The Indy 500: A half-century-long love story

Photo of Susie Littwin by Mike Littwin
Susie Littwin in 2010 (Photo by Mike Littwin)

We have sad news to pass on: Mike Littwin’s wife, Susie, died recently after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She was 70. Mike wanted to tell you himself because, as he said, “that’s what writers do. They write.” But it is not yet time.

When Mike is ready he will tell you himself of the love of his life, his college sweetheart, who would become his partner for more than half a century, a woman of grace and beauty and intelligence. We were lucky to have known her, to have shared meals with her, to have watched in delight as she and Mike told story after story of their adventures together.

What we will tell you of Susie now is the barest outline of her life. You should know that she was a teacher — whether she was in the classroom or not. She taught kindergarten and first grade, in Cherry Creek schools, in Virginia Beach, in Baltimore and Los Angeles. She read like crazy, the kind of reader for whom one book club was not enough. She was a fan of PBS mysteries, especially Poirot. She was a classically trained pianist. She loved to travel and she, Mike and their daughter, Angie, visited nearly two dozen countries. Susie was a woman of infinite patience and endless curiosity, and when she left the classroom for retirement, she volunteered at the Denver Public Library as a reader to Head Start children. She was a decade-long volunteer at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, teaching young children about science.

Like Mike, she could not wait for grandchildren and was in love with her first grandson, Lalo. She would have come to love equally his little brother, Ricky. We grieve with Mike and Angie for their loss. This photo of her was taken in 2010 in Central Park. June 13th would have been Mike and Susie’s 49th wedding anniversary.

Tina is The Colorado Independent's managing editor. She was a city columnist for the late great Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post. She left Denver for Richmond, Virginia in 2012, where she worked as a news editor at the city's alternative newspaper, Style Weekly, and its premiere city mag, Richmond Magazine. She was also a staff writer for the Washington Post and its Storyline public policy/narrative journalism project. Tina lives in Fort Collins with her husband and two kids. She's a native New Mexican and prefers red over green.

12 COMMENTS

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful woman. I’m sending my sincere condolences to you and your family.
    JoAnn Berendt, Littleton, CO

  2. My heart goes out to you, Mike, and your colleagues at the Indy. I haven’t had the good fortune to meet you but I’ve read you since I got to Colorado, and so I feel like I know you. You are like the hip(pie) older brother I would listen to, because what you say makes sense. Deepest sympathies!

  3. So very sorry for the loss of the love of your life to such a challenging disease. May memories be healing over the journey of grief.

  4. What a beautifully written piece. Thank you for raising up the life of such an ordinary and extraordinary woman. My deepest sympathy to her near and extended family.

  5. Susie was an amazing volunteer for the Read Aloud Program at Denver Public Library. She was so committed to the children she read to and worked very hard at providing all of the early literacy skills the children needed to become life-long readers. It was a joy to know her and work with her. She was a special person and her passion for getting children ready to read is a beautiful legacy. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Mike and Angie and your family.

  6. love reading your columns and missed seeing you cool inside out
    sorry to hear about your loss
    sounds like you guys had a good thing going life goes on

  7. So sorry to read of Mike’s loss — and the loss to the community.
    i will look forward to reading his column of what he chooses to share.

  8. As one who witnessed the early days of Mike and Susie’s beautiful romance, the news of her passing is deeply saddening, but at the same time, filled with warm memories and gratitude. As a young man who was lost in the land of growing up, Susie and Mike were there for me when I needed genuine people as friends. I have never forgotten that and never will. She was the real deal.

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