Great Neck resident Suzanne Gross, known to all as Suzette, died
Monday, March 29 of natural causes. She was 94.
Suzette and husband Daniel moved to Great Neck in 1954, settling
in Thomaston and raising three children. Both were active in community
service throughout their lives.
Suzette supported civic, humanitarian, and environmental causes she believed
in through passionate advocacy and philanthropy. Even in her 80’s, she went door
to door to neighbors, campaigning independently for Barack Obama.
Suzette was born in New York, in an era of open antisemitism and
xenophobia, to Sephardic immigrants from Rhodes and Turkey; her native
tongue was Ladino, a medieval language unique to Spanish Jews. Bigotry
experienced in childhood colored her convictions. A graduate of Queens
College, she earned an Elementary Education M.A. from Adelphi University,
taught first grade in the NYC Public Schools bilingual education program
17 years, and in retirement volunteered at Community Organization of
Parents and Youth (COPAY Inc.), tutoring children in English and Spanish,
working closely with hundreds of families, and advocating for funding. She
served on COPAY’s Board 20 years and was President three times. CEO Maria
Cuadra remembers her as a dedicated advocate, organizer, fundraiser, and
In 2004 the National Association of Puerto Rican/Hispanic Social Workers
honored Suzette with its Humanitarian Award, citing her volunteerism, advocacy,
philanthropy, and consistent dedicated service to the Hispanic community.
An avid reader, fun companion, and nurturing cook, Suzette was deeply
devoted to her family and friends, who will remember her as loving,
intelligent, fair minded, generous, and kind.
Suzette is survived by children Harry (Nancy E. Keegan), Elyse Brown, and
Janet, sister Rady Bruell, grandchildren Jason Hanleybrown (Fay), RB and
Dylan Brown (Emma Masiello), great-grandchildren Zanthe, Isla, and
Jordan Hanleybrown, and many cherished cousins, nieces, and
nephews. Her husband Daniel died in 2012.