Susan M. Collins, or “Miss Susie” as she was affectionately known, lived a quiet, humble life.
“She was a woman of uncommon fortitude,” says Georgia Society President Roy Rangel. “She lived in a simple home. She didn’t drive or own a car. She walked to the bus stop and took the bus and then a train to travel (the 20 miles) to work every day.”
During her 32-year career with the Society as a receptionist, office manager and fundraising project coordinator, Miss Susie was inspired by event participants, donors and those living with MS. She devoted her life to helping change the world for people affected by MS but with very little fanfare.
“She was a very private lady,” says her brother Jeff Collins. “She was proud of her contributions, but she didn’t gloat about what she did.”
After Miss Susie passed away in January at the age of 71, the Society received a $250,000 bequest from her estate, a demonstration of her inspiration and passion for the Society’s mission garnered over more than 30 years.
“[Susie] just wanted to help people with MS in any way she could, and her generosity and passion to make a difference live on,” Rangel says.
Miss Susie was known for her modesty and for her devotion to the National MS Society.
“When she had something to say, everyone listened. She didn’t say much, but whatever she said we took to heart. Some passionate people are loud and aggressive. She exhibited her passion in a different way.,” Rangel says.
Miss Susie was an integral and beloved part of the Georgia staff, serving as the de facto editor and archivist.
Before settling in Atlanta, Miss Susie attended the University of Michigan. After graduation, she modeled professionally in Chicago and New York, and then held administrative assistant positions for renowned professors at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley.
“She was a very caring and interesting person,” Jeff Collins says. “She was an unfailing friend.”
Miss Susie’s dedication to the Society’s mission, and her firsthand interaction with those in the MS movement over more than 30 years, inspired her to leave a legacy that will continue to make an impact on the lives of people with MS.
Generous gifts from people passionate about the MS movement ensure that the work of the National MS Society can continue for years to come. Whether you would like to put your donation to work today or benefit the Society after your lifetime, a planned gift will help stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end this disease forever. To learn more about the giving options and benefits available, visit plannedgiving.nationalmssociety.org.