McPETRIE, Suzanne Marian - (April 27, 1923 - April 12, 2017) -
Suzanne's passion for books shaped much of her life. Launched first by absorbing volumes of The Book of Knowledge as a child, her joy of reading led to her haunting the Locke Street Public Library in search of new ways to satisfy her thirst for literary adventure.
Graduating from McMaster University in 1933, she returned to that campus to assume management of the University bookstore.
The sudden increase in enrollment numbers at McMaster following WWII placed great demands on McMaster's bookstore, which focused exclusively on providing publications associated with the school's course studies. Suzanne changed this approach, not only for McMaster but also for university bookstores everywhere in Canada.
The Mac bookstore's new location in the Gilmour Hall gave her the opportunity to fulfill her dream of creating a bookstore that combined the efficiency of a self-serve operation with the appeal of products beyond the college curricula. Adding an array of popular book titles, she also introduced branded items such as McMaster-crested clothing, souvenirs and memorabilia. While this sounds commonplace today, Suzanne's concept was unique and revolutionary at the time.
Her work on behalf of books extended beyond her success at McMaster. Suzanne became a founding member of the Canadian Booksellers Association. Serving as CBA Executive Secretary, she organized board meetings and conventions in locations across Canada, bringing together publishers and booksellers to discuss and promote ideas that benefited the entire industry.
Back at McMaster, she remained active in various capacities, which included as Interim Director of Alumni Affairs, a post she filled for several years. Her work took her to alumni branches across Canada and in New York. In 1988, McMaster marked Suzanne's extraordinary contribution to the university with her induction into the McMaster Alumni Gallery. Suzanne pursued a new aspect of her working career through employment with major publishers and retail bookstore operations until 1980, when she accepted the post of Director of Public Affairs and Programming for Burlington Central Library.
Along with readings, author luncheons and other book associated events, she inaugurated programs that extended the Burlington library's broad appeal, while fostering its role as a cultural resource. Shaping the community facility in this manner was immensely gratifying to Suzanne, and she often referred to this period as the happiest years of her life.
Her retirement in 1995 launched yet another phase of her life's interests. Educating herself on the science of handwriting analysis, she began teaching Graphology at the community college level and participating in international Graphology conferences. She also served as a volunteer for local Correctional facilities, where her handwriting analyses proved vital in assessing potential suicidal attitudes among young offenders.
Predeceased by her beloved brother David Joseph Lynn, she is mourned by her sons David Matthew McDowell as well as Scott McPetrie and his wife Linda (Lauer) and granddaughter Annalynn.
The family would like to thank Dr. F. Fornasier and the Joseph Brant Hospital staff for their care and compassion.