Resident Spotlight – Reba Susi

Carlton Senior Living Davis spotlights resident Reba Susi and her incredible life story. Reba was born on February 19, 1923 to parents Dalton Dylan and Lilly Kennedy Dylan in the small town of Oak Hill, Tennessee, a suburb south of Nashville. Her parents had a land lease and migrated down from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, by way of Virginia, to settle in the area.

She was fortunate to have five siblings: brothers DW, James, and William, and sisters Marie Pugh and Jane Ray.

Reba met and married her husband, Samuel Curri, who was the Resident Inspector for Chance Vought Aircraft in Stratford, CT, during World War II. Reba was employed there as a secretary in their Sikorsky division. The Sikorsky is a heavy-duty helicopter designed for civilian, military, and firefighting uses. Reba worked for Vought (United Technologies) for 31 years until her retirement.

Some of Reba’s favorite life experiences include seeing the big band groups of the era perform live. This included Woody Herman, whom she saw in Chicago, and Artie Shaw, who excelled at playing the saxophone and clarinet. She also recalls fondly the amazing opportunity she had in November 1960, of seeing then-Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy speak in Bridgeport, CT, mere days before being elected President of the United States. She says that her son, Lou, had recently broken his leg and was walking with crutches. Some of the crew running the event spotted them and escorted them to nearly the very front of the huge crowd. They were so close that Reba said, “We could almost reach up and touch him!” She remembers vividly his reddish hair and very well tailored suit.

Reba relocated to Davis to be closer to her family and has found Carlton Senior Living to be a wonderful place for her to live. Her grandson, Jake, is the Dining Room Manager, and she enjoys the opportunities she has of being with family, and the activities and musical entertainment that are offered. She loves making ceramics and reading, and listening to big band, classical, and jazz music. Her favorite meals include Italian dishes and soups, and a slice of cheesecake for dessert! Her favorite movies include Doctor Zhivago and Gone with the Wind.

Reba describes herself in three words as caring, generous, positive. She admires Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt for their services to our nation, and helping to pull a lot of dismayed and hopeless people out of the Great Depression. In fact, Reba’s husband’s family created ornamental ironwork for many churches in the region, and even made some of the cast iron cookware that Eleanor personally owned! Reba was able to view it personally when visiting their estate in Hyde Park, New York.

Reba admires the staff at the Carlton, stating that, “People are nice, and you can never ask for anything they aren’t happy to help you with.” She would like to offer the verse, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Reba and her grandson Jake.

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