LEWISBORO, N.Y. – After a five-year battle with ovarian cancer, Susan Kuper, one of Lewisboro’s most active volunteers, died on Tuesday. She was 56.
Kuper owned Susan Kuper Real Estate LLC on Spring Street, but was perhaps best known for her participation in a wide variety of civic organizations, as well as for her entrepreneurial spirit.
Her voluntary endeavors included the Westchester Land Trust, where she was a member of the Annual Gala and Preservation Committees; the Lewisboro Land Trust where she was a member of the Advisory Board; chair of the Annual Garden Tour and member of the Preservation Committee.
She was also a member of the Lewisboro Garden Club, helped design the corn maze for the Library Fair and worked for the group’s Golden Roads daffodil-planting program. She volunteered for the Lewisboro Horseman Association as well.
Her real estate business was a sponsor of the annual Fourth of July fireworks, the Library Fair and the Wolf Conservation Center. It also supported the Lewisboro Police Benevolent Association, the South Salem Fire Department and the Lewisboro Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
"Susan was very energetic and very outgoing and made lots of friends,” her mother-in-law Marion Sader said. “She didn’t just join – she organized. She never criticized anyone and was a very accepting and optimistic person – a person who saw the good in everyone.”
Sader said Kuper was also “wonderfully adept at technical things – a born engineer and carpenter."
"She didn’t have a lazy bone in her body," Sader added. At Kuper's service, Sader said the rabbi called Kuper a ‘serial entrepreneur.'"
Kuper grew up in the Bronx, but her family said she loved living in Lewisboro.
“Living in the country was the happiest time of her life,” Sader said. “She loved gardening and she loved the lake and liked to go canoeing.”
She was married to her husband, Ward, for 10 years. He said that despite her busy schedule, she protected her time with him.
“She made a lot of time for me and tried not to do real estate on weekends so we could do fun stuff,” he said.
“She was selfless and she was positive all the time,” he added. “She was very strong and very kind; that’s what everybody said about her. She put herself last all the time.”
Before becoming a real estate agent she was athletic director at Elizabeth Seton College in Yonkers where she was coach of the men’s baseball and men’s basketball teams.
“She was probably one of the first women to [coach a men’s team],” Ward said. “I don’t know for sure, but it was in the ‘70s.”
Jay Luzzi, president of the Lewisboro Garden Club, said the club was planning a tribute in Kuper’s honor.
“What stood out most about Susan, while she was battling the cancer, was her positive, sunny attitude,” Luzzi said. “Susan always showed-up volunteering for everything and smiling. The club will be making a donation to Ovarian Cancer Research in her name, and we plan to do a special planting in her honor as well.”
Besides her husband, she is survived by her father, Herbert and brother, Richard.
A service was held on Wednesday at the Congregation Sons of Israel in Briarcliff Manor. Donations may be made in her name to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.