Suzanne Porter Wilkins
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August 17, 1923 — August 6, 2019
Suzanne (Suki) Porter Wilkins died peacefully on August 6, after a brief illness, in the company of her adoring family and just two weeks shy of her ninety-sixth birthday and seventy-fifth wedding anniversary.
Suki grew up in Brockton, Massachusetts, the youngest of four sisters and spent her childhood among a close knit set of relatives—during the school year in her Campello neighborhood and during summer at the family’s home in Monument Beach on Cape Cod. Suki went on to attend Connecticut College in New London, interrupting her studies to marry a young medical doctor in August, 1944. Soon thereafter they found themselves moving around the country like so many young couples during World War II, settling eventually in West Newton, Massachusetts, where she took a leadership role in raising their three children. It was in the Boston area that she was able to complete her college degree and pursue her passion as a docent with The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
In 1986 Suki and her husband Wilk “retired” to Williamstown, Massachusetts, where for the next thirty-plus years they became prominent and extraordinarily well-respected leaders in the community—as individuals and as a powerful team. During these years Suki’s unassuming and infectious presence served to bring out the best in everyone she met—whether it was with the Garden Club of Williamstown, in starting a program for reading to second graders in North Adams or in her twenty-four year stint as a volunteer docent at the Clark Art Institute. She kept herself physically and mentally fit well into her nineties— through her love of yoga, her golf outings with a group called “the chippers” and her weekly bridge group. Throughout it all, “Suki and Wilk” were soulmates in service, and for their work together they shared the 2004 Williamstown Community Chest Good Citizen Award.
Perhaps her most iconic role was in her dedication to the First Congregational Church in Williamstown, where she became the go-to person in hand-delivering bouquets of flowers to those who were most in need. In brief, she was that selfless spirit who could build community wherever she found it and bring all of us that much closer together.
Suki is survived by her husband, E. Wayne (Wilk) Wilkins, Jr., her three children (Clint, Wendy Hopkins and Wayne), her five grandchildren (Sam and Matt Hopkins; Heather Lee, Jacqueline and Tim Wilkins) and four great grandchildren (William and Sophie Hopkins; Mirabelle and Elodie Lee).
Donations may be made in Suki’s name to HospiceCare in The Berkshires. A memorial service is planned for the fall in Williamstown. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com.