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Suzanne Marie Dubuc

October 18, 2016
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Suzanne Marie Dubuc, 69, of Narragansett and Sanibel, FL, passed away at her Rhode Island home on October 15 after a sixteen-month battle with lymphoma. Born in Providence to the late Emile Leo and Florette (Lussier) Dubuc, Suzanne grew up in the Woodlawn section of Pawtucket and was educated at Saint Jean de Baptiste Academy. She matriculated to New Mexico State University on a rehabilitation scholarship as a result of her chronic childhood asthma, a condition she would deal with for her entire life. After graduating college she taught for a summer on the Navajo Indian reservation, Gallup, NM, as a part of Operation Head Start. From there she went on to teach in Long Beach, CA and Eastover, SC during the first year of South Carolina's school integration program. It was in Sumter, SC that she met her husband, John MacLennan, an Air Force officer. In 1972 they moved to Hawaii where Suzanne taught third grade at a parochial school for a year prior to becoming the school's principal at age 27. She served as principal from 1974 to 1976, during which time she earned her MSEd from the University of Hawaii. Upon returning to the mainland in 1977, Suzanne served as principal of Meadowbrook Farms Elementary School in East Greenwich for two years before opening The Learning Tree, an educational toy and teachers' supply store, in Providence in 1979. For thirty years, The Learning Tree (later know as Up With Learning) was the go-to store for teachers and parents who subscribed to Suzanne's mantra that 90% of the play should come from the child, and 10% from the toy. In addition to being an inspired educator and businesswoman, Suzanne was a beloved mother, daughter, wife, and friend. She had friends, young and old, across the country and the world. As one of them recounts, Suzanne brought an incredible warmth, great concern and an unparalleled social kindness...her wisdom with knowing just the right questions to ask was something I have never witnessed in any other individual Ive ever met. Conversations with her always helped me reach new discoveries about myself She was amazingly caring and helpful.

Suzanne is survived by her husband of 45 years, John MacLennan of Narragansett and Sanibel, FL; one daughter, Charlotte MacLennan, and her husband, Len Rittberg, of Berkeley, CA; a brother, Emile Dubuc of Orange City, FL; and a sister, Dianne Dubuc, of Seward, AK.

Calling hours will be at the Avery-Storti Funeral Home, 86 Columbia Street, Wakefield, on Friday, October 21, from 48 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Christ the King Parish, 180 Old North Road, Kingston, RI, on Saturday, 22 October, at 10 AM. A private interment at Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, will be held at a later date.

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In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be sent to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence 02907, or to one's favored charity. For guest book and condolences, visit



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