Suzanne L. Carson, who headed The Villa nursing home after working as a University of Maryland Shock Trauma lab chief, died of stroke and diabetic complications Sunday at her Parkville home. She was 57.
Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology at Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y., and a medical technology degree from a U.S. Public Service Hospital, also in upstate New York, the next year. She then received a master's degree in microbiology from Wagner College on Staten Island, N.Y.
After moving to Maryland in 1980, she worked at the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and was a laboratory manager in the 1990s.
"As a student, she liked biology and plants and saw the potential application of her interest in the medical-technology field," said her brother, Charles F. Carson of Rome City, Ind.
Miss Carson earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Maryland, College Park and became a certified laboratory manager in 1994 and a licensed nursing home administrator in 1998.
About that time, she decided to go into nursing administration and became the chief administrator of The Villa, a Bellona Avenue retirement and nursing home for the Sisters of Mercy and the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, the Roman Catholic religious orders.
"Suzanne was universally beloved by the sisters and staff," said Sister Faith McKean of the Sisters of Mercy. "She was very intelligent and had the gift of talking to you, never over your head or in a condescending manner. She made everyone here feel special without playing favorites."
Another member of the retirement community, Sister Aurelia Benedetto, said that Miss Carson "was the essence of hospitality who always kept her door open."
Sister Helen Sigrist, another member of The Villa, said that Miss Carson was equally present in the retirement community as well as in the infirmary.
"She was here for all of us who are retired," Sister Helen said. "She was always willing to listen and to respond."
Family members said Miss Carson was a baseball fan and that opening day was her favorite day of the year. Although she had Orioles season tickets for many years, she remained an ardent Detriot Tigers enthusiast. She enjoyed photography and played golf until poor health forced her to stop playing. She traveled to more than 70 countries on five continents and to most U.S. states.
She was a member of St. Ursula Roman Catholic Church in Parkville.
Services will be held at noon today at the Evans Funeral Chapel, 8800 Harford Road in Parkville.
In addition to her brother, survivors include another brother, Michael A. Carson of Toledo; two sisters, Barbara McCarthy of Falls Church, Va., and Cynthia Carson of Toledo; three nephews; and four nieces.