Susie was born in Los Angeles, California on March 6, 1931. She was 90 years old when she was called to heaven on May 11, 2021 in Longmont, Colorado. She passed peacefully at home surrounded by devoted and adoring family members.
Susie was raised a “country girl” after her family moved from Los Angeles to the Cathedral Oaks area in Santa Barbara, California in 1933.
Her parents, Nellie Mae Hutchison (née Wilkins) & Earl Metcalf Hutchison were born in Texas. Nellie Mae is described by family as a southern belle raised in Logansport, Louisiana, who could dance through a pair of silk stockings in one night, and was the sweetest of mothers. Earl was born in Fort Worth, and later worked for Signal Oil & Gas in Santa Barbara, California.
Susie had an identical twin sister, Mary Lou, who passed away when they were only three years old, and had three other siblings, an older sister and brother, Janis Earl Cianfrone and Edmund “Bud” Guy Hutchison, and a younger brother, Roderick “Rod” Earl Hutchison who all predeceased her.
Susie’s favorite childhood memory was riding her cow, Bossy, throughout the hilly pastures up on El Sueño Road and singing her heart out. The family churned their own butter and grew their own produce in their Victory Garden during WWII.
As a teenager, Susie sang for the soldiers at Camp Cooke and at the Marine Air Base in Santa Barbara. It was her beautiful voice that led her to her future husband, Thomas “Tom” Massey Headley at Santa Barbara High School, who played the piano for the SBHS Glee Club. She was 13 and he was 16 when they met. It was shortly after Susie’s high school graduation that they married and started a family. They were blessed with five children, Scarlett, Rhett, Shahn, Ginger and Grant.
After the Korean War, Tom joined the family business, Castagnola Seafoods, that was started by his stepfather and uncle, Mario & George Castagnola. It wasn’t long before the seafood merchants started a chain of restaurants that became legendary throughout Southern California and Hawaii. These included The Lobster Houses, the Harbor Restaurant on Stern’s Wharf in Santa Barbara, Moby Dick’s, The Breakwater that all became famous for their delicious clam chowder, barbequed shrimp, broiled stuffed lobster, and the España restaurant that had delicious Hispanic fare, and was especially popular for their frozen margaritas.
Tom’s mother, Gladys Castagnola, was a huge influence on Susie from the time they met. Gladys was a consummate cook, who created all of the delicious recipes for the restaurants. Gladys was also a well-known, award-winning local artist and member of the Santa Barbara Art Association, Society of Western Artists, Women Painters of the West, and Laguna Beach Art Association. She instilled a sense of refinement and grace into Susie’s life that remained with her all of her days. Many may recall her paintings decorating the walls of the restaurants.
It was during 1967 that Susie and Tom met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) Movement, and learned to meditate. Tom told Susie it was what he had been searching for all of his life. Before long, they became the beloved National Leaders of the TM Movement in the U.S.A., and the president and vice president of Maharishi’s World Plan Executive Council whose objective was to usher in the Age of Enlightenment, bringing heaven to earth through TM & the TM siddhis program.
They travelled extensively throughout the world supporting Maharishi’s desire to spread the benefits of meditation to the West.
They were married for 52 years, until Tom passed in 2002. Susie then moved to Longmont, Colorado to live with her daughter, Ginger Douillard and son-in-law, Dr. John Douillard, and their six children, with her eldest daughter, Scarlett, and granddaughter nearby in Frederick, CO.
Susie’s final years were highlighted by the birth of fourteen grandchildren: Allisha Headley-Wood, Tara Nasif, Adam Headley, Jason Headley, Janaki Douillard, Devaki Douillard, Austin Douillard, Mason Douillard, Jensen Douillard, Gigi Douillard, Joshua Headley, Scott Headley, Christopher Headley and Shantiann Headley, and three great-grandchildren: Bradley Nasif, Adilynn Nasif and Delaney Heinrichs.
Above all, Susie’s most fulfilling accomplishment was being a loving & nurturing mother and grandmother. Each one of her children & grandchildren felt that they were the center of her world, and loved more than anything else.
Her beautiful smile, endearing sense of humor and warm bear hugs will be sorely missed, but her grace, goodness, purity, sweetness and generosity will live on in the grateful hearts of all those who knew her immense compassion, friendliness and love.
God bless you, beautiful Mama, and until we meet again, we’re so happy that you are now reunited with Grant, Shahn, Daddy and all of our dear friends & family in heaven, who no doubt welcomed you with a host of angels singing your praises as we do here.