Susan B. MacKenna

December 27, 1923 - April 08, 2011 

Susan B. MacKenna

December 27, 1923 - April 08, 2011 

Obituary for Susan B. MacKenna

Susan B. MacKenna, 87, beloved wife of the late Neil S. MacKenna, passed away peacefully on April 8. She was a joyous person who filled her life with adventure on land and sea.

Born in Boston, she was the daughter of the late Roland and Mary Baker and grew up in Weston, Massachusetts. Known as Tudy, she attended the Meadowbrook School in Weston and the Winsor School in Boston. She cherished summers at her grandparents’ farm in Northampton, N.H., and in Brooklin, Maine, where her passion for sailing was born at age 8.

Tudy’s love of the sea was contagious and Neil caught the bug. They were passionate sailors, cruising on their wooden boats Tart and Jarge’s Pride for weeks at a time and thriving on the challenges of the sea. Members of the Center Harbor Yacht Club in Brooklin, they adored Penobscot Bay, the eastern end of the Maine Coast, and the Maritime Provinces. Their love of high adventure took them to virtually every Maine harbor east of Small Point.

When on shore, Tudy rarely had idle time. She especially loved serving as a docent at the Peabody Essex Museum and teaching drama at Shore Country Day School with dear friend Frances Smithwick. She also volunteered at Beverly Hospital, the Beverly Farms Exchange, and serving meals to those in need at First Baptist Church in Beverly. An avid doubles tennis player, she enjoyed playing the piano, violin and accordion; attending the Boston Symphony Orchestra; and bowling. She had a keen ability to compose and sing lyrics on special occasions for her friends and family.

Susan is survived by her sister Mary Carr, of Brunswick, Me. Also surviving are her children, Maria Elliott, of Edmonton, Alberta; Catherine Greenough, of Manchester; Samuel Asher, of Eugene, Ore.; Edith Lewis, of Marblehead; John MacKenna, of Arlington; and Hannah MacKenna, of Cambridge; as well as seven grandsons and two great grandchildren. Susan was the sister of the late Evelyn Nelson and Peggy Stewart.

There will be a memorial service on Thursday, April 14, at 11:30 a.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 705 Hale St., Beverly Farms. As requested, there will be no visiting hours. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Beverly Farms Branch Library, 24 Vine St., Beverly MA 01915. Information, directions and condolences at

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