Suzanne Tabasky

Suzanne Tabasky (Degen)

Wednesday, November 21st, 1951 - Thursday, August 6th, 2020
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Suzanne Degen Tabasky, 68, a survivor in life, entered into rest peacefully at home on August 6th.

Suzanne grew up in Malden, the daughter of Neicei and Jerry Degen. In her youth, she developed her lifelong love for animals, gardening, and music, once marching around town in a Beatles Forever sandwich board and performing with her dear high school friends in their band, The Gemini Players.

She attended UMass Boston and studied at the University of Tel Aviv, graduating with a degree in botany. Her studies deepened her love of all aspects of horticulture. Suzanne helped to develop new seed crops at the UMass experimental field station in Waltham, and enjoyed sharing her vast knowledge of plants, teaching proper planting and pruning techniques. She opened her own plant shop, Plantique, in Maplewood Square in Malden, where she sold rare and tropical houseplants and flowers, including her favorite, hoya plants.

It was at Plantique that she met her husband-to-be, Jerry, when her mother and future sister-in-law schemed to set them up. Jerry, sent in to buy an orange tree, was smitten. A couple of dates and a shared Blizzard of ‘78 lock-in later, they married in 1979. Together they raised a family in Melrose, MA and Islamorada, FL in the Florida Keys. Her pets were integral to her happiness, and lucky were the dogs and Siamese cats who found themselves part of her family.

Suzanne was a passionate Zionist and activist and facilitated Holocaust education and awareness. She was a participant in the Shoah Foundation’s recordings of survivor testimony.

She also enjoyed traveling around the country and the world. Along the road, she loved to stop at the local fishing holes, where she spent peaceful hours fishing for bass and trout. Always the avid cook, Suzanne could whip up delicious meals for four or forty. She never met a chocolate frappe she didn’t like.

Her spirit was fearless, and she was a hot ticket, seeking adventure and a bit of mischief in all she did. In living true to herself, she enabled others to do the same. Suzanne’s lust for life carried her through a labyrinth of health complications in her later years. Her wit and unexpected comments and quips regaled her family, friends, and wonderful doctors and care teams with laughter on many occasions. She will be remembered for her strength and perseverance, which knew no bounds.

Suzanne is survived by her mother, Neicei Degen, daughters Rebecca Tabasky and Ella Tabasky, Ella’s husband Josh Jackson, stepson Steve Tedrick and his wife Amy and their children Ethan and Ari, brother Josh and his wife Amy Degen, and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Sam and Bunny Tabasky and Billy and Cynthia Tabasky. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Jerry.

She requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made in her memory to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum or the National Kidney Foundation.

Many beautiful collections were assembled by Suzanne from flea markets and yard sales, including buddhas, blue ceramics, brass bowls, antique glass insulators, and loads of colorful ashtrays. She will have her ashes buried next to Jerry, and spread in her favorite lake in New Hampshire, into the ocean off of Lower Matecumbe in the Florida Keys, and in Israel.

See you later, SuSu. Next year in Jerusalem.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Lebanon Tifereth Israel Cemetery
    Route 128 North (between Exits 25 & 24)
    PEABODY, MA 01960
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Anita Kaplan

Posted at 12:01am
I have many wonderful memories of our time together in Malden and more recently in South Florida . Rest in peace now dear Su Su .
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Abbey Stemler

Posted at 03:33pm
I never met Suzanne, & have only known her daughter, Becca, for a short time, but knowing her light makes Suzanne a hero in my mind. May Suzanne rest
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Tina Pike Amorim

Posted at 07:12pm
Dear Tabasky family,
I was a classmate of Suzanne's at Malden High and send my deepest sympathy at this difficult time. Suzanne was always so kind and friendly to everyone and she will be dearly missed by all.

Mayo Fuster Morell

Posted at 07:33pm
Suzanne Tabasky memory and gratitude

I write these words with the Mediterranean sea in front of me, with a red full moon rasing up, in my town Oliva in Spain; feeling very far (I wish I would be able to hug Becca now), and at the time very close, thanks to the Internet and my close feelings for the Tabasky Family.
I know and have enjoyed Suzanne Degen Tabasky, "only" through her daughter Becca, which is a lot.
I have laughed with the anecdotes of her occurrences and free spirit, I have followed her path and have imagined her summering at the lake while being at the great White Mountains holidays resort, and I have followed her evolution and have been worried about her health many times. Sussane love of animals arrived to me via Nancy and Becca’s, I can see me with her at the Rastro of Madrid flea markets, and I can feel her perseverance and attachment to life.
Her daughter for me is a great present of the life. I have learned from Becca’s rich learnings and wisdom resulting from her supporting and caring to her mother. I have grown up and have been able to transform my father's loss with the support of Becca’s own experience, and her admirable and powerful resilience to keep with difficult situations, and see the joy and strengths in them.
I enjoyed from and have been blessed by Suzanne in many ways. All these, even if I never coincide physically with her. Now that her body will not be present for all, I am very certain that she will continue being present and will continue enriching her the lives of her beloveds in many other and new ways. She will continue living in the memories, learnings and love of her beloveds.
A very big huge - although the distance - from the Mediterranean sea. While I was writing the moon has pass to be white and has already up from the sea to heaven, like Suzanne's travel to rest in her own heaven.
To end, let me borrow this poem hoping it could help with some words  to her beloveds in the transition of resignify and reposition the love to Susanna in new ways.

Mayo Fuster Morell, 7 August 2020

So Many Different Lengths of Time
How long is a (wo)man's life finally? Is it a thousand days, or only one?
One week or a few centuries? And how much does (s)he live while (s)he lives?
How long does a (wo)man's death last?
And what do we mean when we say, 'gone forever'?
We fret and ask so many questions - then when it comes to us
The answer is simple.
A (wo)man lives for as long as we carry (her)him inside us,
For as long as we carry the harvest of his dreams,
And (her)his work moves the lives of others, for as long as we ourselves live,
Holding memories in common, a (wo)man lives.
(Her)His lover will carry her man's scent, (her)his touch;
(Her)His children will carry the weight of (her)his love.
One friend will carry (her)his arguments,
Another will hum (her)his favourite tunes, another will dance for (her)him,
Another will broadcast the seed of (her)his laughter,
And some will still share (her)his terrors.
And the days will pass with baffled faces, then the weeks, then the months,
Then there will be a day when no question is asked
And the knots of grief will loosen in the stomach,
And the puffed faces will calm.
And on that day he will not have ceased,
But will have ceased to be separated by death.
How long does a (wo)man live finally?
A (wo)man lives so many different length of time.

Brian Patten

Mayo Fuster Morell (Oliva, Spain)

Posted at 07:27pm
Letter in memory and gratitute to Suzanne Tabasky from the Mediterranean sea
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