Obituary: Susan Jo Parmer, 1952-2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Susan Jo Parmer, 1952-2021 

Longtime Burlington resident worked at the American Red Cross for 29 years

Published June 2, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated June 2, 2021 at 2:13 p.m.

click to enlarge Susan Parmer - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Susan Parmer

On June 1, 2021, Susan Jo Parmer passed peacefully at home with family and close friends by her side. After a two-year struggle, Susan succumbed to Sezary syndrome, a very rare form of T-cell lymphoma. Susan leaves behind her loving husband, Steven; their two sons, Jack and Christopher; her brother and best friend, Jerry Williams; and their respective partners and families.

Susan was born in 1952 at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine. She was a 1970 graduate of Essex High School, a 1973 graduate of the University of Vermont School of Nursing and a 1980 graduate in anthropology at California State University, Long Beach. Susan worked in nursing for eight years in Vermont, Maine and California until returning to Burlington, Vt., where she worked at the American Red Cross for 29 years.

Initially traveling throughout Vermont and northern New Hampshire as a mobile nurse for community blood drives, she later progressed through the positions of Vermont director of nursing, director of operations, senior director of collections and donor recruitment, and regional director of donor services. During the final eight years of her career, she held the position of CEO for the Northern New England Region, which proved to be one of the most successful blood services regions throughout the U.S. Most important in her experience, from her own words, is the gratitude she always felt toward her 400 regional employees and the countless blood and pheresis donors who selflessly gave their time and donations to help save lives.

She was also proud of the work achieved through her years with the Burlington Rotary Club, alongside her fellow members and community. In 2011, Steven and Susan retired to Sonoma County, Calif. They are grateful for the many friends they left behind, the new friends that they have made in retirement, and the many very dear and close friends that have enriched their lives.

Susan and her family sincerely thank all the team members of the Multidisciplinary Cutaneous and T-Cell Lymphoma Clinic at Stanford Cancer Institute for their dedication and care. We wish to thank, in particular, Dr. Youn Kim, Dr. Michael Khodadoust and Natalie Leary, RN, who expressed great compassion and hopeful determination throughout her two-year struggle.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that you help fight this cancer by making a donation in her name to the Stanford University Cutaneous and T-Cell Lymphoma Clinic at Remembrances may be expressed at For those who wish to attend her memorial service, please contact the family for the future date, time and planning.

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