ISLESFORD — Susan Marie Valdina, 69, known as “Soos,” of Islesford passed away on May 31 at her son’s house in New Hampshire, where she was resting after driving 8,000 miles with her husband on what she called her “goodbye tour” across America. The cause was pancreatic cancer. At her side for her last days were her daughter, Jessica Krasnow Garcia, her son, Ian Phillips, her brother, Eric and his children, her husband, Steve Krasnow, and a stream of others including her stepchildren, her brother David and close friends.
Soos was a longtime resident of Little Cranberry Island, where she had the Islesford Market for many years, dispensing “Island Gingerbread” and coffee, pizza, ice cream, groceries and her celebrated humor and wisdom to year-round and summer residents as well as the many island visitors from all over the world.
Soos was a special friend of Ashley Bryan, renowned artist, writer and storyteller, also of Islesford, for whom Soos acted as facilitator, travel companion and assistant in many of his trips, events and appearances. Theirs was a truly unique and happy association.
The flood of calls, emails, and comments in social media in tribute to Soos’ generosity of spirit and instinctive understanding of our shared humanity are testimonials to her impact on the lives of so many. She had a particular love of her horses, dogs and cats, and the assortment of chickens and geese on her property. She was also noted for her handmade teddy bears with unique personalities and custom outfits to match.
Soos was from Needham, Mass., daughter of Bill and Joan Valdina, who were part of island life for over 70 years. Soos’ grandparents, Rev. Frank T. and Marie Valdina, purchased the Maypole cottage on Islesford in 1945, which began the family’s love of the island that eventually became her beloved home. A memorial and celebration of her life will be planned for sometime this summer on Islesford.