Linda Kaye Sussman
10/30/1948 - 09/24/2022
Obituary For Linda Kaye Sussman
Linda Kaye Sussman, 73, was born on October 30th, 1948 in Roslyn, New York, to Jeanne and George Kaye. She passed away peacefully on September 24th, 2022 with family by her side after living with cancer for six years.
As a child, Linda was an accomplished pianist, athlete (tennis, basketball, softball), and an honor roll student. She attended and graduated high school from the prestigious Friends Academy, an independent, Quaker, college preparatory school in Locust Valley, a hamlet on the North Shore of Long Island.
Linda attended Duke University on scholarship, where she originally pursued a degree in mathematics but quickly changed her major to sociology. She graduated from Duke in 1972 with her B.A. While in attendance, Linda met her late husband, Robert (Bob) Wald Sussman, and they were married on January 22, 1972. After graduating from Duke, Linda and Bob moved to New Jersey for two years prior to settling down in Saint Louis, Missouri.
Linda pursued her doctorate in Sociology from Washington University in St. Louis where she graduated with her Ph.D. in 1983. Her dissertation, entitled Medical Pluralism on Mauritius: A Study of Medical Beliefs and Practices in a Polyethnic Society, was the first of her many projects on lay medical beliefs, practices, and treatment-seeking.
Upon completion of her Ph.D, Linda held a postdoctoral fellowship in Psychiatric Epidemiology at Washington University, and then continued to work at Washington University as a Research Associate in the Anthropology Department and as a Research Instructor in the School of Medicine.
Dr. Sussman's research focused on: lay medical beliefs, practices, and treatment-seeking; traditional healers and ethnobotany; risk factors and treatment-seeking for depression; and the design of culturally appropriate and responsive community programs for chronic diseases. Her work was published in medical journals like the Journal of Asthma and The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, in interdisciplinary journals like Social Science & Medicine, Medical Anthropology, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Ethnicity and Disease, and The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, and in anthropological journals like Human Ecology and the American Journal of Physical Anthropology when co-authored with her husband. Linda served as Associate Editor of the American Anthropologist journal. Her fieldwork was conducted in Madagascar, Mauritius, and the United States.
Linda and Bob were married for 44 years, prior to her husband’s death in 2016. They had two daughters, Katya Jeanne Sussman-Dawson and Diana Wald Sussman. Linda was very active in her two daughter’s creative and academic pursuits. She came to every graduation, concert, dance recital, and musical. Linda loved taking family trips to new destinations each summer. And she loved spoiling her grandson, Travis. In the final year of her life, she was able to watch both of her daughters, Katya and Diana, get married and she took great pride in the strong, independent women they had become.
Linda was predeceased by her husband, Robert Wald Sussman, and her parents, Jeanne and George Kaye. She leaves behind her two daughters, Katya Jeanne Sussman-Dawson and Diana (Jasper) Wald Sussman, their husbands, Anthony Dawson and Luke Vogel, and her beloved grandson, Travis Rowen Sussman.
Linda’s funeral and burial will be held at her gravesite on Friday, September 30th at 2:00 p.m. at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis. The procession to the gravesite will begin at the front entrance of the cemetery. Please send flowers and notes of sympathy to Bellefontaine Cemetery. You may also make donations in memory of Linda to The Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, The National Resources Defense Council, or The Lemur Conservation Foundation