SUSAN R.S. SCHOFIELD Susan Rebecca Spiekermann Schofield passed away at her home in Honolulu, Hawaii, on October 16, 2016, at the age of 67. A beloved sister, daughter, and friend, she is survived by her father Paul Spiekermann, MD, of Connecticut, and her three younger siblings: Shelley Dally of Germany, Christa French of Florida, and in Tennessee, Luke Spiekermann, MD, and his wife Tracy. Susan was predeceased by her mother Gloria Spiekermann, with whom she had an especially close relationship. Susan had a distinguished career with American Express Bank, helping to break barriers for women in international finance and banking in both the Far East and South America. Following her graduation from the International School of Bangkok, Susan received her BA in Fine Arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. She moved to Manhattan, NY, and obtained her Masters in Library Science from the Pratt Institute; she immediately was offered a position with Young and Rubicam advertising agency to create their first research library. During this time, Susan attended evening classes at New York University and obtained her MBA in International Finance. Upon graduating, American Express Bank NY offered her a position with their International division. Her first overseas placement was at their London, England division. Susan was subsequently named the General Manager for Amex Bank in Chile, having first mastered a Spanish immersion course, and was in charge of the Bank's Santiago office for six years. Susan enjoyed living in Santiago and traveled extensively throughout Chile and South America. She also undertook her equestrian interests, joining a private riding club. Following her productive time in Chile, Susan was transferred to Hong Kong as Executive Director of the Bank's North Asia Region, which covered Hong Kong, China, Japan and Korea. She grew very fond of life in fascinating Hong Kong, with its mix of past and future. She also pursued her interest in scuba diving the waters of the Pacific Ocean. It was during Susan's childhood in Southeast Asia that she developed her love for the continent. It seems fitting that her last position prior to retirement would take her back to the Far East where she could visit so many of her favorite countries. Susan ultimately spent ten successful years in Hong Kong, at which time she elected to retire in 2006 to her favorite place of Hawaii and its lush tropical weather. She quickly became involved in Hawaiian arts and culture and expanded her philanthropic activities by supporting several Hawaiian cultural organizations, including Chamber Music Hawaii, Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaiian Mission Houses & Historic Site, and Hawaii Opera Theatre. Susan's support of the Arts began early in her career and one of her favorite experiences was acting on the board of directors for Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana in New York City. She was an outspoken champion of Médecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) and remained a generous and avid donor throughout her life. Susan was also voracious reader and she started reading Newsweek and Time from cover to cover in her early teens while she lived in Bangkok. During her retirement she subscribed to five international papers, as well as several publications, and she was always recommending a book or two to friends. Her retirement also allowed her to become an even more devoted Chelsea F.C. soccer fan, and Susan would get into lively discussions with her dad and sister during soccer season, reeling off statistics about the teams and forecasting winners. Susan was born in Takoma Park, Maryland, in 1948. Her first taste of international travel was when the family moved to Merano, Italy for 18 months; it was also Susan's first experience attending school in a foreign language. In early 1957, the family moved far overseas to Malang, Indonesia, where her father had started a position as Certified Specialist in Tropical Medicine, attending at the City Hospital. This is when she fell in love with Asia and the sultry tropics. She and her siblings immediately entered elementary school in Malang, taught in Dutch by nuns from Holland. Subsequently, they attended a Catholic elementary school, this time taught in Malayan. In 1960, the family moved to Cologne, Germany, where yet again Susan had to learn a new language, as well as navigate the city while taking the streetcar to school with her sister. In 1961, the family moved to Bangkok, Thailand, via passenger liner from Genoa, Italy, where her father was medical director with Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Germany. Once again, Susan was immersed in a new culture; however, this time she was able to continue her education in English while the siblings attended the International School of Bangkok (ISB). Susan thoroughly enjoyed her life in Bangkok. The family attended the Royal Bangkok Sports Club (RBSC) where Susan became known as an excellent tennis player. The family also traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia, and in the summers the family went on home leave to Germany. These beloved vacations commenced in Singapore, where the family embarked on one of the Lloyd Triestino ocean liners. Along the way they visited several ports in Asia, the Middle East, including the Red Sea and Suez Canal, and finally disembarked in Italy to tour Europe, returning again by ship to Singapore. This necessity to quickly adapt to new languages, cultures and lifestyles during her childhood provided Susan with excellent skills for her future career. It also ignited her passion for international travel which lasted her lifetime. Susan was an elegant, brilliant and proudly independent woman, who was deeply loved and will be greatly missed by her family and friends around the world. Cremation was held at Oahu Cemetery and Crematorium on November 3, 2016. A "Celebration of Life" will be held for Susan on January 4, 2017, 5:00 PM, at Hau Terrace, Halekulani Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii. Donations in memory of Susan R.S. Schofield may be made to Médecins Sans Frontieres: www.doctorswithoutborders.com/tribute.cfm (888-392-0392).
Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased