Susan J. Brickell, one of the most stalwart of workers and supporters on the Pennsylvania Fair Circuit and the winner of the 2008 Mary Lib Miller Award, the highest honor given by the Keystone Chapter of the U.S. Harness Writers Association, passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer at the Moffit Cancer Center of Tampa on May 19, one month before her 67th birthday.
Ms. Brickell was born June 19, 1951 in Lewisburg, Pa., about a half-hour south of Williamsport, the daughter of Lorraine L. (Miller) Smith and Roger S. Wolfe. She was a graduate of the Mifflinburg High School class of 1969, and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in education and social sciences from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1973.
On July 12, 1990, she married William Dean Brickell, who survives. The Brickells lived in Rochester Mills Pa., about 75 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Ms. Brickell attended the Presbyterian Church of Rochester Mills.
She was a very successful Standardbred horse trainer and owner, one of her favorites being the trotter BS Woody, whom she trained and co-owned with her husband, Dean; after Woody won his last 11 starts on the fair circuit at three, he won the 2005 Pennsylvania Fair Sire Stakes Championship for his division at Pocono Downs. Other good Standardbreds associated with her were Oxford Judy and Diamond George.
She was also successful as a contest horse rider, and she won several Western Pennsylvania Girls Barrel Racing Association's championship on her horse Charlie, about whom she had an endless series of stories.
Ms. Brickell also served as clerk of course and charter at a majority of the Pennsylvania fairs over the last two decades, and also was a race secretary and a board member of the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association. She trained a generation of people how to serve in the various roles and functions needed to keep fair racing going. Her work supporting the fair horsemen and helping to make their financial positions secure earned her the 2008 Mary Lib Miller Award.
In addition to her husband Dean, she is survived by her father and by twin brothers Larry Wolfe of Lewistown and Garry Wolfe (Vickie) of Albuquerque N.M. Her brother-in-law Dave Brickell, who was with her at the time of her passing, is a trainer and driver of harness horses, as was his brother. She was preceded in death by her mother, Lorraine L. (Miller) Wolfe.
There will be a memorial service at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19, what would have been her 67th birthday, at the Deeley Funeral Home, 33 Hillcrest Drive, Punxsutawney Pa. (814) 938-5400. Online condolences may be made at http://www.deeleyfuneralhome.com/
Memorial contributions may be made to the Van Cornish Scholarship Fund, Box 271, Dayton Pa. 16222.
Dean Brickell asks that everyone attending the memorial service come dressed in casual clothing. After the service, there will be a pot-luck dinner and a further celebration of Sue's life back at the Brickell Farm in Rochester Mills, 15 minutes from Punxsutawney. (Pa. Fair Harness Horsemen's Assn.)