Katha Diddel Sussman, beloved wife of David Sussman and loving and devoted mother of Paul, Thompson and Kiki Warren, died peacefully at home in Greenwich, CT, Tuesday, March 25, 2014, after a courageous battle with lung cancer. She was 56.
A graduate of Brown University, 1979, and The Hotchkiss School, 1975, Katha also attended the Dalton School and Marymount in New York City. Katha traveled extensively around the world, and was the ambassador to the Chinese Olympic team in 1980. In the same year, she founded and served as the Chief Executive Officer of Katha Diddel Home Collection, a company she began while she was living in China and which specializes in the design, import and export of handmade home furnishings and accessories to the US and European markets.
Katha was a talented competitive athlete all her life, and became a celebrated world class triathlete in the last 10 years. She participated in her first triathlon in 1984 in Hong Kong, where she was living and working at the time. She subsequently focused her time on raising her three adored children, building her business, and volunteering for a number of charitable organizations.
Katha began her rise to national ranking in triathlon competitions in 2007 Her crowning achievement was representing the US in the 2012 World Triathlon Championships in New Zealand, while undergoing cancer treatment. Prior to that, Katha completed an Iron Man Triathlon as well as the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon three times. She was also named to the Triathlon All- American team, ran the 2012 Boston Marathon and the NYC Marathon twice. Katha "podiumed" in almost every competition she entered. Not only in triathlons, but in so many other endeavors. Her zest for life, unquenchable love of adventure, bottomless intellectual curiosity, beautiful smile and generous spirit, will continue to inspire all who know Katha.
Katha was born in New York City, October 11, 1957. She is survived by her mother Kathryn C. Diddel of Greenwich, CT, her two brothers, Glenn Diddel (Dr. Roberta) of Houston, TX, Scott Diddel (Suzanne Michaud) of Greenwich, CT , her sister Heather Diddel (Sam House), of Delmar, NY, nieces and nephews Gregory, Andrew and Matthew Diddel, and Emily and Nate Diddel House. Katha was predeceased by her father Andrew G. Diddel II. One of Katha's greatest joys was marrying the love of her life, David Sussman, and adding two wonderful daughters, Jane and Becky Sussman, to the family she adored.
A service will be held at Stanwich Congregational Church, 202 Taconic Rd, Greenwich, CT at 2:00 on Friday, March 28, 2014 to celebrate Katha's remarkable life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Katha Diddel & Warren Family Fund for Genome Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR?pg=fund&
To leave an online condolence, please visit www.leopgallaghergreenwich.com.