HONOLULU, Hawaii – Susan Raikes-Sugar died unexpectedly in her home in Honolulu, Hawaii of natural causes. She was 75.
Susan was born on May 8, 1944 to Ralph and Alice Raikes in the farming community of Ashland. Following her graduation in 1962 from Ashland High School, she headed east to Sarah Lawrence College, graduating in 1966 with a degree in French and becoming fluent in that language after several extended stays in Paris, including studies at the Sorbonne. Susan continued her language studies at University of California, Berkley, and at UCLA, concentrating on Chinese language and literature. At the time, she was married to Dr. Mark Sugar, a pediatric allergist most recently practicing in Orange County, Calif.
After losing her Gulfport, Miss. home in Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Susan relocated to Honolulu to take a position with Barnes and Noble. She was a life-long book lover, retiring from the book chain in 2012. Over the course of her life, she had lived in places as diverse as France, Taiwan, Saipan, and in the US from far east to far west.
As an active member of the Buddhist community in Honolulu, Susan visited Bhutan, Myanmar and Tibet. She learned the Tibetan language and become a mentor to younger practitioners. At the time of her death, she was completing an autobiographical novel that blended Eastern philosophy with her mainland roots.
Susan is survived by her beloved son, Ezra Sugar. Her parents were Ralph and Alice Raikes. She was the sibling of Ann (Robert) Miller, Ron (Helen) Raikes, Mary Jo Raikes and Jeff (Tricia) Raikes and had nieces and nephews, Hannah Miller, Heather (Patrick) Neill, Abbie (Adam) Gouttierre, Justin (Lindsey) Raikes, Sarah Hirsch, Jessie Hirsch, Nathan Hirsch, Michaela Raikes, Connor Raikes and Gillian Raikes.
She was preceded in death by brother, Ron Raikes, and her parents.
Memorial services are being planned in Hawaii and a remembrance will be held in Ashland.
For those wishing to remember Susan, contributions can be made to Kagyu Thegchen Ling, 26 Gartley Place, Honolulu, HI 96817.