Suzanne Marie Egan was born in Newton, Mass., July 15, 1946, to Frances Gotshall Egan, of New Hampshire, and Zenas Odell Egan, of Nova Scotia, Canada. She died at her Orient farm Oct. 12, 2018. She is survived by her partner of 40 years, Cheryl Tortoriello.She attended Wellesley, Mass., public schools and earned her B.A. at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She went on to study Byzantine art at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a master’s degree in art history in 1969.
The following year, Suzanne began her career as an Off-Broadway production assistant, which included work with Robert De Niro in his New York stage debut in “The One-Night Stand of a Noisy Passenger.” She later became Michael Kahn’s favorite stage manager at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, N.J. As a Broadway stage manager, she worked on many productions, including a revival of “The Women” with Rhonda Fleming, Myrna Loy, Dorothy Loudon and Kim Hunter, and toured with shows such as “Beatlemania.”
She left the theater in 1978 to work as a marketing manager at Shearson Lehman Brothers, where she met Ms. Tortoriello. After a year, she moved into the world of corporate events as a staff producer at Gindick Productions, where she began building an impeccable professional reputation. She eventually became an executive producer with Jack Morton Productions, which she would call home for over 20 years. She directed large-scale domestic and international meeting events and product launches for corporations such as IBM, American Express, Merck, KPMG and Avon.
Outside her working life, Suzanne had many interests and passions. Like her parents, she was an intrepid world traveler, with a bag always packed and always ready for the next adventure — be it sailing in the Greek Islands, exploring the Galapagos, riding elephants in Thailand or touring on the Orient Express. She was also an avid equestrian, and participated in dressage competitions throughout the tri-state area. While living in Manhattan, she rode at the Claremont Academy on the Upper West Side, where she made lifelong friendships.
In the late 1980s, Suzanne and Cheryl were introduced to Orient and fell in love with the North Fork’s quiet beauty and simplicity. They acquired a weekend home there, affectionately known as “Bunnywood,” where Suzanne nurtured her passion for gardening. After 18 years of transforming the gardens and grounds of Bunnywood, she took on her most ambitious project — all for the love of two horses. Cheryl and Suzanne had taken a carriage-driving vacation at Beaver Dam Farm in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where Norwegian Fjord horses were bred and trained for driving. Rather than buy a T-shirt souvenir, they purchased two Norwegian Fjord horses, Corporal and Phoebe, that would eventually come to graze in Orient. It was the horses that led to the purchase and restoration of an old Orient farmstead. Suzanne rescued its crumbling barn and outbuildings, and its overgrown fields were cultivated. The farm property became their retirement home, where they would drive the pony carts over trails carved through their woodlands. Suzanne loved sharing carriage driving with her friends and soon “the pony club” was formed. After trotting up and down the fields on a glorious summer day everyone enjoyed “cowboy” lunches.
Suzanne’s love of animals, particularly her horses and dog, Kodi, reflected her deep appreciation of and affinity to the natural world. But above all, and a constant in Suzanne’s adventure-filled life, were her friends. They were the focus of her generosity, her interests, her enjoyment, her time and her love. Most of all, she would want them to toast to a life well lived.
We will gather to celebrate Suzanne’s life Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. at Poquatuck Hall in Orient.
Memorial donations may be sent to Transplant Living Center at Mount Sinai Hospital, Attn: Allyson Reala, 235 E. 95th St. (Suite # 1J), New York, NY 10128; North Fork Animal Welfare League, P.O. Box 297, Southold, NY 11971; or Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Ave. (5th floor), Norwalk, CT 06851.
This is a paid notice.