Susan Jane Adams Breen
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Salem, New Hampshire - On January 13, 2020, Susan Jane Adams Breen passed away peacefully surrounded by her four children, Susan McGuire, Lisa Breen Woidyla, Charles Breen, and Christian Breen.

She was born August 2, 1939, in Burlington, Vermont, to Rogers and Emilie (Twombly) Adams of Edson Hill Stowe, Vermont. She was the eldest of three children. Predeceased by her brother Stevie Adams; and leaves behind her sister, Shelley Little.

Susan attended the University of Vermont where she holds a degree in fashion design and business. Susan lived in Boston Massachusetts before marrying her husband Charles M. Breen Jr. The couple settled in Lawrence, Mass., and started their family. After their second child was born, they bought Stony Meadow Farm in Salem, N.H., and added two sons to their expanding family.

Charlie died tragically in 1975 and Susan went on to raise the family alone. No matter the obstacle placed in front of her she persevered through it all with grace and class.

She raised her children to dream of their futures with no boundaries. She was there to pick up the pieces and encourage them to move forward, or cheer them on when they succeeded. When her kids were in school, Susan wore many hats to provide for her family, working for Ford Flowers Company, Shiepes Curtains, Papa Gino's, and Constantine's Florist. In later years, she joined her children at the John Breen Memorial Funeral Home, Inc.

Her life read like a Greek tragedy, but no matter the road blocks she went through them with a smile on her face. In 2009, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and fought for 11 years. Whatever the diagnosis she was always more concerned with the doctor giving it, or the nurse administering medications. Always putting herself second.

But cancer was a fraction of who she was. She was an Olympic trial downhill ski racer, accomplished equestrian, scratch golfer, scenic painter, farmer, gardener with the greenest thumb, baker and cook. But most of all she was a friend to everyone. She made you feel like you were the only person in the room. She made time for everyone.

She enjoyed time in her home town of Stowe, Vermont, summers at Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire, and frequent trips to Stonewall Kitchen. Susan also traveled the globe with her dearest friends. But most of all, she enjoyed time spent in her home surrounded by her farm, her lambs, and gardens. Feeding the winter birds and hand making gifts for all of her family and friends.

Besides her kids she leaves a legacy of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all filled with a tiny piece of her talents. Artists, dancers, dreamers, gardeners, jokesters, bakers, cooks, athletes and caregivers. These are the people that have watched her overcome diversity and seen the silver lining in every part of her life. Even at 80 she was still teaching all of us lessons. She was Noni to Casey, Rob, Adams, Megan, Emily, Connor, William; and great-Noni to Ryan, Danika, Ellsey Jane, Emory, and Claire.

She was a great mother-in-law to Susan's fiancรฉ Richard Shaheen, Lisa's husband Steve Woidyla and Charles's wife Kathleen. She wore so many hats from mother, grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, godmother, aunt, great-aunt, but most of all fierce friend.

She leaves behind fond memories of boat drinks, cocktail parties, banana bread, chickadees, lamb pictures, times in Key West, holidays, sloppy joes, Sunday soups, the best meatballs, her farm, storytelling, her many funny secrets, puzzles, crossword puzzles, motivational texts, Instagram friends, her love of life, Jimmy Buffet concerts, and cinnamon gum.

Susan requested no services for her life. Instead she asked we all celebrate her every day in a sunrise, warm wind on your face, a meal shared with friends or a good book. And being nice when you know it might not always come back to you.
There will be a party in her honor later this spring when the flowers have bloomed.

In lieu of gifts or flowers, the family asks that you make a charitable donation in her name to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123, or a charitable donation to the ASPCA, 424 E. 92nd Street, New York, NY 10128-6804.

"The greatest treasures of all are those invisible to the eye, but found by the heart." -Judy Garland.

If you wish to share a memory, or send condolences to the family, or for more information, please visit us at
Published on January 19, 2020


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Showing 10 of 12 posts

Cary Brown and Kathleen Brown
Feb 21, 2020
It was with great sadness that we learned of Sue's passing, she was so special, a wonderful friend and neighbor who we loved dearly. We have memories of when we visited Lake Sunapee with her and rode in the beautiful teak boat! But the best memories are the everyday occurrances we shared on Brookdale Road in Salem NH when Susan, Lisa, CR and Christian were all young. Everyone loved Sue and she will be remembered with great love by our family. May she rest in peace.
Ann Bulger Coughlin
Feb 17, 2020
To all of your family:

I never knew your mom but what an amazing woman she was. My prayers and sympathy are with you all.

Ann C
Bev and Rich ward and family
Jan 24, 2020
We send our love,hugs,prayers and strength to sue's beautiful family.
I met sue while working at Ford Flowers and she became my soul mate ,mentor and inspiration.

We were together thru thick and thin. When I visited her we talked about that and she said " this is the thin". Then we laughed about our trips to Australia and Christmas markets in Europe.
Her spirit and strength throughout her life is still teaching me to be a better person.

You have not lost a Mother and Best Friend because SHE WILL BE WITH YOU FOREVER IN YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS.
We all love you all
Bev and Family.
Chris Shafer
Jan 20, 2020
I am so very sorry to read of the passing of this great woman and friend. We had the best time working together at Shiepe's and I still have her amazing handwritten baked stuffed shrimp recipe. It is now my signature dish but I always tell everyone it was Sue Breen's recipe. I will keep you all in my daily thoughts and prayers. I can still see her beautiful smile as I write this. Xoxo
John & Susan Traficante
Jan 20, 2020
So sorry to hear of your mom's passing.
Our prayers & condolences to the Breen family.
Mom is resting in Pease.
Danny zarzour
Jan 20, 2020
Lisa, Susan,Charlie and the rest of ur family so sorry for your loss what a fantastic lady she was to have raised such a great family in all of u ! All of Your care and compassion for everyone over the years is a reflection of her ! Your all in my prayers
Terri Rousseau
Jan 19, 2020
I will miss the many talks that Susan and I had. I felt special when she shared a piece of her life with me, whether it was about her kids, grandkids, farm, animals and some of her favorite places like Vermont, Sunapee and her Stonewall trips. Although, I just met her 3 yrs ago, she made me feel like I had known her my entire life. I will miss her smile and absolute positive attitude about life. She leaves a special place in my heart, which I will always cherish. My thoughts and prayers are with Lisa, Christian, Casey and all her family. ๐Ÿ’›
Mike D'Arezzo
Jan 19, 2020
Lisa So Sorry For Your Loss And The Loss To The Whole Breen Family, Will Keep You & Your Mom & The Whole Breen Family In My Prayers.
rita doyle
Jan 19, 2020
very sorry for your family loss, it sounds like she had a great family life, even with her medical issues. and still kept very active. Prayers being said for her and all your family.
Susan Traficante
Jan 19, 2020
My deepest Sympathy to the entire Breen family. I knew your Mom had to be a special woman to raise such a beautiful family all on her own in spite of losing your Dad so young. I admire all her interests, may you hold on to all the wonderful memories that you shared with your Mom over the yrs. until you are reunited again one day.

Your friend & former neighbor love always !
Fr. Bill Waters, OSA
Jan 19, 2020
Although my interactions with "Mrs Breen" (which I always called her) were limited, she was always pleasant, frirndly and fun. She handled very difficult situations extremely graciously. Be assured of my prayers for her and the Breen family. Fr Bill