Saltwater Portrait

Suzanne Landon: giving back and surviving

Suzanne Landon is the co-chair of this year's Beebe Ball. A cancer survivor and agent with Jack Lingo Realtor, she said she enjoys giving back to her community. BY RYAN MAVITY
February 25, 2014

For someone who enjoys giving back to her community, Suzanne Landon landed one of the best gigs someone can get for giving back: co-chairing the annual Beebe Ball.

Landon’s theme is the Orient Express, a theme she hit on combining the idea of the Orient with her love of Paris. The Express was a passenger train service that ran from Paris to Istanbul from 1883 to 2009.

“There’s so many ideas you can play off of with that theme,” she said. She plans to incorporate Turkish elements and reference the late 1800s when the famous train began. Landon said she is looking forward to indulging her creative side in decorating for the ball, a task she considers somewhat of a hobby.

While she does not yet know which charity will benefit from the November ball, Landon said she likes to give back to a community she calls home, and her charity extends from her experience as a cancer survivor.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 1996. I had the surgery and the chemo and the radiation, and I’m very blessed to have come through that,” she said. “You always think it will never be you, and then it is you.”

Landon said her bout with cancer inspired her to get active with the Cancer Support Community Delaware, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping cancer patients and their families cope emotionally with the disease. She said when she was first diagnosed, she contacted the Wilmington-based service by phone.

Later when Cancer Support Community opened a Sussex County office, she decided to get involved. She serves the chairman on the Sussex County Community Advisory board.

“We handle the emotional side of cancer, which is a big thing,” Landon said. “This was the perfect avenue for me because I was familiar with it and I knew the wonderful work they did.”

Landon credits her family, namely her daughter, Mary, who works for Beebe Healthcare, and her faith, for getting her through. Landon, who lives in Rehoboth, is a member of Epworth United Methodist Church.

Landon has been a realtor with Jack Lingo Realtor for 30 years. A gregarious person with an easy smile, she said her favorite part of the job is meeting people.

“It’s always something different. It’s the same thing, but it's different because the players always change,” Landon said.

A native of the Pittsburgh area and graduate of West Liberty College in Wheeling, W.V., Landon said she always wanted to live near water. After stints in Annapolis and Seaford, she moved to the Cape Region 31 years ago for work and has not looked back. Landon graduated with a degree in dental hygiene but made her career as a real estate agent, something her daughter jokes with her about today.

“Mary kept telling me, ‘You never stay in what your degree is mom.’ I said, ‘Yeah, that’s true,’” Landon said.

Still, the job landed her in Rehoboth, a place she has come to love.

“I think what I like about it is it’s a very sophisticated, cosmopolitan small town. They are very hard to come by. You have all the advantages of a big city with the shopping and the restaurants and the things that go on. But you don’t have all the entanglements that come with living in a big city,” Landon said.