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Obituary: Sue Elizabeth Fennell Ivas

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on May 17, 2017

Sue Elizabeth Fennell Ivas, aged 71, died peacefully on May 14, 2017, at home in her sunroom, holding out as long and as stubbornly as she could in her struggle with ALS. Sue was born on March 7, 1946, in Cunnamulla, Queensland, Australia, the daughter of Stephen and Rita Fennell.

Sue was a real estate paralegal at Cain, Hibbard & Myers, formerly Cain, Hibbard, Myers & Cook, where she worked from 1985 to 2015. She graduated from Smith College in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree, a member of the first class of Ada Comstock Scholars, a program designed for women returning to college as mature adults. She earned her associate degree from Berkshire Community College in 1980. She was also a graduate of St. Ursula’s College, a private secondary girls’ boarding school, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.

She married Edward P. Ivas, whom she met on R&R from Vietnam in 1969 and moved to the United States where they settled in Great Barrington in 1970. She was an active member of the community and volunteered many hours for the Dewey & Bryant School PTO and other school related activities. Sue moved to Pittsfield in 1990. She was an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, to which she devoted countless hours since 1994. She also assisted in selecting applicant families. She served on the Board of Alumni at Berkshire Community College. Sue was an active member of St. Peter’s Parish in Great Barrington from 1970 to 1989, a member of the choir and CCD teacher. She later joined St. Charles Parish in Pittsfield.

She was one of the first single mothers in Great Barrington in the 1980s, and finished raising her children, Laura and Damian, on her own. She loved her family, her books, music and her many friends. She was fortunate to be blessed with so many strong women friends throughout her life.

She was a loving mother and grandmother. She is survived by her sisters Toni Pride and Brenda Fennell of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia; her children Laura Gillis and her husband, Kevin, of Topsfield; Damian Ivas and Delaney Ivas of Pittsfield; and her grandchildren Jordan, Casey, Kevin, Seth, Owen, Taryn, Teddy, Scarlett and Trista.

She also had angels here on earth; Karen Carson, of New Marlborough, to whom she felt was a younger sister since 1971 and dear friend, Sue Newman of Pittsfield.

SERVICES: There will be a funeral mass held at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Pittsfield at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 23rd.

In lieu of flowers, donations should be sent in Sue’s name to Compassionate Care ALS, – See more.