Linda Suzanne Rayfield Whittaker left us on November 29, 2018 after what seemed a brief illness. It was a tough battle after sustaining several fractures in a fall, followed by sepsis, a previously undiagnosed genetic liver disease, and abdominal surgery. We were taken by surprise at the suddenness of this. We had hoped for years of carefree living for her after serving as our mother’s nurse, chauffeur, friend, guardian, advocate, and scrabble opponent for so long, but it was not to be.
Suzanne was born in San Francisco and lived with our family in Germany and Texas before settling in Los Gatos in 1965. She graduated from Los Gatos High School in 1974, and received her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from UC Davis in 1978.
We and her many friends will remember her as one who dedicated her life to children, her parents, family, friends, and her dogs. For most of her life, her employment was with nonprofits and organizations for underprivileged children as well as serving with the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, the Stanford Home for Children, and the Sacramento Ballet Board.
She was blessed with a sharp memory and a curious mind. A world traveler and voracious reader, she could expound about politics in tiny remote countries. She loved interesting conversations, as many have already commented in remembrances. She never met an animal she didn’t love, even so far as to befriend a baby possum in her back yard, feeding it and inviting it into the house. Her bird feeders were never empty. The artwork she collected always represented the beauty of the natural world. She rejoiced in others’ successes. She was generous past her limits, honest to a fault.
After sacrificing herself for so long taking care of Mom, we were thrilled that she was looking forward to getting back to exploring the world. We dreamed together of her getting an RV to explore the country and us meeting up with her along the way. We’re heartbroken that she didn’t get the chance.
If you wish to do something in her memory, please make a donation to a charity that serves people or animals that are hurting.
Teresa Rayfield Klepinger and David Rayfield
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 5th at 2pm at the Toll House Hotel in Los Gatos, 140 S Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030