Susan Freis Falknor certainly picked a beautiful feast day on which to take leave of this world. I’m in awe of her choice, but a little envious if truth be told. I hope her going was easy, at least for her. It never is for those who are left behind — and Susan’s goodbyes must have been numerous indeed.
Over the years of brief exchanges, I knew some of Susan’s story, at least in its most recent phases, and particularly her professional accomplishments. Susan was a behind-the-scenes worker on behalf of liberty in America, so she didn’t boast: you had to know what questions to ask.
We are most grateful to Richard Falknor for including us in his list of those notified of her death; I am stunned that she is so suddenly gone. Her last note was quite recent, as I recall, at most a few weeks ago.
For those of you who don’t read Blue Ridge Forum, I suggest it as a source for local efforts in Virginia and Maryland, efforts to hold back the socialist tide undermining so many of our institutions. They were partners who drew on one another’s strengths to organize and build local political endeavors.
Below the line is the obituary we received from her husband, Richard, a few minutes ago. And here is a link to their website, now Richard’s burden alone…
Susan lived a vibrant life professionally, in her community, and in the bosom of her family. One cannot ask for more than that. A blessed life, indeed. I have the strong sense her spiritual connection to those she loved will be continued to be felt as they mourn her flight home.
SUSAN FREIS FALKNOR — editor, local historian, and activist — died at her home in Bluemont, Virginia this Easter, April 16.
A professional editor and researcher, Susan specialized in putting complex matters into plain words through her business, Plain Words Copywriter.
She drew on her substantial experience in nonprofit think tanks (such as the Urban Institute and the American Enterprise Institute), as well as for-profit information companies.
Susan was president of Friends of Bluemont and had shepherded the restoration of that town’s Snickersville Academy, Bluemont’s first school and church.
Friends of Bluemont also maintains an extensive history website including interviews with long-time residents.
In the policy arena, Susan was co-publisher of the conservative blog Blue Ridge Forum where she wrote most of the book reviews as well as editing all the posts. In the run-up to the last presidential election, she helped organize northwest Virginia working people.
Holding degrees in Humanities and English from the University of Chicago and the University of Maryland, Susan was a published poet. Susan’s father Edward D. Freis was a nationally recognized research physician.
Susan is survived by her husband of nearly twenty years, Richard Falknor; by her brother Richard Freis and Catherine Freis of Jackson, Mississippi; by her son David Ezell and Sarah Combs of Maryland; and by her daughter Ama Dunnington and Tim Dunnington of Nashville, and their children Chance and Petra.
Susan was a devout Christian: a member of St. Augustine’s Anglican Church in Leesburg as well as the Bluemont United Methodist Church in whose musical activities she regularly participated.
A memorial service will be held this Saturday at 10 AM at the Bluemont United Methodist Church.
[Afterword from the Baron: Bluemont, Virginia used to be called Snickersville, and the old name is immortalized in the name of a road, Snickersville Turnpike, that runs through the back country from Bluemont to Aldie. A couple of years ago Susan I exchanged a series of emails discussing the history of Snickersville and the surrounding territory.]