Cover photo for Suzanne Gebhart's Obituary
Suzanne Gebhart Profile Photo
1946 Suzanne 2023

Suzanne Gebhart

September 12, 1946 — September 15, 2023

Santa Fe, New Mexico

-Suzanne Gebhart Lawrence, 77
Suzanne was born in Richmond, VA to Carl and Hazel Parrish, their only child, and was raised in Front Royal, VA. After graduating from Randolph Macon Women's College in 1968, she enrolled in the Medical College of Virginia, one of only 6 women in her class, where she met her first husband, Ronald Gebhart. Upon obtaining her MD, Suzanne joined Ron in the US Air Force and completed her medical training in Texas, El Salvador, Spain, England, and finally back in Richmond, VA, before leaving the military and accepting a position as a Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology) at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. During their time in the Air Force, Suzanne and Ron also welcomed two new associates to their practice, their daughter Skyler and son Douglas.
In Atlanta, Suzanne spent her professional life as a dedicated physician, serving as Director of the Emory Clinic Diabetes Unit from 1984-1999, and conducting leading-edge research on Type II Diabetes for the remainder of her tenure. In her personal life, Suzanne's passion for learning and keen memory forged an encyclopedia-like trove of information in her mind on a wide variety of subjects. She often used this impressive fount of knowledge to tell "pastramis," outlandish tales of nonsense with just enough facts sprinkled in to feel true. Getting caught up in one of her pastramis was a hilarious experience, and a true sign of affection from her.
After 21 years at Emory, Suzanne retired and embarked on her next great adventure. While hiking in Peru, she met Richard "Dick" Lawrence of New Mexico, a retired businessman, photographer, pilot, and fellow world-traveler. Dick and Suzanne quickly recognized each other as kindred spirits and fell in love, marrying in 2006 and shortly thereafter leaving Atlanta to build their dream home in the mountains south of Santa Fe. Suzanne's mother, Hazel, lived with them until her death in 2013. Once in Santa Fe, Suzanne quickly immersed herself in her new community, serving as Chair of the Santa Fe Children and Youth Commission, as well as the Task Force for Healthy Lifestyles in Children and Adolescents, and Director of the Diabetes Program at La Familia Medical Center. She also volunteered as a groundskeeper for the Santa Fe Opera, underwent certification to become a Master Gardener, and joined several organizations that would come to mean a great deal to her, including the Tuesday Women's Hiking Group, the "Mountain Women" lunch club, and St. Bede's Episcopal Church. Through each of these, she made friendships that transformed her life for the past 18 years and brought a wealth of joy, support, companionship, and dinner parties.
Suzanne was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in July 2023 and quickly set her own navigational course, as independently and purposefully as she did everything else in her life. She left this world peacefully at home on Sept 15 via medical assistance, with her husband and children at her side. Dick joined her two weeks later, not content to let her go, haring off on adventures without him.
Suzanne is survived by her children, Skye Gebhart (Jerry Kuhn) and Doug Gebhart (Lauren), and grandchildren Logan and Addison. She is additionally survived by Dick's children, Karen and Jim Voorhees, Tina and Peter Pfeifer, and Andrew and Laura Lawrence, and grandchildren Galen, Liam, Emily, Amanda, and Meliah. She also leaves behind many dear friends and extended family members, and one very sassy Abert's squirrel named Alice. Suzanne's humor, wisdom, kindness and fierce intelligence will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know her.
Memorial services are currently postponed due to COVID and will be held in Santa Fe at a later date. Although Suzanne fervently loved plants, in lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Bede's Episcopal Church, 550 W San Mateo Rd Santa Fe, NM 87505.

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