Janet Susan Rumely was born Jan 19th, 1925, to John L. and Louise (Clasper) Rumely. (the Rumely name is famous for early farm equipment).
One year later her brother, John, joined the family. The two siblings became childhood pals and life-long friends. They shared interests and developed skills together, experiencing the natural world through the keen eyes of an artist mother and a father for whom knowledge was paramount. Good books and classical music surrounded them; drawing became second nature as they emulated their dear "Mum."
Sue’s parents migrated to Chicago for the Art Institute, and then on to NYC where she was raised. In the fall of 1939, John and Sue enrolled as art majors in New York's High School of Music and Art. Their parents then moved to Kerhonkson, in upstate NY, where her mother continued to illustrate for fashion magazines, paper dolls, cards, children’s books and more. Sue continued to live and pursue her own art career in upstate New York. She lived her whole life in the same farmhouse that she, her parents and brother moved into when she was 19.
Sue said in a 1950s interview, “I enjoy country life–natural history has always been on of my special interests. In my spare time, I’m usually making detailed sketches of flowers, leaves and birds for my reference.”
Sue is very independent and managed to live on her own until this year, when some limited mobility caused her some difficulties, although she still is able to walk. She loves cats, and her only major regret is needing to live in a nursing home in New York where animals are not allowed.