Ted settled in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, to raise a family in close proximity to Van Leer Chocolate, the family owned firm located in Jersey City. Like nearly all family members, Sue helped out at the family firm, especially through her participation in trade fairs and other industry events. The family attended Glen Ridge Congregational Church during this period.

She is survived by her husband Ted and their children Tad, Katie, Peter and Mary; nine nieces and nephews, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Sue’s upbringing and education instilled a sense of purpose towards volunteering in the service of others. Throughout her life she enjoyed serving her community. Interests and activities included Glen Ridge Board of Education, Planned Parenthood, Rockbridge Area Hospice, Waddell School Roots and Shoots, Lexington Garden Club, and a founding member of Project Horizon. She supported RARA and The Rockbridge Community Foundation.

Sue enjoyed the culture and educational opportunities that a university town like Lexington offers. She audited courses regularly at the university and especially enjoyed participating in The Ignorance Club. Ted and Sue attended Lexington Presbyterian Church. Sue was a gourmet cook and willing hostess. She enjoyed spending her time traveling with Ted, at home in Virginia, or lake-side in Maine with friends and family.

Sue was a profound presence and friend who treated all with patience, candor, grace and humor. She is, and will be, sorely missed. In lieu of flowers, please consider gifts to an organization named above or your local food bank. Thank you!

Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.


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