Suzette DeBell Rashkind

by | Apr 20, 2023 | Obituaries

Virginia Beach – Suzette DeBell Rashkind, 75, a tiny woman with an enormous heart, passed away on April 1, 2023, after tenaciously battling numerous medical issues that strapped her strength but never her spirit nor sense of humor.
She will always be so lovingly remembered by her husband of 50 years, Alan; her two sons and their wives, Graham (Cameron) and Doug (Dawn); her four grandchildren (to whom she was “Gra’ Suzy”) Ethan, Lucas, Harper, and Zoe; her two brothers and their wives, Jeff (Mary) and Steve (Diane); her brother-in-law, Mike Rashkind, sister-in-law, Lee Rashkind, and sister-in-law, Lisbeth Rashkind Hartzell; all her nieces, great nieces, nephews, and great nephews, including all their acquired spouses; and her incredibly extensive network of great friends, far too numerous to list here, but you know she loved you too.
Suzette was born to and raised by  her beloved mother, the late Lois DeBell, in Charlottesville, Va., and enjoyed a wonderful childhood there. As would be the case throughout her life, she was immensely popular, but never a “mean girl.” She was the head cheerleader of the junior varsity and varsity cheer-leading squads at her high school, Rock Hill Academy, was a teen reporter on the local radio station, and was the first Miss Teen Dogwood Festival, crowned by the reigning Miss Virginia. She spent two years at Longwood College, rooming with two who would become dear lifelong friends, Joyce Eatmon and Sandra France. Suzette left as a student in good standing to return to Charlottesville, where she worked, with her mother, at VEPCO. Then her friends Marilynn and Tommy Gale set her up on the world’s greatest blind date with Alan, and their first date, fittingly, was to attend Homecoming at Randolph-Macon College, the college she would wind up visiting so many times as Alan’s spouse and Graham’s mother.
While raising her sons, she always served as room mother, was a Kings Grant PTA volunteer and president, a Kings Daughters chapter volunteer and president, and unofficially the worlds’ greatest mother. Once she became an empty-nester, she increased her volunteer activity, leading to employment at Chesapeake Bay Academy for 19 years as its special events coordinator. There she was the moving force behind its very successful annual auction and was a tireless supporter for all things CBA, where Doug had once attended and where he now works. Suzette co-chaired the recently successful Chesapeake Bay Academy Capital Campaign. At the same time, she was also a key figure in the family’s commitment to Randolph-Macon.
She enjoyed nothing more than spending time with her family, DeBells and Rashkinds, and of course her heart was so warmed by time spent with her grandchildren. If anything rivaled her love of family, it was her commitment to friends. If you ever became a friend of Suzette’s, which happened with so very many, then you became a close friend about whom she cared deeply, and forever. Her newest close friends were Cora, Carmen, Naiza and Raquel, nurses who gave Suzette such loving care these last months, for which the family is so appreciative.
A memorial service, officiated by Rabbi Michael E. Panitz, was held at Temple Israel. The service was preceded by a private burial. H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts.
The family requests donors consider making a new dear friend, or re-establishing a connection with a dear friend, in memory of Suzette’s dedication to friendship. If inclined to make a contribution in her memory, contribute to Chesapeake Bay Academy, Randolph-Macon College, a local Food Bank, or another non-profit of the donor’s choice.