Suzanne Lenore Schaefer Fahrenkrug, of Vestal, died peacefully on December 2, 2023. She was born on July 31, 1965, to Gloria and Charles Schaefer, in Ballston Spa, NY. When she was a child, her family moved to many places, with two of the longer stops in Massapequa Park, and McDonough. She graduated from Oxford Central High School in 1983 and went on to attend Binghamton University. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Binghamton in 1987. Following her graduation, she went to work at Johns Hopkins University for five years before returning to Binghamton to earn her PhD in Biology.
She owned and successfully operated Binghamton Zumba (as the Zumba Queen) for 15 years. Sue taught Zumba alongside her friends, Maria and Trish, and shared her love of salsa and meringue with her students. She loved making a positive impact in her community and hosted an annual breast cancer fundraiser at BZ's fitness fair.
Alongside operating Binghamton Zumba, Suzanne was an incredible mother. She put her career on hold in order to raise her twin daughters. Suzanne and her girls shared many laughs and memories together. She taught her daughters many important skills, like cooking and gardening, but also lessons like how to stand up for themselves. One of her greatest passions was gardening. She created an expansive garden at her home. She grew vegetables and blackberries every year, as well as many different types of flowers and grasses.
After successfully raising her twin daughters, Sue looked forward to a new challenge. In 2019, she attended Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital for a year-long internship and received a certificate in Clinical Laboratory Sciences from the program. Sue graduated summa cum laude from Elmira College, in 2021, earning her second bachelor's degree in clinical laboratory sciences.
An avid nature lover, Suzanne loved hiking through the woods and morning walks on the beach. Suzanne hiked the Appalachian trail (from Georgia to Pennsylvania) in her twenties and regarded her completion of the trail as her proudest accomplishment (besides having her daughters). Sue took her family on many trips to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Aruba, Exuma, and Adirondacks. Sue and Craig took several trips out west to visit Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Sedona -- checking off many of Sue's bucket list wishes. She encouraged her family to enjoy the beautiful moments in life, like a hot cup of coffee in the morning on the front porch, a warm sunny day, a vibrant sunset, or a butterfly in a field of flowers.
Suzanne is predeceased by her father, Charles W. Schaefer. She is survived by her husband Craig, her two children Jasmine and Angelina, and siblings Charles, and Luther and her mother Gloria, as well as many nieces and nephews, and tremendous friends. She is also survived by her three beloved cats, Dewey, Wolfie, and Coco.
Calling hours will be held Wednesday, December 6th, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Vestal. There will be a dinner provided following the service. A private burial with family will occur at a later date.
In her memory, in lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the StacheStrong foundation (https://support.stachestrong.org) to fund research into glioblastoma.