Age 40 , Pennsylvania
Susan (Suzy) and Sarah Wolfe were murdered in their home in Pittsburgh, PA, in February 2014. My sisters, Suzy and Sarah, had moved into a new home in Pittsburgh just about two months before their murders. The suspect entered their home one evening and attacked Suzy. When Sarah came home from work, he put them both in the basement and shot them. The suspect has a long criminal record but also had made gun purchases that could and should have been tracked or prevented.
Suzy was a teacher; Sarah, a child and adolescent psychiatrist. They were both amazing women who advocated for and shared their time with young people. Growing up in Iowa, Suzy, our sister, Jenny, and baby-of-the-family Sarah were known as “the little girls,” the three youngest in our family of eight kids. Over the past few years, as Sarah completed her medical studies and Suzy worked and attended school to be best prepared to work with children, they became the favorite aunts. Suzy would spend time with her nieces and nephews in any way they wanted–going to the mall, reading books, playing games. Her undivided attention and her fun nature were invaluable gifts to everyone she loved. Sarah always knew the perfect gift to send; the best cat video to forward; and just the right text message to send to her parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews to make their day. According to Sarah’s colleagues at UP Medical Center in Pittsburgh, the same intuitive nature that made her loved by her family made her loved by her patients–Sarah’s kindness, calmness, and tenacity in diagnosing and treating her patients was unprecedented.
Most importantly, both Suzy and Sarah believed in the goodness of people and importance of treating everyone with dignity. At her school in Pittsburgh, Suzy would sit with the young people in the mornings, gathering them around her to read books as their parents left them in her caring presence for the day. Sarah was known for bringing baked goods to the hospital for her colleagues; it wouldn’t be unusual to find her in the staff break room, heating up soup for a patient who hadn’t been able to hold down food due to a change in medicine. That was them–two wonderful women who would care for the ignored and speak for the neglected. Not a day goes by in which we don’t think about their kindness; laugh about the memories they’ve left us with; and cry for a world that will not know their awesomeness since they were taken from us.
“Gun control” is not a magic bullet but we are beyond #ENOUGH. Enough killing; enough political excuses; enough waiting for someone to figure this out. Suzy and Sarah worked to improve the lives of those most vulnerable in our society–children. We promise to work to make sure another neglected population isn’t ignored: those murdered by gun violence and their families and friends who will never forget them. Love you both, little sisters.