She was 21. I was 22. We were in love. Nothing was impossible.

61 Responses to “This is how I will remember Suzanne”
  1. Jerry Bowles says:

    My wife, best friend, soulmate and reason to live died peacefully yesterday after a long struggle with lung disease. She was 67. Classical music was one of the hundreds of things we discovered together over the 47 years we were married. The picture is my way of dealing with the loss. I hope you don’t mind.

  2. The photo is wonderful. Be well.

  3. lawrencedillon says:

    So sorry for your loss, Jerry. As far as dealing with it goes, do whatever works.

  4. Really, really sorry to hear about Suzanne. Please know that your friends and many others you’ve been kind to are keeping you in their thoughts.

  5. Jerry,

    I’m so saddened to learn of Suzanne’s passing. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. If there’s anything I can do, please let me know.

    Sincerely,
    Christian

  6. Paula says:

    Dear Jerry,

    I simply do not know what to say. You will be in my thoughts in the days to come. This photograph is a beautiful tribute.

    Sincerely,
    Paula

  7. Dear Jerry,

    I’m so sorry to hear this. What a lovely photo and memories, though.

    Mary Jane

  8. Everette Minchew says:

    Dear Jerry,

    I’m very sorry to hear of your wife’s passing. You will be in my thoughts, sir.

    Everette

  9. Tom Izzo says:

    Jerry,

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Tom

  10. Jerry,

    So sorry for your loss. You will always have 47 years of memories…

    Paul M.

  11. Frank J. Oteri says:

    Jerry,

    Your succinct words are poetry and that photo is indeed very beautiful. I know the last few years have really been extraordinarily difficult for both of you and you have been in my thoughts a great deal of the time and will always continue to be as I know you will be among all of us in this community.

    FJO

  12. Steve Hicken says:

    Jerry–

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

    Steve

  13. zeno says:

    “I hope you don’t mind.”

    We do not mind.

    Rather, I believe that we are each enlightened in different and individual ways by learning from you so directly of your deepest sorrow and of the long love that preceded it.

    Thank you.

  14. Wes Flinn says:

    Jerry:

    Treasure the memories. Know that this community is keeping you in our thoughts. My deepest, deepest condolences to you in your hour of sadness.

    WF

  15. Tanya and I are so sorry for your loss, Jerry. Our deepest condolences to you in this really sad and tough times for you …

  16. Rusty Banks says:

    Beautiful photo. So sorry for your loss. Hang in there.

  17. Steve Layton says:

    The Devil’s bargain: you can have life and love on this earth, but you must lose it. No way to cheat that final part, so all we can do is take and make our moment for everything it is and can be. You and Suzanne did that, and there’s nothing more wonderful than that. And the funny thing is that even when a person is gone, as long as they echo through even one mind and heart still alive, so they are, too.

  18. John Clare says:

    Sorry to hear Jerry.

  19. So sorry about your loss, Jerry. Beautiful photo of a beautiful woman. Hugs from us.

  20. J.C. Combs says:

    My deepest condolences. Beautiful photo.

  21. There is nothing to say other than I am deeply sorry to hear of Suzanne’s passing, my unwavering sympathy goes out to you and your family, and I am certain the thoughts of everyone in the Sequenza21 community are with you in this time of loss.

  22. Jerry,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. This photograph is gorgeous, and my thoughts go out to you.

    Elena

  23. When I hear the name and saw the picture, it reminded of the song Suzanne by Leonard Cohen. If you haven’t heard it, it’s a beautiful song.

  24. eric segnitz says:

    Dear Jerry-

    my heart breaks alongside yours-
    what a thing to share, you’re an amazing person

    eric

  25. I’m very sorry for your loss, Jerry. She must have wanted you to remember her this way.

  26. Susan Scheid says:

    Jerry: My thoughts are with you in this hard time. Your photograph is a beautiful tribute, glowing with love.

  27. patty says:

    I’m so very sorry to read about your loss, Jerry. There are really no words … but I send you my love and sympathy. I hope memories can at least be a blanket of comfort.

