In Memoriam: Remembering Former Newspaper Ad Sales Rep Susan Wilson, 68

“Susan was a free spirited and fun loving woman, with an infectious laugh and mischievous personality.”

That’s what loved ones said about Red Bank resident, former local newspapers’ ad sales rep, flight attendant and substitute teacher, Susan J. Wilson, 68, who passed away at her home on Nov. 2.

Susan Wilson
Photo/family via John E. Day Funeral Home

Yes. I’d say she was a beacon of light with that glimmer of rascal in her eyes. I can still see it — center office. I worked with Susan at The Courier, a now defunct local weekly based in Middletown. It was a time when newsrooms were rickety, dingy and packed with chatter, smoke and a constant influx of characters, including those in our own office.

When I saw her face in her obituary, the freeze-frame came back to me. A day at the office. I can still see her standing at the copier, rushed, juggling piles of paperwork and ad old-time proofs that ended up being rolled with hot wax onto the pages. That was the cut-and-paste of the era.

The constant chatter of business calls, interviews and personal business was always co-mingled in this work dump of the most enigmatically fun kind. For the nosy reporter, focus was tough there. So were times. And this was a tough room. And everyone rolled with it, just like the hot wax machine that put the paper all together. Pressure and characters — a recipe for quite the explosion. And there were a fair share of explosion in this place.

Then there was Susan. No matter how harried, frazzled or irritated she was with work nonsense, spewing daily pressures, she was always smiling. Always laughing. Always somehow sloughing it off and finding the humor in the moment. We all did. We had to. But she was the tallest, the lighthouse in the room, if you will. It also didn’t hurt that the copier was center stage, or room, she was tall and she was somehow always standing there.

Yes, I remember Susan. Many of us news people do. That picture of the old newsroom indelibly etched in my mind. Her … one of those characters with whom I may not have been best buddies, but shared many work days and career moments — another brand of family never forgotten. She, like the others, walked into our lives, giving us something to take with us on our journey to our story’s end.

Rest In Peace, Susan. A piece of your story is always ours.

More about Susan Wilson …

Susan was born in Queens, NY on May 8, 1953 to William and Ann Giuliani Wilson.

She spent her early career as a flight attendant for TWA. Thereafter, she worked in advertising for various outlets, including The Courier and The Two River Times. In later years, Susan worked as a substitute teacher, before returning to the sky as a flight attendant for United Airlines and The New York Giants.

Susan is predeceased by: her parents, William and Ann Wilson; and her husband of 17 years, Richard Berger.

She is survived by: her partner of five years, John Doyle; her two children, Cori Kaplowitz and husband Dean, of New York, NY, Craig Rosen and fiancé Gabrielle Streep, of Jersey City; her two grandchildren, Logan and Seaver Kaplowitz; her sister, Linda Mendes, of Leonardo; and brother, William Wilson, of Holmdel.

Family and friends may visit on Friday, Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 to 6 p.m. at John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank. The family is planning an intimate and private funeral to follow at a later time.

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management