Sue Liu (Shufang Li | 李淑芳) passed peacefully at age 69 on June 24, 2021, at home in New York City. By her side were her daughter BB Liu, her son Ray Liu, and her significant other Benjamin Bauer. She is also survived by her grandson Aidan Liu, as well as close relatives in Taiwan and Canada.
Born in 1952 in Taipei, Taiwan, Sue was the eldest of five siblings and the first in her family to go to college. She graduated from Taipei First Girls School (北一女) and National Taiwan University (臺大).
Sue held many roles throughout her life and instilled a sense of persistence and dedication to all of her endeavors. When she first immigrated to the United States, she worked as a waitress and seamstress to support her young family. As single mother raising her two children in New York City, she served as computer programmer for various international banks. In her later age, she was a property owner and real estate investor, as well as Chinese language tutor. Her favorite job, however, was that of grandmother to Aidan, who was born in May 2016.
Always the aesthete, Sue admired the art and beauty in all its forms. She decorated her home with original artwork; she frequented museums throughout the world; and she took care to look her best by creatively combining clothes, shoes, jewelry, and scarves. Sue was also the Treasurer of the Garden Club of New Rochelle, and would beam with pride when people would compliment and take photos of the flower garden in the front yard of her Westchester home.
A literature major in college, Sue loved to describe the world around her and was a passionate and prolific writer. On her hospice bed, with the help of friends from California, she published a collection of essays about her life and single motherhood.
Sue believed deeply in serving others, contributing to many causes and maintaining strong ties to her community in Queens. She volunteered for the Garden of Hope nonprofit, translated articles for the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades, mentored young teachers, and was an active member of the Rockland Chinese Alliance Church (磐石华人宣道会). Sue stayed closely involved with the breast cancer support community, the alternative medicine world, and Flushing, New York, where she always returned to dine with her friends and fellow writers, buy Asian groceries, run errands, and get her hair done.
Sue always sought out new experiences and found joy in all aspects of life. She immersed herself in all of the the restaurants and shows New York had to offer and would travel extensively with family and friends.
Throughout her life and especially in her last decades, Sue cherished the times spent with family. She loved browsing estate sales with her significant other Ben, cooking for her children and grandchild, and engaging in holiday and seasonal activities with friends and loved ones.
She will be greatly missed by her loving family and friends, who will always hold her close to their hearts.
Sue’s family has requested no flowers or wreaths. Instead, please consider making a donation in Sue’s name to the Garden of Hope, an organization that dedicates itself to helping victims of domestic violence, with specific focus on the growing Chinese communities in the NYC region (https://gohny.org/give/).
A 12-minute slideshow including hundreds of her favorite photos, selected by Sue herself during her hospice stay, can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be-YQgEiLGw.
We would also be grateful if friends and family can share any remembrances (stories, photos or videos) below.