Susan Ann Thomas
Susan Ann Thomas was born on October, 16 1949 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was the second and last child born to Achsah and Warren L. Thomas, both deceased. She died peacefully and unexpectedly of heart problems in her newly established “dream” home by the beach in Sandestin, Florida on June 3rd 2014. At 64 she died young and although she had been battling with Juvenile Diabetes for the last 32 years of her life, her strength and courage in life convinced those closest to her that she would live to be a centennial, just like her father, Warren.
Susan started college at LSU, New Orleans, but after winning the Miss Teenage America contest at 19 she signed a contract with the elite Ilene Ford Modeling Agency and moved to New York to pursue a modeling career. She moved to Washington DC in 1971, to be near her high school sweet heart, Dan Perri, who was working for the Justice Department at the time and they married when she was 22. She started her second career as a sales representative for Johnson & Johnson and her division in D.C. became the number one sales division in the country at that time. They then moved to Pensacola, Florida.
The defining moment of Susan’s life was when she was finally able to become pregnant. She spent many years with fertility doctors and was the first to try a breakthrough laser surgery with Dr. Joseph Bellina of the Fertility Institute of New Orleans that worked! Her much anticipated daughter, Christina Perri, was to become the center of her universe. Susan and Dan divorced the year Christina was born and Susan move back to New Orleans, as a single mom.
She then spent the next decade of her life marketing the wildly successful laser technology in North America, Europe and South America. Around 1992, New Orleans had become the city with the highest rate of homicide in the U.S. Susan decided she wanted to move somewhere safe, and change careers to travel less frequently and spend more time with her daughter. Susan moved to Aspen, CO and lived there for almost 20 years before returning to Louisiana to be near her elderly father.
In 2012, she moved near the beach in Destin, Florida; pursued and attained her Real Estate Licensee and had just started working full time with Keller Williams. She had made a vision come true, that many would not have had the strength to do – but she always seemed to surprise everyone with her strength and tenacity. Mom you were the strongest woman I have known.
Susan is survived by her older brother, William Thomas, residing in Lafayette, LA and her daughter Christina Perri and soon to be son-in law Julien Keignart who reside in Paris, France.
Susan felt the happiest when she was giving love. All those around her are familiar to this, and can remember all the animals she has rescued over the years. We can remember her love of philanthropy, and especially to endangered young women in Cambodia. We can recognize the love she has given to each of us, a true and dedicated friend who was always there, no matter what with grace, empathy and without judgement.
My mother was a woman who loved me completely and was present every second of every day, no matter how far away I was. None of my friends have ever seen a mother love their daughter as much as she loved me. She was most looking forward to being a doting grandmother, ever present in their lives. You will be missed my gracious, beautiful mother. You were truly one of a kind.
Funeral services were held at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church by Rev. Will Ganci in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on Monday the 9th of June at 11am.