IN MEMORIAM: Susan Kolb Dunwoody

by Jane Ahrens

Susan Dunwoody, passed away peacefully on November 2, 2022 after a seven year battle with ovarian cancer. Anyone who knew Susan knew her faith, her grace and her selflessness, but it was during this battle that we all saw her amazing inner strength. Upon being diagnosed she realized she had two cornerstone decisions to make: first, who to trust to lead her through the choices for her treatment, and second, the choice to live in fear, or to live with acceptance. In her quiet, but strong way, her first decision was to choose MD Anderson and Dr. Larissa Meyer and her amazing team. Her second decision was she chose acceptance over fear. From that day forward, she never looked back on those foundational decisions. Those two choices let her begin to view this diagnosis as a gift we had received as a family…. the gift to truly reach the pinnacle of feeling, and the true understanding of the absorbing depth of love. We found there’s nothing that brings out love more than recognizing the potential of loss.

Throughout her adult life, her devotion was to her family, her friends, her faith and to support those less fortunate. Susan created loving relationships with families across the country supporting her commitment to the advancement of inner-city education. She did this quietly, but personally. She visited the homes, the children, the parents and did whatever she could to encourage a better future. Thousands of families have been touched by her grace.

Susan was a person of immense faith, but loved and accepted everyone at whatever place they were in their journey of life, always without any judgement whatsoever.

The last important role in her life was to be the first person with ovarian cancer at MD Anderson to be treated with a new research-based protocol. It was important to her that in this obituary we thank Dr. Amir Jazaeri, Dr. Anil Sood, and their amazing teams who worked endlessly over those years to develop breakthrough research protocols, and to thank the dear family (who wished to be unnamed) that joined us in making this research possible. To all of you, we are deeply indebted. Susan’s prayers are that this is a major step in developing a successful treatment for ovarian cancer. May that prayer be realized! Join us in that prayer.

Born March 3, 1950, Susan grew up in Houston Texas, attended Lee High School, LSU, and later Columbia University. Susan and Mac Dunwoody were married for 46 years and had three beautiful children: Katharine (Katie) Kittrell Dunwoody, Courtney Viva Dunwoody, and William McComb Dunwoody, Jr. She has four precious grandchildren, Aldin Ducic, Tajjie Ducic, Darcy Dunwoody and Kaleo Dunwoody Santos. She was the daughter of John and Joy Kolb, and was the sister of Jay Kolb, Ellen Klepacki, Ann Cuclis and the late Paul Kolb.

In closing, she embraces all of you that were a part of her life and helped her walk her journey.

In lieu of flowers, we hope you will consider donating to MD Anderson. Contributions may be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center, P.O. Box 4486, Houston, TX 77210-4486 or Please consider designating gifts to: The Susan Dunwoody Fund for Ovarian Cancer Research.

Susan’s service will be held in Houston on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at eleven o’clock in the morning at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 3471 Westheimer Road. Those who may not attend in person may view a livestream of the memorial service at www. dunwoody.

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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