Cover photo for Sue Jeanette Norton Poplin's Obituary
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Sue Jeanette Norton Poplin

October 25, 1946 — July 30, 2023


Sue Jeanette Norton Poplin

Sue Jeanette Norton Poplin (nee Ritter) went home to be with the Lord on July 30, 2023, with loved ones by her side.

Sue was born in Sumner, Iowa, on October 25, 1946. She was the daughter of Earl Conrad Ritter and Doris Jeanette (Kuhlmeier) Ritter. Sue graduated from Sumner High School in 1964 and continued her education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where she discovered her love of art. Upon graduation in 1968, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and was certified to teach all levels of art education.

She began teaching art at Holbrook MA Public Schools. She also taught in Hampton and Hampstead NH public schools. Sue spent the last twenty-two years of her career in the Monadnock Regional School District, primarily in Swanzey. A devoted educator, she enhanced her professionalism through continuing education. Culminating in a Master of Education from Antioch New England Graduate School.

Sue imparted the excitement of creativity to her students, and she practiced many forms of art. From conventional painting, to sculpture, and mixed media forms, her talents are showcased in her home, her garden, and her artistry of homemade cards and gifts.  Sue’s art united her hands and heart to create objects of beauty and truth. Whether whimsical that kindled a smile or profound that illuminated the human condition, Sue’s art deeply spoke to the celebratory, creative spirit we all share.

Sue was proud of her home and gardens; she spent hours meticulously tending them so she would have cut flowers all summer. When she purchased her house in 1997, she wondered why. She realized it was the view of Mount Monadnock that gave peace to her soul. So, she restored it creating a warm home.  Sue was an entrepreneur, creating and repairing vintage porcelain dolls. She produced the dolls in her kiln and hand sewed the clothes. 

One of Sue’s ongoing projects was creating a tribute to female artists worldwide. She was working to alter an art history textbook that was bereft of women talent.  Her research efforts had the support of over ninety-six female artists. Moreover, she was involved in the Women’s Caucus for Art in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  

Along this busy life, she reared two children and brought another into the family.  Sue played an active role in the life of her church, as the past co-chair of the staff-pastor-parish relations committee, active in the prayer shawl knitting group, and chair of Congregational Care Group. Although in declining health, she never stopped performing her assigned role and continued to support members facing tragedy, sickness, and distress.

Sue was predeceased by her parents and brother Jack Ritter. She leaves behind the love of her life, husband James Poplin, of Jaffrey; her daughter, Heather Johnson and husband Jason and granddaughters, Regan and Ryleigh, and grandson, Asher, of Northwood, NH; sons, Patrick Norton of Bowdoin, ME, and Mark Gelardi and his daughter, Chiara, of Fayetteville, NY; stepdaughter, Lynne Snyder and husband Scott Snyder of Williamsburg, VA, and their daughters: Lillian, Delanie, Samantha, and Abigail Fox and husband, Joe; stepson James Poplin, Jr. and wife Leah and daughter Sophie of Aurora, CO; stepson Mark Earley and wife Mara, and their son Blai, and daughter Thais of Wakefield, MA, a niece Jennifer Schulz and husband Bill of Fredericksburg IA, and a nephew Jason Ritter of Boco Rotan, FL, as well as many friends in the education and art community in NH and MA.

A celebration of life will be held for Sue at the Peterborough United Methodist Church, 43 Concord Street, Peterborough, NH, on August 26, beginning at 2:00PM. Rev. Lourey Savick and Pastor Thom Demers will officiate. A reception will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, please donate in honor of Sue Norton Poplin to Fast Friends Greyhound Adoption, 14 West Swanzey Road, Swanzey, NH, 03446 or Peterborough United Methodist Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sue Jeanette Norton Poplin, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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