Obituary of Suzanne E. LaRocque
NORTH CREEK: Suzanne Elizabeth LaRocque, most recently of The Pines and formerly of 140 Old River Road, North Creek, NY was born in Budapest, Hungary, May 8, 1926. She was the daughter of the late Alexander and Margaret Biro.
She was predeceased by her husband Joseph F. LaRocque; sons, Michael Joseph and Michael Stevens LaRocque; her sister Margaret Elliott, and her beloved “Molly cats”.
She attended and graduated from the Convent of Saint Sion in Hungary. During her schooling years Suzanne studied many languages, became an accomplished professional ballet dancer, and on weekends she chose to contribute to the community by doing hospital service work where needed.
As a young Hungarian during the war years, she joined the Resistance Movement. She helped rescue young Jewish children and assisted getting them safely across the border into Austria. Everyday living was a constant and dangerous task to assist the Jews in hiding and feeding while having to outwit the Nazis. At the end of WWII, she received the silver cross from the Hungarian Provincial for her bravery and humanitarian efforts. During the war years she was trained to be an instrument nurse in the operating room. During her free time, she danced and worked in the film industry. Suzanne’s brother-in-law managed to sneak her to Austria via the Red Cross train when she was 20 years of age where she lived as a refugee for the following four years before immigrating to the United States. She arrived in New York in 1949 as a displaced person. She was sponsored by the National Catholic Welfare and worked as a nurse in Hospitals at Ogdensburg, Potsdam, White Plains, and Corinth within New York State.
In 1953 Suzanne’s friend and colleague, Florette Bernier asked Suzanne to spend her vacation in Corinth, NY. As it turned out, when they were spending the evening at the local hangout enjoying a hamburger, Florette introduced Suzanne to her cousin, Joseph F. LaRocque. After the third date, Joseph proposed. They were married on June 26, 1954 in Corinth, NY. They had celebrated 60 years of marriage, before Joe’s death in 2014. With the loss of their two sons during infancy it guided them both to work with and support children throughout their lives. Suzanne always felt her identity was formed in Europe but America gave her a place to be herself. One of her proudest moments was when she became a US Citizen in 1960.
Her accomplished ballet and acting skills led her interest in drama at area schools - Johnsburg, Minerva, Lake George, St. Mary ‘s Academy and Glens Falls high school over the years. She worked side-by-side with her dear friend, Pam Granger, as an exceptional costume, hair and makeup designer for countless high school musical productions and show choir performances.
Suzanne became a confidante and boy scout den mother, which brought her utmost joy and pleasure. She was founding Director of the Minerva Museum of the Historical Society, where she contributed her services for fifteen years along with 10 years on the Bicentennial Committee in Essex County. In 1976 at the bicentennial event Suzanne was named as an honorary citizen for her devoted service by the Honorable Francis Donnelly. For over 48 years Suzanne dressed the Holiday Santa Claus for the North Creek Fireman’s Christmas event for children and hosted the after-house party for adults at the “LRockery”. Suzanne will be remembered for her generosity, notably, her giving of her time and efforts to enrich the lives of others. She accumulated many friends, hosted numerous celebrations and supported the communities of Johnsburg, Minerva, and Chestertown. Suzanne was very well known for her culinary skills and 5 course gourmet meals which were as delicious to look at as they were to eat; the “Kookery” located in Suzanne’s kitchen produced many sous chefs, scrumptious meals, parties and fond memories until she left her treasured home at 140 Old River Road.
Suzanne had a love for crafting (she recycled and upcycled everything possible) and was inspirational over the years with teaching, displaying, and donating her Pysanky Eggs, the famous Christmas Balls, centerpieces and wreaths for all occasions. She always had a camera for picture taking to document everything. She was a rockhound, world traveler and had a true green thumb year-round.
Her knowledge and wisdom of all things in life were extraordinary; it was always an enjoyable pleasure to be enlightened by her conversations.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to North Creek Volunteer Fire Company or the Johnsburg Rescue Squad.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Tannery Pond Community Center, 228 Main St., North Creek, NY, Sunday, September 17, 2023. The calling hour will take place from 1:00pm to 2:00pm, followed by the memorial service at 2:00pm. The burial ceremony will commence at 4pm, and we will also be laying to rest her husband, Joseph LaRocque, who passed away on December 28, 2014 at St. James Cemetery, North Creek.
Please visit www.alexanderfh.net for online guestbook, condolences and directions.