Suzanne Obser, 52

Dec. 22, 1964 - May 11, 2017
Suzanne Obser, Dec. 22, 1964 - May 11, 2017

Suzanne Obser, an administrator at the Hampton Jitney for some 30 years who also worked with distressed animals, died last Thursday at Stony Brook University Hospital of a heart attack. She was 52 and had a rare heart condition, which was diagnosed when she was 12.

Ms. Obser was well known at the Jitney’s Omni headquarters in Southampton. Her work involved scheduling the hours of up to 300 employees, a task her brother, Jeffrey Obser of Chico, Calif., called “a blend of artistry, mental gymnastics, and human resources diplomacy uniquely suited to her talents.” From time to time, she invited Jitney employees from Eastern Europe to live with her in Southampton, and, her brother said, she was welcomed as a village hero several years ago on a trip to Bulgaria.

An animal lover, she adopted, fostered, and rescued many dogs and cats. Most recently she volunteered at the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays, going there at all hours when called to help with swans, seagulls, pelicans, squirrels, groundhogs, and with other, bigger animals as well, her brother said. In 2015, she was honored with the center’s Champion of the Wild award.

Ms. Obser moved to East Hampton from New Jersey with her family when she was 10. She attended the East Hampton Middle School and graduated from East Hampton High School with honors in 1982. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and communications from Boston University.

While at college, Ms. Obser got a summer job taking telephone reservations at the Jitney. After graduating, she had a similar job with Northwest Airlines, which enabled her to travel all over the world.

Her brother said she was a Mets fan, a quilting enthusiast who used her grandmother’s 100-year-old Singer sewing machine, and a collector of birdhouses. She took frequent trips to Manhattan to attend concerts and plays, and she enjoyed baking cakes, breads, and Christmas cookies, which she would take to the Jitney or mail as gifts in elaborately wrapped packages.

She was born in Flushing, Queens, on Dec. 22, 1964. Her early childhood was spent there and in New Jersey. According to her brother, she met the challenges of her heart condition with “a fierce determination to live life to the fullest.”

Her mother, Eileen Obser of East Hampton, her father, Fred Obser of Floral Park, and many relatives and beloved pets survive, in addition to her brother, who worked at The East Hampton Star years ago.

The family received visitors on Monday at the Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton. A funeral Mass was said on Tuesday at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in East Hampton, with burial following at the church cemetery.

The family has suggested donations in Ms. Obser’s memory to the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center, 228 West Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays 11946.