Susan G. Kenyon, a transplant survivor and nutritionist who was also an accomplished seamstress and avid traveler, died of pneumonia Dec. 10 at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. The Oak Crest Village resident was 77.
The former Susan Gail Lamont, daughter of Clayton Lamont, a postal worker, and Margaret Finch, a mathematics teacher, was born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, where she graduated from Grosse Pointe High School.
In 1965, she earned a bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences and dietetics from Michigan State University in East Lansing, and a master’s degree in the same field from the University of Washington in Seattle.
She was at the university when she met and fell in love with Daniel Dorr Kenyon, whom she married in 1968.
Ms. Kenyon worked in leadership positions in food service in public and private facilities for more than 30 years in the Seattle area. After her husband,who owned a printing business, died in 1995, she moved in 1999 to a home on Cinder Lane in Timonium.
After moving to Maryland, Ms. Kenyon was head of food services at the Maryland Penitentiary in Baltimore. She subsequently worked in several private facilities and retired in 2010 from the Women, Children and Infants Program, where she had been director of the supplemental nutrition program of Baltimore County.
According to its website, WIC “provides healthy supplemental foods and nutrition counseling for income eligible pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, as well as children under five with medical or nutritional risk factors.”
“She always made sure mothers had the skills and support to choose and prepare nutritious foods for their children,” wrote Andrea Bowden in an email. She was a close friend of Ms. Kenyon’s for 20 years and retired in 2019 after 50 years as a teacher and administrator with Baltimore City Public Schools. “As a manager, she was a stickler for rules. She was excellent at teaching those she supervised how to perform their duties and improve.”
A physically active person who was proud of her Scottish heritage, Ms. Kenyon helped staff the Scottish Games when she lived in Washington state and was a member of the Highland Society of Harford County.
For more than a decade she was a member of the Baltimore Walking Club and participated in many 10K walks as a member of the American Volkssport Association. One of the more notable events she did with the organization was to travel throughout Canada by train on a trip that featured walks in 11 sites from the east to the west.
She recently had taken cruises on the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River.
A skilled seamstress, Ms. Kenyon made clothing, gifts and fabric art, and harking back to her Scottish ancestry, she sewed a kilt, scarf and tam in the Lamont family tartan.
An inveterate reader and fan of word games, she volunteered at the Hampton National Historic Site in Towson as a docent.
She was also an active member of Grace Fellowship Church in Timonium, where she covered the front desk, prepared food for the teen ministry and hosted house church, which was a group of about a dozen members who met in the homes of members for Bible study and fellowship.
Nearly 15 years ago, Ms. Kenyon underwent a double-lung transplant at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Comprehensive Transplant Center. She became one of the longest survivors of the surgery.
“It really is a high-risk surgery,” said Susan M. “Sue” Miller, a nurse practitioner at the center, who was a member of the team that cared for Ms. Kenyon for 15 years. “The median survival rate is 7 or 8 years, but she nearly had 15.”
She said that it was Ms. Kenyon’s active lifestyle and habits that contributed mightily to her recovery and longevity.
“She took care of the gift she was given. She was an avid walker, which contributed to her lung function and she was organized when it came to taking care of her health,” Ms. Miller said. “She really lived her life and had a lot of positive energy. She loved exercising and she loved her dog.”
She added: “Susan was a very independent and positive woman who did what she needed to do to stay well. She was very friendly, spunky, grateful, would tell it like it is and stood up for herself. All of the nurses enjoyed taking care of her.”
The Morning Sun
“She never complained about her health challenges, nor did she allow them to limit her life, and was a delight to be with,” wrote Dr. Bowden. “She was interested in many things, widely read, and loved to travel and learn about new places.”
The two friends enjoyed attending Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concerts, frequently traveled together, and attended other events.
A dog lover, Ms. Kenyon moved to the Parkville retirement community in 2013.
“She was a joy to be with and was a good conversationalist, and she was forthright and spoke her mind,“ Dr. Bowden wrote. “She quietly and consistently helped others either directly or through charities.”
Ms. Kenyon donated her body to the Maryland Anatomy Board. Plans for a memorial service to be held at Oak Crest Village are incomplete.
She is survived by a sister, Mary F. Hilliker of East Lansing, Michigan; and two nieces, Abbey Kenyon Nichols of Marana, Arizona, and Saundra Kenyon Richline of Leesburg, Florida.