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Fw: For any who knew Sue Alexander

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  • Dotti Enderle
    This is about Sue Alexander, whom the SCBWI award was named after. From Lin Oliver: It’s with a heavy heart that we bring you this news. Sue Alexander
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 2008
      This is about Sue Alexander, whom the SCBWI award was named after.

      From Lin Oliver:

      It’s with a heavy heart that we bring you this news. Sue Alexander passed away suddenly this evening. She was sitting and talking with her husband Joel around dinner time, and suddenly, she said, “Oh My God” and was gone. Steve and I learned of her death from Sue’s dear friend Betsy James, just minutes after her passing.

      Steve and I are at the office late, reeling from this shocking and sad news. We all know what a vital life force Sue was, and her contribution to the creation of SCBWI was immeasurable. Through all the years, she helped create, sustain and guide the organization, and took justifiable pride in what we have created together. Just this week, we all witnessed on the list serve her fierce dedication to what she believed was right. There was never any doubt either about her opinions or about her commitment to doing what she thought best for this organization that she so lovingly nurtured from its inception.

      This is a sad evening here at the SCBWI office, however, we can all take comfort in the fact that Sue died without the pain or suffering that she dreaded, and that up until her very last breath, she was full of ideas and joy and fight.

      Sue’s children, Stacy, Marc and Glenn, are on their way to Los Angeles to be with Joel. At present, the family is still making plans. The SCBWI will hold a celebration of Sue’s life at the August conference, and perhaps sometime earlier as well, if her family would like. The Sue Alexander Award exists and will continue her legacy.

      The address at Sue’s home is: 6846 McLaren Ave., West Hills, CA. 91307.

      This is what I wrote to Lin:

      Oh Lin, oh everybody, this is the first thing I read this morning here in Scotland, my hands over my mouth, tears running down my cheeks. Sue was one of my oldest, dearest friends. We first met at a conference at Colorado Women's College (I was teaching, she was attending) and she told me about these two young writers named Lin and Steve who were thinking about starting a new organization. She had just joined. I was the second.

      Sue hadn't sold any books yet, though had been getting published in magazines like Humpty Dumpty. And she had with her to show to her teachers (Frances Keene, Uri Shulevitz, and me) about 40 (I kid you not) manuscripts. They all had a spark, but were still too much like the stories she admired by Sendak and others. But we stayed in close touch (by mail, this was back in the Pleistocene, no email yet) through the years. I went through her first and subsequent publications with her, got her to her beloved agent Marilyn, joyed when things went well with her, sorrowed when they didn't. It was a long distance friendship, emphasis on long.

      Sue was feisty, overwhelmingly warm-hearted, hardworking (for years she turned over one room in her house to collecting the books for the Golden Kite judges), funny, dear, opinionated, tender. . .I could go on and on.

      What a hole in my heart. What a hole in our organization. She was so tiny and is leaving such a big space.


      Jane Yolen

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