Susan L. Talbot

Feb 15, 2021
Susan Talbot

Camden — Susan Lynn Talbot, well known among Maine bird artists as a formidable talent whose eye for delicate detail brought her countless regional and national awards, died Jan. 30, 2021, after nearly three years of living with breast cancer, at Waldo County General Hospital.

Her renown in artistic circles belied her quiet nature and penchant for the solitude of the Maine woods — the place that most inspired her art. A talented painter and sketch artist, Sue found her favorite medium when, well into adulthood, she began carving birds. In a few short years she leapt from student to teacher, to award winning carver.

Her intimacy with nature found other creative outlets as well. Once she discovered fly fishing, tying her own flies became part of the fun and something she loved to share with others. For many years, Sue was a volunteer fly fishing instructor with Casting for Recovery, a retreat for women recovering from breast cancer.

Susan Talbot was born July 26, 1957, two minutes ahead of her twin sister, Sandy, in Camden, the daughter of Johnson and Myrtle (Sis) Talbot. Her family lived on Grove Street at the same time as multiple other families with children all within two-to-three years of each other in age. Known in those days as the Grove Street Gang, Sue remained friends with all of them throughout her life.

With multi-generational roots in Maine, she spent her childhood on the Maine coast, with frequent forays inland to various family hunting camps that gave her a full four-season love for her native state. She climbed its mountains, canoed and kayaked its lakes, and fished its rivers. She knew its native plants and decorative flowers and used that knowledge to create outdoor oases of tranquility for herself and others.

She graduated from Endicott College in 1977, where she majored in commercial art. While Sue never became a commercial artist, per se, her art touched her every endeavor, whether it was building her nursery business, designing showplace flower gardens or creating her beloved log cabin, Caddis Case.

A woman of great talent, vast accomplishment and self-taught independence, Sue was always clear that her most precious creation was her daughter, Emily. She instilled in Emily a love of nature, art and the simple pleasures that come from finding one’s place in the natural world and taking care of it.

It was Emily who marshaled the forces of family and close friends who embraced Sue’s battle with her as she took on the fight against metastatic breast cancer. Sue accepted her diagnosis and the ensuing years of treatments with enduring grace and uncommon strength, saying at one point, “This has all been very difficult, but there’s been a lot of beauty, too.”

Just four days before her death, Sue decided she wanted to spend the time she had left with her daughter, and so left the house she’d designed and built in Camden and moved in with Emily and Todd Leighton.

Susan Talbot is survived by her daughter, Emily Wentworth Buck and her partner, Todd Leighton, of Searsmont; father, Johnson Talbot, of Camden; her sister, Sandra Talbot, brother Alan Talbot and partner, Donna Hall, and brother, Gary Talbot, also all of Camden; sister-in-law, Joan Talbot, of Milbridge; as well as nieces, Heidi Jackson of Lincolnville and Natalie Talbot, of Portland, and nephews, Morgan Talbot and wife, Ariel Martin-Cone, of Danvers Mass., and Matthew and Nicole Talbot, of Lincolnville, as well as extended great-nieces and nephews.

As much as Susan loved flowers, her wish was for friends to remember her by donating to Casting for Recovery at castingforrecovery.org and to please specify that this gift is for the Maine chapter.

A graveside ceremony will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery in Camden at a later date to be announced.

Condolences and memories may be shared with Sue’s family by visiting her Book of Memories at longfuneralhomecamden.com.

Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Camden.

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