The following address was given by Rosanne Kohanim on April 13 2023 at a meeting of the North Buckhead Garden Club. It is reprinted with her permission. -John Stewart II.
Sue Stewart was at the organizational meeting of the North Buckhead Garden Club. She happily jumped at the opportunity to be our first president. Little did we know what creativity, enthusiasm and ingenuity she would bring to the garden club.
Sue’s house was over 100 years old, at the corner of Ivy and Old Ivy on a lovely knoll. It was originally built as a hunting lodge when this area was considered “the Country”. Sue furnished it with original arts & crafts furniture, with many original Stickley pieces, understated but always elegant.
Our Christmases were truly special, with hay rides (in trucks provided by Wieda and Bart), Christmas candlelight caroling by several groups in different areas of the neighborhood brought cheer to less sturdy souls. Followed by hot chocolate and gingerbread men at Sue’s house to thaw out our frozen carolers. Sue supervised the garden club members in the creation of her original design of wooden reindeer mailbox covers. We were as busy as Santas’ elves, cutting them out on her jigsaw, sandinging and painting them. They were almost three feet tall and the envy of all.
Our annual fashion shows showcasing neighbors in finery from Saks Fifth Ave. and Neiman Marcus. Our male & female models paraded through the house and out on Sue’s large deck for a final bow on a platform, handmade by Sue.
Our May Day parties were awesome. White linens graced a dozen or more tables spread throughout Sue’s large yard, each with a floral centerpiece. We made flower wreaths for the ladies and girls and wreaths with grapes and garland for the gentlemen. Sue had a little tractor and trimmed and perfected her property before each party. She made and installed a true May Day pole each May Day, festooned with wide streamers and she taught us all how to dance around the Maypole to perfection.
We made nosegays for our neighbors who could not join in the fun.
Because of her love and appreciation of native plants, she encouraged each member to plant a redbud tree in our yards as a further marker of our neighborhood. Sue also wanted neighborhood signage and proposed sketches for such to be erected at all entrances to the neighborhood.
Sue was one in a million. She lost her sweet husband in a terrible plane crash in 1989, when John Jr. was only 10 years old. But Sue continued to enrich the Garden Club and neighborhood with her generosity, vision and energy.
Those of us who knew Sue are very fortunate and those of you who never knew her, … I wish you had.