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Suzanne Charlotte Festag Colp

Beloved sister, aunt, chef, volunteer, small business owner, furniture restorer, antiques dealer

Suzanne Charlotte Festag Colp, a longtime Phoenicia, New York resident, died Monday, Nov. 9, 2020 at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, from injuries sustained in a fall at her home last July. She was 67. 

A native Californian, Suzanne was born on April 8, 1953 and raised in Claremont. She graduated from Claremont High School in 1971 and attended Chaffey Community College. After a few years in the Colorado Rockies, she found herself in New Jersey, where she met her future husband, Dwayne, a master woodworker and drummer, and her life’s love. 

Together they moved north, stopping for a short time in Stone Ridge, New York before discovering the place they would call home for over 30 years, Phoenicia, a small town of 300 nestled in a forest preserve in New York’s Catskill Mountains. The couple owned and operated Acorn Antiques and the Craftsman’s Gallery in Phoenicia, crafting beautiful furniture, giving new life to exquisite antiques, all the while cooking up amazing meals to warm their souls in the wintertime and fill them with light as the weather warmed. 

She was passionate about food and over the years engaged in many opportunities to enhance and use her culinary skills. She studied cuisine in India and Ireland, started a small business providing meals to private jets, and honored her strong belief in social justice and the role food plays in a quality life by volunteering for many years at the local food pantry, purchasing food and stretching dollars whenever she could, especially during the holiday season. She catered local events, volunteered as a secret Santa making holiday baskets, and was known around town for her artistic planters and storefront window displays along Main Street, and her work planting flowers at the creek park across from their home. 

Ms. Colp was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Dwayne; her parents, William and Garland Festag; and her sister, Candice Feezell Baldridge. 

She leaves behind two sisters, Kristin Carson (Andy) of Nashville, Tennessee, and Sharrie Lord (Anthony) of Orangevale, California; four nephews, Daniel Feezell, Eric Feezell, Jeremy Lord and John Lord; six nieces, Brittany Lord, Julia Gorajewski, Ksenia Baldridge, Anastasia Baldridge, Lisa Carson and Kate Suzanne Carson; and seven great nieces and nephews, Miles and Evan Feezell, Holly Feezell, Marilyn Gorajewski, Artemis Lord, and Hazel and Zachary Lord, “Who was born only days after her passing and we hope met his Great Aunt Suzanne on his way into this world as she was bidding adieu to it,” her family shared. “She will be greatly missed by all of us.” 

A gathering of remembrance in the spring will be announced by the E.B. Gormley Funeral Home in Phoenicia.  

Ms. Colp was a community activist with a warm and generous heart. Providing food to those in need was a particular mission of hers over the years. In lieu of flowers, if you would like to make a memorial contribution in her honor, please consider the Phoenicia Food Pantry at https://regionalfoodbank.net/agencies/phoenicia-umc-food-pantry, or the Reservoir Food Pantry at  https://www.reservoirfoodpantry.org. 

Two Wolves – A Cherokee Parable

“An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

‘A fight is going on inside me,’ he said to the boy.

‘It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person, too.’

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,

‘Which wolf will win?’

The old chief simply replied,

‘The one you feed.’”

~ Author Unknown

Her family encourages friends and family to share their thoughts and memories on Suzanne’s tribute wall at www.gormleyfuneralhome.com.

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