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Faithful and Compassionate Servant

Posted May 11, 2021 in Obituaries

Sister Suzanne Cubbison was a modest and humble presence in the world, quietly contributing to the reign of God in a variety of ways.  Her innovative ministry in her latter years is a testimony to her enduring generosity, dedication and dynamic adaptability. Although she was rarely the center of attention, she was determined and enthusiastic.  She wanted nothing more than to use her skills to serve others and improve their lives. Sister Suzanne continued in this vein until she was 91.  Retirement was not in her vocabulary or life plans.

Cora Marie Cubbison was born March 3, 1928 in Butler, Pennsylvania, the oldest of five daughters born to Evelyn and Raymond Cubbison. She was baptized there at St. Peter Church and then received the remainder of her sacraments and her elementary education at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Cleveland.  Her high school years were spent at St. Francis High School and Villa Angela Academy in Cleveland. Three months after graduating from Villa Angela, she entered the Ursuline Nuns of Cleveland.  When she began her novitiate a year later, she was given the name Suzanne.  She professed her final vows in 1952.

Sister Suzanne attended Ursuline College for Women and St. John College and earned her bachelor’s degree in 1959. Even before completing her college education, she became a kindergarten teacher at Christ the King School (Cleveland).

After graduation from St. John College, Sister Suzanne spent many years teaching in elementary schools in the diocese, including St. Mary Magdalene (Willowick), St. Mary (Mentor), St. Paul (Euclid), St. Catherine (Cleveland), Immaculate Conception (Willoughby), St. Francis de Sales (Parma), St. Joseph (Collinwood) and Holy Cross (Euclid). During this time she also served as CCD (PSR) principal and Religion Coordinator at various schools.  In 1984 Sister Suzanne became the Assistant Business Manager at Villa Angela Academy and then assisted in the creation of the new, merged school, Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School.

With her well-honed business and financial skills and her steadfast spirit, she moved into new ministries outside of education.  She served at Security First and Stamco & Sopko.  Then Sister Suzanne courageously moved to Pittsburgh, PA, where she served as manager/assistant manager at Beechview Manor, Christian Housing, Inc. and Germaine House.  While at Beechview Manor, she was a significant presence where her compassion and concern were noted and appreciated.  Her skills also contributed to an award for Beechview from HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs which selected the facility as one of the country’s top 1,000 performing properties. Additionally, she wrote a grant to fund the purchase of new computers and for training for senior residents for whom this was a new foray into the world of technology. During this time she also became a part-time secretary for Housing and Urban Development in Pittsburgh.

As a young-at-heart octogenarian, Sister Suzanne moved back to the Cleveland area and began to work in the congregation’s Finance Office. When she celebrated her Diamond Jubilee marking 70 years of religious life, Sister Suzanne was still working almost full time to be of service to her sisters. It was only when her health forced her to leave the office in 2019 that she moved to Regina Health Center where she was residing until she left for residential hospice care. Sister Suzanne died on May 11, 2021 at David Simpson Hospice House.

In her last innovative decision, Sister Suzanne chose a natural burial for her final resting place.  She is leading the way for other Ursuline sisters who have made the choice for green burial when they die.

She is survived by her sisters Rosemary Smrekar and Annette Iorfida and nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Rae Ann Busic and Eileen Schade.

Donations in her memory can be made to the Ursuline Sisters.

Funeral Services
Private Burial, All Souls Cemetery
Memorial Liturgy at a future date