Susan Middeleer Mleczko, 65

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 8:00am

Susan Middeleer Mleczko, loving mother, sister, daughter and friend, died at Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, New York, on May 9, 2017 with her children by her side.

Susan loved life, loved her family, friends, and Block Island, where she spent as much time as possible over the last 65 years. As a young child, her family rented cottages at Lewis Farm before building their permanent residence on Cormorant Cove. Susan would often tell stories about exploring the farm in her youth - the fields and the old World War II tower that they stayed in.

An avid nature lover, nothing brought her more joy than exploring the wilds of Block Island. Her children fondly remember her leading them through the tide pools at Black Rock, collecting hermit crabs in Cormorant Cove and looking for birds in the Great Salt Marsh. She loved long walks - trips to Southwest Point, the Maze, up Beacon Hill, and Rodman’s Hollow were always mandatory outings when the family was gathered. She loved to fish, body board at Mansion Beach, enjoy a cocktail at The Spring House and listen to Walter McDonough sing well into the night.

Equally important to Susan was spending time with family and friends at their house on the Cove. She could often be seen sitting on their deck enjoying a glass of wine, saying how lucky the family was to be in such a place. Known for her gracious, kind spirit and incredible hospitality, she loved making culinary masterpieces for all. Friends flocked to her table for family dinners that often featured the catch-of-the-day or whatever she herself had dug up on the beach that morning. She enjoyed sharing recipes in The Block Island Times. So expert were her cooking skills, that certain islanders would often arrive for blueberry pancakes before she was even dressed in the morning.

Susan loved all animals big and small. Her children knew she would never turn away a stray, and she herself rescued many an animal in her day, from feral cats to woodland creatures. She was an ardent conservationist — passionate about saving wildlife and wild places. In her youth she started the “Protect Your Environment club”, whose efforts were broadcasted globally.

We will think of her when the fog horn blows, and when the herons gather at dawn — when laughter carries across the Cove and the last rays of sun dip beneath the sea. There will not be an island moment when she is not in our hearts. She was our North, our South, our East and West.

Susan Middeleer Mleczko is survived by her mother, Rosemary Earle Middeleer of Wilton, Conn.; and her children: Lily Mleczko, Anna Mleczko and Harry Mleczko. She is also survived by her brothers William, Michael and Geoffrey Middeleer; her companion Edward Cooper; six nieces and nephews; four cats, one turtle and her three beloved dogs, Willow, Gibson, and Nigel.

in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Block Island Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society.