Anna Sudlow died at the age of 103, less than three months from her 104th birthday, Thursday, Oct. 6, at Miller’s Merry Manor in Syracuse.
Anna will be missed in many ways and we especially remember her being an excellent source of historical information with a sharp memory even in her later years. She is leaving a legacy that will be difficult to replace. Unfortunately we’ve had to say goodbye to quite a few of this generation in recent months who had memories of the world when it was a much different place to live in.
To put this in perspective, Indiana is celebrating its 200th year of statehood this year. Anna was born in 1912, four years before Indiana celebrated its centennial. And we should also note she started her education at the Hex School, one of the old one-room township schoolhouses in Elkhart County, north of Syracuse. Clearly, she had memories and stories to share from a first person perspective.
She graduated from the former Syracuse High School in 1931 during the Great Depression and later that same year married W.A. (John) Sudlow. When she began at Syracuse High School, it was still in its previous location in the uptown area and then it moved to where Syracuse Elementary is now located. Together the Sudlows, who met at Syracuse High School, founded Sudlows Pier Shop in 1937 and worked together until selling the business in 1979 to their daughter and son-in-law. Sudlows Pier Shop is still in existence today.
The Sudlows knew many of the people associated with Lake Wawasee long ago. They did a lot of business with lake residents through the years.
Anna and John were founding members of the well known Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club. This club helped revive interest in the famous Duesenberg automobiles once manufactured in Auburn, and today there is a beautiful museum in Auburn showcasing many of those old cars.
Anna was also active in the parent-teacher association of Syracuse, Senior Mother’s Club and the Wednesday Afternoon Literary Club and she was a member of the All Saints Episcopal Church in Syracuse.
She enjoyed bowling, golf and traveling throughout much of the world, often by an RV. Anna and John enjoyed stays at their small cabin in Ontario, Canada, and lived on the south end of Lake Wawasee in the Vawter Park area for many years. John died in 1993.
Anna and John must have done something right if they started a business and owned and operated it for 42 years and it has survived a total of 79 years so far. Depending on the type of business, the odds can be stacked against a typical business lasting this many years.
There is something of importance to be said about leaving a strong legacy. Sacrifices were made by generations before us to help pave the way for the people of today. Anna and John Sudlow started a business on the heels of the Great Depression in an era when many businesses went bankrupt or simply had to close.
Anna Sudlow will be dearly missed and we say goodbye with sadness. She was a sweet, caring person who was nice to everyone she met.