Susan Atlee

Date(s) of birth and/or death approximate

Date of Birth

October 1st, 1930

Date of Death

September 16th, 2014

Memorial Meeting

Central Coast Friends


Susan Atlee died September 16, 2014. She was born in October of 1930 in Lancaster Pennsylvania. She Attended Penn State where she met her husband of 62 years, Chuck Atlee. At Penn State she attended her first Friends Meeting, The United Friends Meeting under the care of Philadelphia Meeting and Baltimore Meeting. She was raised in the Methodist Church but once she met Chuck she wanted to attend the Meeting. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education in 1952 and later a Masters in Counseling.

Chuck was already working with AFSC at a work camp in Valle de Bravo, Mexico and Sue joined him after she graduated. In October of 1952 Chuck proposed to Sue on her birthday. They were married in December at the Bird in Hand Methodist church in Lancaster Penn where her family lived.

They moved to Pasadena California,5 days later, where Sue worked at Pacific Oaks Friends School and Chuck worked in a plant nursery in Monrovia. While in Pasadena they attended Orange Grove Meeting. They moved to Santa Barbara after two years.

While in Santa Barbara she worked in the girls program at the YMCA. Sue and Chuck helped to start the first Meeting there.

They then continued north to Santa Cruz, Chuck found work with the UC Agriculture Extension Service as a Farm Advisor. They bought a house with six acres and lived in the old carriage house of a former estate. Sue found she was pregnant with their first child Barbara and stayed home to fix up the old house. Together they helped again to start the Santa Cruz Meeting. During this time they went to Davis for Chuck to get his Masters degree. They again helped to start a Meeting there in Davis. Sue and Chuck were involved in the birth of the Quaker Center in Ben Lomond. They worked there on weekends and on the original Ben Lomond committee.

Chuck was offered a position with USAID in Guatemala for 4 years. Sue packed up the kids, Barbara and Robert, and happily went with him. When they came back to the states they moved to San Luis Obispo. At this time Sue became a teacher at Arroyo Grande High School. She taught there for the next 18 years. They started a Friends worship group that met at the Cal Poly Catholic student center. There were times when the only attenders were Sue, Chuck, and Will and Anna Alexander. They both were members of Santa Cruz Meeting and later asked this Meeting to take the Central Coast Preparative Meeting under its care. When the Central Coast Meeting became a Monthly Meeting Sue and Chuck transferred their memberships.

Sue was involved in committees within the Meeting. She was on the First Day School committee and Peace and Social Concerns. She worked very hard on getting packets about the alternatives to the military in to all the high schools in the county. She always shared with the Meeting many of the social activism of other Quaker organizations.

Sue was very encouraging to others in their committee work. She always let us know we were appreciated and supported by her. When someone needed help she was right there to help herself or arranged the help needed. She worked hard to develop and coordinate the homeless dinner our Meeting provides every other month. She felt strongly about this particular project and made sure it happened, even went so far as to make several dishes if it was needed.

Sue loved to play the piano and sing. Every month we have singing on the forth Sunday and she was there if she was in town. She was happy to host our Meeting on special occasions or committee meetings if the need arose. Sue and Chuck rode their bikes to Meeting as often as they could and also rode during the week with a local bike club. She rode to Meeting two days before she died. She was a high energy, remarkable and loving woman and we miss her very much.