  28. Very moved by your tribute, Jerry. Sending thoughts of lovingkindness your way.

  29. John Montgomery says:

    Suzanne was the love of my life in 1960 in Huntington W.Va. She outgrew me, and I was seriously heartbroken. But, Jerry, a little later she chose wisely when she met you! And in one of life’s ironies she came to be good friends with Janice, my own wife. Now in another of life’s ironies, they are both gone.

    This is a time to grieve, as I did. In not too long a time, it will be right to think of the rest of your own life and to find a way to enjoy every moment. You were good with Suzanne, and she would want the best for you.

    I like your tribute. It really brings the past home to me!

  30. Jerry, I’m so sorry to hear about this. I am glad to have met Suzanne. Just as your love of music was a part of your life together, I hope music will help you get through these sad days. My deepest condolences.

  31. Linda Hodges says:

    Jerry, I want you to know that the 50th HHS Reunion will not be the same without her. She was a bright spot in our class. Very kind and loving. She was certainly a wonderful addition to the lives of everyone she knew. I know that your life will seem empty, but she FILLED it with her presence, and it will remain filled with her memory.
    My heart and thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Linda

  32. Erin Fagan says:

    Jerry,

    A beautiful memory to cherish. Our Thoughts are with you.

  33. Christina Adkins Murray says:

    Jerry: Your grief is shared by all who knew her and knew of her life’s work. She was so fortunate to find and fall in love with such a wonderful person as you. Know you are in our prayers. Suzanne was not only talented, but brilliant as well. She will live on through her art and will never be forgotten.

  34. Kim Steele says:

    Jerry, the outpouring of feelings is a testimony to the quality of life you have led with Suzanne. I had the pleasure to know her a bit,and feel the loss for you only as an outsider can. My love to you, Kim

  35. Lenore Baier says:

    Jerry, I was just thinking today I hadn’t gotten a Christmas card from Suzanne. It was usually the first of the season. Your cat cards were memorable every year. The 2010 card was so somber. I feel so sad and am sorry for not keeping more in touch with her. You two were so close and had such a special relationship.

  36. Judith Yancy says:

    Oh, Jerry I am so sorry for your loss. I’m glad Thom and I got to see you both that time in NYC. I know about that hole in one’s heart. Life will never be the same, but let me leave you with a saying that has helped me through: “Rather than mourn the absence of the flame, let us celebrate how brightly it glowed.”

  37. Jerry,

    Thank you for letting us share with You the life of your beloved wife, Suzanne. As being your doorman for a number of years . I like to say that Suzanne has assisted me in being a better doorman, a better husband and most of all a better person! Thankyou Suzanne xxoo Your doorman, Phil

  38. Rayna Collins says:

    My father was one of Suzanne’s professors back in the ’60s in West Virginia and they stayed in touch all these years. My father died in April. As his health deteriorated, Suzanne called him every day. Complicated conversations were just too much for him towards the end and somehow Suzanne knew that—and every day she called and just said, “I love you.” He didn’t want to talk to anyone else, but if it was Suzanne, he held out his hand for the phone. And before she talked to him, she told me she loved me, too. Those came to be very precious phone calls for both of us.

    Jerry — I was doing OK until I saw Suzanne’s photo and read your beautiful words and then I just fell apart—love and sympathy from all of us who were ever 22, in love and anything was possible.

  39. Deanna Wimer says:

    Jerry, I am so sorry for your loss. From reading the above comments, I wished I had met Suzanne and I am sorry I didn’t. She will always be with you and those who were fortunate to know her will surely miss her. You are in my prayers. Your cuzin, dea

  40. Mary Jo Farrington says:

    Dear Jerry, I am truly sorry for your loss of Suzanne…and yet grateful that she is no longer in any pain. It is the bittersweet impermanence of things and it is very sad. I remember when you two celebrated your marriage in the Elvis chapel, and going to all of the art shows of Suzanne’s excellent paintings. I remember the great Christmas cards of her art and then your cats. You two were one-in-love and you are very lucky to have had such an interesting partner for all of these years. I know this is going to be a very tough road to find a life without her and I am sending you my prayers and good wishes. For many years you have given endless, generous, loving care of Suzanne and I hope you will now take care of yourself. Mary Jo

