Susan "Suzy" Wolfe was born December 30, 1969. The sixth of eight kids, Suzy's end-of-the-year birthday enabled the family to get together and ring in the New Year with birthday cake. Suzy fought for the underdog; she advocated for laborers, children, and the marginalized in society. In college, she was an activist, speaking out for workers, immigrants, and racial and economic justice.
Suzy felt passionately that the world could be a better place. After attending the University of Iowa, sh returned to school to get a teaching certificate. She taught in Chicago Public Schools for two years. She knew the work she was doing mattered and her students loved her. Suzy moved back to Iowa, primarily to be closer to her family. She continued her education, earning a specialization in early childhood. She used these skills and the unremitting delight she felt in their company to reach out to children, primarily at the YWCA in Clinton.
Suzy's nieces and nephews adored having her close. She gave them what their parents struggled to give freely--unconditional time. When Suzy was around, she went everywhere, played every game, and watched every movie, happy to do whatever her nieces and nephews wanted to do. She went out of her way to attend recitals, sporting events, and theater productions involving the kids. In October 2014, Suzy moved to Pittsburgh to join Sarah. She acquired a position at Hillel Academy in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood working with pre-school-aged children. Suzy loved her work and, by all accounts, the kids loved her.
Sarah Wolfe was born March 14, 1975. It was not lost on her that her birthday was the math symbol π and Albert Einstein's birthday. The youngest of eight kids, Sarah showed her academic strength early, learning Spanish in second grade in an after-school program. Sarah was an avid reader and had an incredible memory—to play any word or trivia game with her meant racing for second place, as she was always way ahead of the rest of her siblings.
Prior to completing a degree in psychology at the University of Iowa Sarah took a couple of years off, staying in Clinton with her family. Mary Lynn (the eldest of the eight siblings) was practicing law and Sarah provided daycare for John, Mary Lynn's son. During that time, she cemented her reign as the best aunt ever, a podium she shared with Suzy. Like Suzy, Sarah made sure to remember each birthday and note the accomplishments of all her nieces and nephews. She returned to Iowa City to finish her undergraduate degree and then completed a Master’s in Public Health in a year. She began medical school at the University of Iowa and excelled there, beloved by her classmates with her rare combination of remarkable intelligence and unassuming good humor. For residency, she moved to the University of Pittsburgh for its strong triple-board program.
Sarah liked Pittsburgh because it "felt more like the Midwest" than other cities she had visited. It was, she would joke, as far east as she could live. Sarah specialized in pediatric psychiatry and was a great diagnostician and a compassionate doctor. Her patients and their families were grateful for her dogged perseverance in finding them answers at a confusing and stressful times in their lives. Sarah didn't limit her skills to work. Her sisters, Katie and Christy, valued her expertise and calm voice as they learned the joy and pain of raising teenage daughters. A phone call to Sarah made everything better, even if most of her advice began, "Well...being a teenager is hard..." At the time of Sarah's death, she had many friends in Pittsburgh, including Matt and his photogenic dog, Otis.
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