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FRAMINGHAM – When Shakespeare was writing A Midsummer Night’s Dream and penned the words “and though she be but little, she is fierce,” he had to have done so with Susan Elizabeth “Susie” Dickey in mind. Well, with the exception of her extraordinarily large heart.

Susie grew up in Natick and ended up raising her children in her home town.

 After a brief stint with the Boston Daughters of St. Paul Convent, Susie realized that becoming a nun might not quite be her calling. 

Her decision to become an LPN at Cushing Hospital laid the groundwork for a career with the Visiting Nurse Association and Home Instead Healthcare.

Her most cherished life’s work was her role as a mother and grandmother. Blessed to learn many important rules for how to survive life over the years, her children and grandchildren are most grateful to know that: you should always drive with clean underwear in case you get in an accident; never drive if there is a full moon (and she was always available to leave you voicemails reminding you of the upcoming moon phases); pull the shades down when there is a lightning storm; if you ever have a cleaning service come do your house, clean your house first so they “don’t see your business”; and try not to be so fussy about life because being too fussy could give you a disease. 

Susie’s life lessons were also taught by the way she lived her own. Her incomparable compassion toward people, her ability to see the value in human life beyond the circumstances people found themselves in, was constantly modeled. Susie had a deep respect and passion for working with the elderly. She would often take her children to visit her patients on her off days just to do their hair, play their favorite music and cook them a meal. 

Beyond her work and raising her children, the best times of Susie’s life were marked by a preoccupation with locating her purse, breeding German Shepherds, eating peanut M&Ms, toasting with pink wine and spraying a lot of Aqua Net. It is worth noting that no episode of Wheel of Fortune, Highway to Heaven, Cops or a TV movie with Brian Dennehy went unwatched. Her family will long for her warm oven, always making Shepherd’s Pie, as well as her ability to dazzle all with her pressure cooker pot roasts. Although her flawed skills with Jiffy Pop and her fear of things she didn’t understand, like the patio gas grill, will be equally missed. 

Susie was the ultimate survivor, but her body was tired. She received an offer she couldn’t refuse: finally being reunited with Bud.

Sadly, Susie died on Friday, February 26,2021.

,Surely, Bud was there to welcome his “Babe” home, and he’s already spinning the Roy Orbison records for her. 

Susie is survived by her children, Shauna Cotte of Franklin, and Brian Dickey of Derry, NH, her most favorite humans of all, her beloved grandchildren, Jack and Olivia Cotte, her siblings, Molly Glidden, Mark Hanna, and John Hanna all of Natick, many nieces and nephews who loved their “very cool, wildly funny, curtain making” Aunt Susie, and her ride or die sister from another mister, Doreen “Shirley” (Aucoin) Burns of Millis.

Besides her parents George & Margaret (Flaherty) Hanna and her dear husband Laurence “Bud” Dickey, Susie was predeceased by her siblings, Judith Hanna, Martha Hanna, Trooper George Hanna, Jr. 

Family and friends will honor Susie’s life with a private memorial service celebrating her well lived life.

Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery, Wellesley in the Spring.

In lieu of flowers, Susie wanted you to remember not to give up on the Red Sox this year and preferred you help a neighbor. Her children believe remembrances made in Sue’s name to Boston Children’s Hospital,, a place she felt deeply grateful for and indebted to, is also a beautiful way to honor her memory.

Arrangements by the McCarthy, McKinney & Lawler Funeral Home of Framingham.

For online tributes or to share a memory with her family, kindly visit

By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.