Friends recall mother of 4 as strong, caring woman

Susan Pontoriero-Fiordland, 44, died from injuries in Feb. 22 traffic accident

BY JANE MEGGITT Correspondent

UPPER FREEHOLD — Susan Pontoriero Fiordland, 44, a mother of four who was killed in a traffic accident Feb. 22 on Route 524, was remembered by her friends as a caring person who advocated for special needs children.

One friend, Mary Anne Frisbie, Upper Freehold, said that words cannot express the deep sorrow she feels over this senseless tragedy.

“Suzie was a fun-loving friend, wonderfulmother, tireless advocate for special needs children and a beautiful soul who will be deeply missed,” said Frisbie, who added that her friend was always available to share information on how to better help children in school, swap decorating ideas or just life in general. Frisbie said she enjoyed their phone conversations, funny emails, lunches and dinners where they had “girl talk.” She said she will miss these times very much.

“Suzie was a pillar of strength, resolve and determination in all areas of her life. I admired her spunk and love of life,” Frisbie said. “Her memory will live on in all those who knew and loved her. I know she has a special place in heaven and we will meet again someday. Until then, I, along with many others, will continue to love and miss her.”

The bright spot in one’s day was how another friend described Pontoriero-Fiordland.

Dana Gale, Upper Freehold, said, “Suzie was one of those people who you could always count on to brighten your day. I know I will not be alone in saying that I chatted a lot with her on Facebook, often in the wee hours of the morning. She was my champion. I think she was probably everyone’s champion.”

According to Gale, Pontoriero-Fiordland had a knack for saying just what was needed to hear when life wasn’t going well, but it was never trite or insincere. “The truth is, Suzie just found a way to see what was good in people. She offered you a hand when you needed it, but celebrated your successes just as easily, as if they were her own,” she said.

Gale added that her friend was a devoted mother with the protective nature of a mother bear. “She was so very proud of her children, and anyone who knew Suzie knows she would have gone to hell and back for them. Suzie was a beautiful woman with an unforgettable smile, and an unforgettable spirit,” she said.

Marousa Placiotis, of Odessa, Fla., said that Pontoriero-Fiordland’s daughters, whom their mother “cherished and advocated for with all her might,” are beautiful and strong, and though their hearts ache, they will eventually carry on her legacy of kindness, optimism, love, faithfulness, generosity and courageousness. She said she herself had been changed for the better, for knowing Pontoriero Fiordland.

Dosha Brown, Hamilton, called Pontoriero Fiordland “a breath of fresh air. She had all the right words at the right time to encourage you. I am so humbled and so full of pain at the passing of my good friend. I will miss her dearly and I pray that she is resting in the arms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”