Susan Oliner Russotti

Jan. 22, 1953 - April 05, 2017
Susan Oliner Russotti, Jan. 22, 1953 - April 05, 2017

Susan Oliner Russotti, an architectural consultant who had a house in Springs, died on April 5 at New York University Hospital in Manhattan of complications of ovarian cancer, her family said. She was 64 and had been ill for about four years.

Ms. Russotti’s career began following her completion of a master’s in architecture degree at the University of Minnesota, with a first job in the St. Louis office of Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum, a national firm now known as HOK. She eventually struck out on her own with Harrison Leigh, an independent consulting business. The Bank of America building in Manhattan was among her firm’s clients.

In 2007 she met Philip Russotti through a Craigslist listing for an East End summer rental. A romance followed, and they bought a house in Springs together. They married on Dec. 20, 2009.

She was born on Jan. 22, 1953, in St. Paul to the former Leah Newman and Harry Plotke. After graduating from high school, she studied at Syracuse University, where she finished with a fine arts degree. She met her first husband, Andrew Oliner, at HOK.

She and Mr. Oliner moved to New Jersey, where they had children, and from where they were frequent visitors to the East End. That marriage ended in divorce, and Ms. Russotti relocated to New York City.

After buying the Springs house with Mr. Russotti, she turned her attention to updating its architectural details and transforming its grounds and pool area. She drafted the necessary drawings, supervised the contractors, and did all the interior design.

Ms. Russotti would frequently cook with fresh ingredients from her garden and fill the house with flowers she had planted herself. She joined the Clay Arts Guild of the Hamptons and was a member of the East End Clay Works in East Hampton, selling some of her ceramics at local shows under the name Studio Russotti, but giving most away to family and friends.

After her grandchildren began to arrive, she rediscovered a love of sewing, making them stuffed dinosaurs, bears, and the like. Late in life, she became a boater, keeping her powerboat, the Suzie Q, in Three Mile Harbor, taking family out for rides on Peconic and Gardiner’s Bays as often as possible.

Travel was a pleasure, as well. She and Mr. Russotti visited Europe, the Caribbean, and South America. Her family said that she helped herself to poppy seeds from several famous overseas gardens, including Claude Monet’s at Giverny, which she was able to propagate successfully back home in Springs.

Some of her trips included seeing in person locations from the World War II spy novels she loved to read. Others were to Arizona for winter horseback adventures on desert trails.

Mr. Russotti survives, as do her children from her first marriage: Daniel Oliner of Brooklyn and East Hampton and Lindsay Calicchio of Scotch Plains; her stepsons, Thomas Russotti and Matthew Russotti of Brooklyn and Peter Russotti of Singapore, a brother, Gary Plotke of Woodbridge, Conn., three grandchildren, and a niece and a nephew.

A private gathering for Ms. Russotti was held at the Springs house on April 22. She was cremated, and her ashes spread around her garden and waters she once piloted on the Suzie Q.

Her family has established a fund in Ms. Russotti’s name at N.Y.U. Langone Medical Center, where memorial donations can be made at nyulangone.org.