The Bauman and Burroughs families have lost their north star. Suzanne, mom, passed peacefully in her bed in Wrightwood with my Dad, Doah, and myself (Ryan) at her side. She leaves behind sons Ryan Burroughs, Shannon Burroughs, and Shane Burroughs. Daughters Rain Burroughs and Doah Burroughs. And husband Jim Burroughs. Along with granddaughters Summer Hartman, Madeline Burroughs, and Julia Burroughs.
She was an acclaimed director/producer/writer/editor, most notably her nomination for an Academy Award for Against Wind and Tide: A Cuban Odyssey. One of my personal favorites was The Writing Code series for PBS—a history of writing from cuneiform to the internet. She was an avid journalist and editor, always working for historical truths, women’s rights, indigenous rights, racial and social issues, and exposure for people in the arts. Traveling with her on various film shoots over the years, right now I can remember Paris, Greece, Turkey, the Galapagos off Ecuador, Sedona, Chaco Canyon, so many others, and most recently England, Egypt and Iran—we saw and experienced some of the world’s most amazing locations together. We were both blown away by Giza and the sphinx, the ancient ruins of Persepolis, Bisitun Rock, and later filming the Rosetta Stone and Stonehenge. SO many other amazing films, many are available on https://suzannebaumanfilms.com/—and many more will be transferred for digital viewing in the coming years.
Long Island to Manhattan to Connecticut to Westport, 20 years in Topanga, to Malibu to Woodland Hills to Wrightwood. The Malibu Road house—living under Shirley MacLaine. The Dume Drive house—down the street from the Ogawas. The Malibu Villas. The Wandermere house—she liked to call it the “shoebox by the sea.” The Kanan House. The Velicata House—also a production studio in the garage. And lastly, the Wrightwood cabin.
I list these locations as reminders of all the different homes she made, no matter where it was, she made us all feel welcome, comfortable, and taken care of. A safe haven from the cruel world outside, or a place to celebrate joyous events. All who knew her, knew how she would always put the needs of her loved ones before her own. Always gave you her full attention. And would come back to you in her own time with possible solutions for problems in her own time, after taking due time to let the situation marinate in her mind, as to more times than most, discover the best direction to move forward.
She was put through so much pain during the two months leading up to this day, which I will never be able to reconcile. I remember following her last treatment, in the van heading back to the hospital, reciting Hamlet and MacBeth. We were both in unison saying “Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles…” She smiled a deep and proud smile, like the ones I knew so well.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day, jumping on the big trampoline you got for me at the Portage Circle house in Topanga, hose in hand, watching you watch me with a loving smile. Or a trip to the beach in Malibu, sitting calmly in your “Women in Film” hat, watching me catch waves and skim-board, with a cooler full of food and drinks for later. Or a winter’s day in Wrightwood, snow falling outside, sitting in front of a fire with hot food, stopping to look at each other for a shared feeling of warmth and comfort. A spring day, you would always remind me of the first day of spring, waying to a nice day in the Woodland Hills house, smile on your face, new hope written all over you, feeding the bunnies carrot scraps, and shooing away the squirrels. Or maybe a fall day in Westport, leaves falling, your photographer’s eyes always looking for the best shot of the beautiful array of colors from the foliage dropping at its own pace…. (She loved Woody the cat, dogs Cinnamon and Tai, who I know will be looking over her in the next plane of existence.)
I have so much to share, but not the heart to continue any further right now… This is my part, and my dad, siblings and family will write much more in the coming days, as she was such a central part of the lives of those who loved her, and those whom she loved.
Further details about a memorial for my sweet wonderful mother will be announced soon. Thank you to all those who have sent us warm wishes during these last difficult few months.
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The Burroughs and Bauman Family