Jean Susan (Croteau) Hathaway “Sue” of South Yarmouth passed away peacefully on May 25, 2020 with her family by her side. She had fought the fight of her life in the hospital since May 8th and had defied all odds. In her final days, when faced once again with another battle, she chose to go home to Heaven on her own terms. That is the way Sue lived her life, with a quiet strength and strong will that would amaze all who knew and loved her.
Sue was born on January 6, 1944 at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, MA. She was the daughter of the late Alfred and lsabel (White) Croteau. Sue attended Richardson Elementary School and Peter Thacher Junior High. She graduated from Attleboro High School in 1962 and went on to attend Bryant School of Business. In September 1967 she married Charles V. Zahigian and moved to Long Island, NY, to start their lives together. A year later, they moved to the Cape (South Yarmouth) where they raised their four children.
Sue was a very compassionate, intelligent, generous, easy going, resilient, and non-judgmental woman with a quick wit and great sense of humor. Her “off the cuff’ responses to people and situations provided many funny and memorable moments for her family and friends. Sue was an excellent cook who loved babies and animals, and taught herself to knit and sew at an early age. She would knit beautiful scarfs, hats, baby clothes, and blankets for her family members and friends. In her youth she also loved playing tennis, the beach, swimming, and spending time with her girlfriends.
In the years raising her family, Sue enjoyed packing up the kids, spending her days at Seagull Beach with her girlfriends and their families, and then going to bingo in the evening. It’s been said she would write “Gus” the milkman a check for more money than was owed, and he would give her back the difference in cash for bingo money!
Sue is survived by her devoted husband Lester Hathaway and her beloved yorkie Harley as well as her stepson Brian Hathaway and wife Sue of Pawtucket RI. Sue is also survived by her cherished siblings, Paul Croteau and his wife Linda of Estero FL; Richard Croteau of Naples ME; James Croteau and his wife Bonnie of Port Saint Lucie FL; and Linda Pado and her husband Michael of Naples, ME. She is predeceased by her beloved sister-in-law Susan Croteau, her niece Stacey A. Croteau, and sister Nancy. She was loved dearly by her four children, Debra Bird and her husband James of South Yarmouth; Dawn Vincent and her husband Raymond of West Yarmouth; Barrie Slingerland of West Yarmouth and Michael V. Zahigian of West Yarmouth. Sue loved spending time with and nurturing her ten grandchildren Alec, Morgyn, Madison, Sophia, William, Jacob, Brooke, Jack, Logan, Ryan and her great niece and nephew Riley and Benjamin Bearman.
Sue will be lovingly remembered by several nieces and nephews, their children, and many friends. She will be especially missed by a group of friends she had known since grade school and whose friendships had continued throughout her life. She was so happy to have been able to visit with them recently when they came to the Cape and reminisced about their times growing up together. Sue will also be fondly remembered by her many clients and their families with whom she worked with as a private home health aide over the past thirty years. She truly enjoyed caring for them and always went above and beyond what was expected of her. Sue was one in a million with a gentle spirit and generous, loving soul. She loved her family and friends with all that she had and will be sorely missed, but never forgotten.
Woodside Cemetery in Yarmouthport will be her final resting place. Services will be announced at a later date.
To quote "Sue’s favorite song, The Rose by Bette Midler," Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows. Lies the seed that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose.”