Remembering Susan Wirth


I am deeply saddened by the unexpected death of Susan Wirth. She occupied a special place in the pen world and in my heart.

I will always hear that gravely voice saying, “Just go through those doors and get the chairs you need.” She knew where the extra chairs, tables, table cloths, extension cords and wall fasteners could be found, whether in her gear or from helpful hotel staff.

Susan was one to take matters in hand. From what I could see she took her life in hand, choosing the less predictable but more engaged path. She was able to get what she needed and still provide for others. Need a lesson on italic writing? Susan had one on the spot. Want to see how a flexible nib felt in your hand? Just go to Susan’s tall well-lit table and try your hand at several nibs on paper. She did not live a 9 to 5 life.

She knew the price of her independence and was willing acquire it with a passion for knowledge, diligence and hard work. She was always early to the event and one of the very last to leave.  How could a person leave when Susan was willing to offer more?  And she would share her enthusiasm with anyone willing to engage. Her love of pens was endless.

Susan was that rare mix of a self-made generous personality that was reciprocated by those around her. I will miss her as will so many others in our pen community.


Publish Date: 
Friday, May 12, 2017

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June 11, 2017



Thank you for your moving tribute to Susan. She was one of the first people I met at my first pen show, and it will be very difficult to walk in to my next one without her being there. She was sui generis--one of a kind.