  41. Donna Willis says:

    Jerry,
    Suzanne was the light and love of your life. I know that the hole inside of you will fill but never go away. The picture of her is a beautiful and lasting memory to the woman that you loved. May you gain peace within yourself as she is now at rest. I will always treasure the time that I spent with the two of you. Suzanne was a loving person and will be remembered with affection.

  42. Dear Jerry,

    I am grief stricken by this news and can only imagine the sadness you are living though now. I thought I would be prepared, the inevitability of it all, stoicism and so on, but I am not. I only spoke my concerns yesterday to Roy— we hadn’t heard from her, no early Christmas card, and a feeling of foreboding crept over me. Let me wipe away the tears and gather my thoughts and then I’ll be in touch shortly with recounted memories, my deepest sympathy and wishes for your happiness— the kind she made happen for you both, and for those of us who knew her over these many years.

    I will always cherish the memories of our student days at WVU; I see her, camera in hand, snapping one incredible photo after another—Paper Day. Suzanne was a true artist on so many levels— and what a glorious time we had! She was and is a beautiful soul.

    If there’s anything we can do please let us know from the simplest to the most complex of tasks— in this regard, consider us your neighbors next door.

    Our love Always,
    Marla & Roy

  43. Debra says:

    Dearest Jerry,
    So, so very sorry for your tremendous loss. Your photo of her is just beautiful — just like your relationship. Yours is a true testament to what love is all about! Please find solace in the blessing of your lives together and how very lucky the two of you were to find that which escapes many — true love and true commitment. Know that she is now watching over you — and wanting you to cherish what was but continue on to give your great gifts to others as well. My prayers are with you Jerry.

  44. jessica says:

    Dear Jerry
    I may not have known suzanne that long and i got 2 know her in her last months but i can say spending time with u and suzanne almost everyday and helping you care for her will b something i will never forget. you two showed me that love can last a lifetime. the love you have for her i hope to find the same kind of love. you have the kind of love that can grow with each passing day and if you ever need to talk you can always call me

  45. Dave Soldier says:

    Jerry,

    Thanks for letting us readers know and glimpse into your lives, especially into this hardest and most awful time. What a beautiful photograph and memories, what wonderful adventures together in art and music, and what wonderful set of friends you and she have had. It’s terrifically sad and nevertheless so inspiring to read about you and Suzanne.

    much adimiration and respect, Dave

  46. Marvin Rosen says:

    Dear Jerry,
    We are very sorry for your loss and our thoughts are with you. We love the picture.

    Marvin and Beata

  47. Richard Cross says:

    Dear Jerry so sorry to hear of your loss. Although I never met Suzanne I feel I did and have; wonderful photo.
    Richard

  48. Dear Jerry:

    We have never met but I was so moved by your loving and poetic tribute and the dreamy and beautiful photograph – so full of love – of your partner. My thoughts and prayers are with you over the coming days months and years.

    Sincerely,
    Douglas

  49. So sorry for your loss, Jerry. She is beautiful. Carry her in your heart always.
    Terry

  50. Thanks for sharing your most beautiful memories and time with everyone.

  51. Amy Meltzer Funt says:

    My sorrow for you is beyond words, as is my admiration for the extraordinary love you shared with beautiful Suzanne. Your devotion stretched and enriched her life; clearly she stretched and enriched yours. Condolences, and hugs, from California.

  52. Mary Condon says:

    My condolences, Jerry. She was blessed to have had you by her side. The picture is a lovely tribute. It has a painterly quality which seems fitting to her nature.

  53. Griffith Everson says:

    So sorry to hear the news of her passing, she was a wonderful person, as you are.
    If there’s anything at all I can do, please don’t hesitate to call.
    Stay strong.

