Susan H. Macy


Susan Borden Hyde Macy died Sept. 1 at her home on Lake Tashmoo, surrounded by her family. She was 92.

Susy, known as Sue by many on the Island, was born in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1924 to Robert “Bobby” McKee Hyde and Dorothy Borden Hamilton Hyde. Her mother died following childbirth, and her father married Lydia Tonetti of Snedens Landing, N.Y., the next year.

Susy grew up in Snedens Landing with her parents, a younger sister, and two brothers. The family spent many summers on Martha’s Vineyard in a summer camp that Bobby Hyde built in 1931 on Lake Tashmoo. At the time it was the only cottage on the narrow spit of land between the lake and Vineyard Sound. Lake Tashmoo was a freshwater lake until the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 opened it to the sea. Susy remembered taking long walks along the beach from West Chop to Lambert’s Cove in the years before the hurricane.

At 14, Susy moved to Santa Barbara to live with her father after he divorced Lydia and married Florence “Floppy” Tuckerman Andrews. Several years later, Santa Barbara school officials were chagrined to learn that Susan’s unconventional father had placed her a grade ahead, but they could not argue with her stellar academic record when she qualified for graduation just after her 17th birthday.

She continued to travel east to spend summers with Lydia and her siblings at the Tashmoo cottage. When she was 16, she met and fell in love with Eliot “Bud” Macy, whose family had a summer camp on the opposite side of the lake. Susy and Bud were married on July 4, 1942, at the base of a waterfall on the shore of the Hudson River in Snedens Landing. Bud’s father, a Congregational minister, officiated.

Susy attended college through the war years and earned her B.A. in English at Boston University in 1945. After the war, Susy and Bud moved to Santa Barbara, Calif., where they would raise five children, but they returned to the Vineyard by car almost every summer through the 1960s.

Susy began volunteering full-time in a kindergarten classroom in 1966, followed by two years as an instructional aide in the Santa Barbara school system. In 1970 she entered the postgraduate counseling/psychology program at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), completing her M.Ed. in Education-Counseling and Guidance in June 1971.

In 1974, Susy became the first full-time school psychologist for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional School System. Susy loved her job, the children she worked with, and her colleagues. She retired in June 1993, but continued to work by referral from the director of special education for Martha’s Vineyard schools, from the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, and from therapists and psychiatrists through 2000.

Susy was an ardent feminist. She didn’t join “the movement,” but she strongly believed in equal rights for women and men. At the bottom of a page of quotes she put together to be helpful to mentors and parents, she wrote, “I’m sorry there aren’t more women represented here, but they were obviously too busy to sit down and translate their gifts into words.”

She loved poetry, especially T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and John Donne. She enjoyed the lines of poetry on the masthead of the Vineyard Gazette, and would often cut them out and save them. She also loved to read. After many years of working, she took up reading again, and enjoyed it greatly.

Susy loved to bake and cook for her family and friends. Her children remember in particular the tantalizing aroma of hot cardamom bread just out of the oven. She made amazing blueberry and beach plum jams. She enjoyed being outdoors in the garden, blueberrying in the woods around Tashmoo, and collecting sea glass along Whites’ Beach. She liked to walk the two miles from her office in town to the family summer cottage on Herring Creek Road, picking blueberries along the way. Ever considerate, Susy only picked the berries where the mosquitoes and poison ivy were thickest, leaving plenty for others. She loved flowers, and would often take a small bouquet from her garden when visiting someone.

She adored her family and was interested in and proud of each one of them. She and Bud had been married 69 years when he died in June 2011. She spent the following winters with her youngest son John and his family in Blauvelt, N.Y., near Snedens Landing where she grew up, returning to her home on Lake Tashmoo each spring to stay on the Island until late autumn with her daughter Jill.

Susy and Bud left bequests to benefit Vineyard charities, notably the Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha’s Vineyard, Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, and Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

She is survived by her son Tim Macy and wife Barbara of Franklin Lakes, N.J.; daughter Jill Macy of Vineyard Haven; daughter Sarah Macy and husband Ted Pedersen of East Rutherford, N.J.; son Mike Macy and wife Ann of Santa Barbara, Calif.; son John Macy and wife Joy of Blauvelt, N.Y.; 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and her brother Gavin Hyde of Santa Barbara. She was predeceased by her husband Bud, her sister Anne G. Bjorklund, and her brothers Joe Hyde and Francois Hyde.

The family invites those who knew and loved Susy to share their memories on her memorial website,