It is with heavy hearts that we share the sad news of Sue Leson's passing. Sue, along with her dear friend, Marty Hayden, founded the Cranbury Arts Council in 1998. Through their incredible vision, creativity, dedication, and passion for the Arts, their legacy has touched, and continues to touch, the lives of so many.
Below is a tribute to Sue written by Marty.
Her words truly capture Sue's spirit and their outstanding contribution to the Arts both in our community and beyond.
"I don't know why but I needed to wait a couple of days before I could publicly acknowledge the passing of my dear friend and soul sister Sue Leson. Hard to know where to start. Sue and I spent so many hours of our lives together: brainstorming, creating, dreaming, imagining and actually putting our crazy ideas to work. The Cranbury Arts Council was born in the pottery studio of the Princeton Arts Council and the day we dreamt it for Cranbury we actually wrote the mission statement in my living room. We had no money and no idea what we were doing but somehow we brought it to fruition with the help of Sandie Applequist and so many other people, too many to name. Without knowing it we touched and have continued to touch the lives of so many people.
We were inspired to give our children and the people of Cranbury a place to explore Art in our community. It didn't stop there though, Sue thought our kids should be exposed to technology as a creative means and that is why we called our first summer camp the Art and Technology Camp. It was visionary.We had concerts, art shows, Art in the Park, After School and Summer Art programs at Cranbury School and the Middlesex County Youth Shelter, Musicals, student jazz concerts. We also had speaker series and we became directors of Adult Education with Bob Bartoletti's blessing, and on and on. But besides this, Sue was a wonderful mother to Lena and Charlie and second mom to my girls Jessie, Sammie and Meg. She was a mentor and friend to so many of us. So kind and gentle until she got pissed off and then everybody would scatter in different direction. She was a renaissance woman: fashion and costume designer for the American Ballet, seamstress, teacher, problem solver, handy woman, gardener, cook..... She was never afraid to get her hands dirty and share those delicious tomatoes from her garden. She had a bucket list of things she wanted to do before she passed: make beer and write a cookbook and she did. But best of all, Sue Leson was my dear friend and my companion in this spiritual journey we undertook together without knowing. Our relationship was made in heaven and joined in spirit and will continue to be into infinity.
Farewell my dear friend Sue Leson! May we meet again in a different dimension!"
Written by Marty Hayden and dedicated to Charlie Leson and Lena Leson