  54. Jerry Bowles says:

    My friends, I am touched and overwhelmed by the generous outpouring of condolences. It is proof, I think, of something Steve Smith said in his NY TImes review of our concert at Joe’s Pub a few weeks and that is that Sequenza21 is not just a virtual community; it is also a real community. Thank you all for your kindness.

  55. John McCreery says:

    I am, perhaps, one of the few writing here who knew Suzanne before Jerry did. We met on a C&O train en route to East Lansing Michigan to check out the new Honors College at Michigan State University, for which we had both been recruited. When the train stopped in Huntington this striking woman asked if the seat beside me was empty. I said, yes, and, at least on my part, a crush began. As things have turned out, Suzanne decided to go to the University of West Virginia instead of MSU. There she met Jerry. I went to MSU and then to Cornell for graduate school where I met the love of my life. There’s a long back story I won’t run on with here. But years later, Suzanne reached out to me. She called my mother in Virginia and got my phone number in Japan, where Ruth and I have lived since 1980. Suzanne and Jerry’s friend Neil Martin sponsored Ruth’s and my associate membership in the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, and in 1992, when I flew to the States to pick up our daughter Kate from the Maine Teen Camp, we drove down to New York for a weekend at the Plaza. Suzanne and Jerry took us out to dinner and to see Miss Saigon, which may have had something to do with Kate’s going to Annapolis and becoming a Navy helicopter pilot. Every year we’ve enjoyed the Christmas cards with the pictures of Harold or earlier (what were their names?) cats. Now I look at that picture Jerry has posted and think of how much this distant but oddly close relationship has meant to me.

    Jerry, wow. We men who find these amazing women are the luckiest guys in the world.

  56. Jenine Culligan says:

    Jerry – A beautiful photo of Suzanne that says it all. I saw the notice of Suzanne’s death in Huntington’s paper, and it made me very sad. I only met her one time in your apartment back in 2006 when you were generously donating artworks to the Huntington Museum of Art. However I have enjoyed your annual cards ever since, and always think of you both. You and Suzanne left a legacy of beautiful art to HMA. Please know that all the work has been on view and will be here in perpetuity for all to enjoy. I hope you will always remember the beautiful moments… You are in my thoughts…

  57. Duane Grant says:

    Jerry,

    Words can not express everything that I want to say and everything that I know that you feel and are going through. Suzanne’s picture here is so wonderful and beautiful, as she was. I am so grateful to have known her and to have been the recipient of her warm hearted spirit, kindness and generosity. It was immeasurable to say the least.

    You have been so wonderful to her and to this process through her illness; you can only feel good about that. You were the ultimate partner as she was to you.

    Please take good care Jerry. I can’t get over the community of souls that are here for you and that were / are touched by Suzanne and by you. It is literally awesome.

  58. Bev Lindemuth says:

    Jerry,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I remember the first time I met Suzanne.
    We were visiting Grandma Bowles, and I thouth how beautiful she was.
    She was loved by everyone she touched and she will be missed deeply.
    Please keep in touch and hopefully we can have another family reunion like we did last summer. I love to hear the stories from the past. Stay strong and keep your memories close and you will find comfort in knowing that Suzanne will never have to struggles again.
    The picture is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman.

    Much love,
    Your cousin Bev

  59. Jerry Bowles says:

    For those of you who kindly inquired:

    Make check payable to: St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital

    Memo it Dr E Eden Pulmonary Research (In Memory of Suzanne Bowles)

    Mail to:

    Dr Edward Eden
    Division of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
    Room 3A-55
    1000 10th Avenue
    NY, NY 10019

  60. Barbara Higginbotham says:

    Dear Jerry,
    Just wanted to take a minute to let you know I am so sorry for your lose, what a beautiful picture of Suzanne. She was so blessed to have you by her side for 47 years, may your find comfort in knowing that she is now painless and will continue to be your Angel. Wishing you only the best of memories this Christmas Season, as the ones we shared in New York last summer.

    May God continue you to Bless you,
    Your Cousin Barbara

  61.