Susan Hope Ossanna lost her battle with mental illness at home on November 9th, 2020. She was born on September 29th, 1961 in Summit, New Jersey. Sue graduated from New Providence High School in 1980 and went on to earn a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She also attended the Art Teacher Institute to further her education and support her pursuits as an elementary school art teacher in the Morris School District. Sue married Andy Ossanna on August 3rd, 1996 and gave birth to Noah Ossanna on May 15th, 1999.
Sue is survived by her husband Andrew Ossanna and son Noah Ossanna of Morristown, NJ. Brothers Alan and Steven Goldsmith of Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ. Aunt Midge and Uncle Saul Meyerowitz of New Providence, NJ. Cousins Debbie and John Sebiri of Morristown, NJ, Adam and Jenifer Meyerowitz of Atlanta, GA, Marnee and David Spierer of Phoenix Arizona, and all of their children.
Sue lived a passionate, outgoing, caring, and creative life. Known as “Huggy Sue” among friends and family, it was rare to have a conversation with her that did not begin and end with a hug. She brought light and volume into any room, heartily greeting everyone regardless of affiliation. Sue was outgoing and sporty with a knack for beach paddleball, pickleball, biking, painting, and collage.
It will be hard to imagine summer days without her warm smile and her dancing while cooking, painting, and playing music. In her honor, we will all strive to be more creative, to wholeheartedly enjoy summer days on the beach, to give lots of hugs (when it’s safe to do so), and to always tell the people we love how much we love them. Sue taught us all to wear our hearts on our sleeves.
Sue’s greatest accomplishment was a career of working with and teaching children for almost 30 years. From over a decade of early elementary school education to her recent years teaching K-5 art, Sue devoted her time to sharing knowledge in fun and interactive ways. She passed her passion for art history and creativity to students through curricula of her own design and many music-filled classrooms. Some may even know her as the “goddess of the art room” from spontaneous yoga sessions that broke the ice and made her students excited about class.
Another one of Sue’s accomplishments was her courage in achieving and maintaining sobriety over the last eight years. We express our sincerest, heartfelt gratitude to the people who helped her throughout this challenge.
There will be no in-person services due to the ongoing pandemic. Friends and family will be invited to a virtual celebration of life held on November 15th, 2020.
If you would like to make a donation in Sue’s honor, please send donations in her name to the Morris Educational Foundation to support art programs in the Morris School District. Donations can be made online or by mail at PO Box 1224, Morristown, NJ 07962.
You are loved. If you, or if a friend or loved one are in need of mental health support, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States at 1-800-273-8255.