Known to her friends and colleagues simply as "Susi," Susanne Francoeur, after a lengthy illness, passed away peacefully on May 14, at Johns Hopkins University Hospital.
Susi was born in Hamburg, Germany on June 20, 1943. After graduating from the German equivalent of high school, she went on to earn the German degree of Abitur after which she went to Paris for further language studies. Upon returning to Hamburg, she joined government service. In 1968 she met and married her American husband, Richard, in Hamburg where he was on a temporary assignment for Mobil Oil Corporation. After a brief six month assignment in Paris, they returned to the U.S. where they settled in New York City. After three years in New York, she and her husband embarked on a series of foreign assignments that brought them to Germany, Austria, Italy, and Japan.
While living in Italy, she attended courses in Art History at the University of Rome, and this sparked an intense, latent interest in the subject.
Upon returning to New York, she entered Hunter College from which she received her B.A. summa cum laude in Art History. In 1980 she and her husband moved to Japan where she entered Sophia University in Tokyo from which she received her M.A. with distinction in Asian Art in 1985. She traveled throughout Asia visiting various historically and culturally significant sites in China, Korea, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Thailand, Burma and Nepal.
In 1985, after 5½ years in Tokyo, she returned to New York where she entered Columbia University to pursue a Doctorate in Art History specializing in South Asian Art. In fall of 1990 due to the relocation of her husband's company, she and her husband relocated to Washington, D.C. where they settled in the Adams Morgan area. In spring 1998 she received her Ph.D. from Columbia University. In 1994 she fulfilled her life-long dream of becoming a university teacher by beginning her teaching career at The George Washington University where she has continuously taught courses in all areas of Asian Art.
Susi is survived by Richard, her devoted husband of 50 years. She was preceded in death by her father, Curt Otto Schloesser, her mother, Vera Emilie Schloesser, and her sister Eva Schloesser. A private memorial service will be held at a time to be determined later. In lieu of flowers, Susi requested that donations be sent to Covenant House.