Suzan Elizabeth (Becker) Campagna, 74, passed away surrounded by her loving family on Tuesday, January 28, at Roger Williams Hospital, Providence after valiantly battling a long illness. Born August 1, 1945 in Providence, Suzan was the daughter of the late William and Mildred (Case) Becker.
An accomplished oboist and pianist, Suzan graduated with high honors from West Warwick’s John F. Deering High School in 1963, earned scholarships for her music studies, and attended Boston University and the University of Rhode Island, where she completed an undergraduate degree in music education. Suzan later pursued postgraduate work at Rhode Island College and earned a Master’s in Education.
A consummate musician even as a child, Suzan performed on the radio with her older brother James, a violinist, and played in the Rhode Island Youth Philharmonic in her teens. Suzan played with many groups and organizations throughout her life, such as the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Warwick Philharmonic, the Ocean State Pops Orchestra, at St. Peter’s church in Warwick and other churches throughout the region, and in numerous musicals and opera productions. Suzan also formed an ensemble with her friends, the “Classic Winds Woodwind Quintet,” which played regularly in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Suzan often shared her musical gifts with those at nursing homes and senior centers, and she prided herself on her professionalism and versatility. In the 1990’s she played at the famed punk club CBGB with the alternative rock band Magnetic Fields.
Always eager to share her love of music, Suzan taught for 30 years beginning in the West Warwick schools, and later joining the Warwick public school system after taking time off to raise her sons. Suzan’s versatility is also shown by the many roles she played in the Warwick schools: as an instrumental music and chorus teacher at the elementary level, general music instructor at Aldrich Junior High, and band director at Warwick Veterans Memorial High School. Through the years besides coordinating outstanding junior high and high school marching band and concert band performances, Suzan also provided memorable moments for her elementary students and families alike by coaching musical productions such as “Peter Pan.” The thousands of people Suzan touched throughout her career will never forget her talent, generosity and contributions to Rhode Island’s cultural scene. Suzan is survived by her loving siblings, Janice B. Place (Philip), William Becker, Jr., Ruth V. Iavarone, and David J. Becker, her beloved sons, Damon A. and Nathan J. Campagna, and former husband and life-long friend, Daniel W. Campagna, Jr. She was recently predeceased by her beloved brother James A. Becker.
Visiting Hours will be held on Monday, February 3rd, 2020 from 5-8 p.m. in the Urquhart Murphy Funeral Home, 800 Greenwich Ave., Warwick. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 10 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church, 350 Fair Street, Warwick. Suzan’s burial will take place in nearby Pawtuxet Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hope Cat Rescue (www.hopecatrescue.org), 26 Benedict Road, Warwick, RI 02888.