Obituary of Susan Handler Auth
Dr. Susan Handler Auth, classical archaeologist, educator and American museum curator died on Saturday April 22, 2023, at 83 years old. A longtime resident of Monroe Township, NJ and current resident of Boonton, NJ. She passed away due to complications of Alzheimer’s and pneumonia.
Born in June 1939 with her twin sister Sarah Handler in New York, NY to Arnold Benjamin Handler and Dorothy Winifred Young, both British citizens who emigrated to NYC in 1939. During Susan’s childhood she lived in New York City, Washington DC, Gleasondale, MA and Ann Arbor, MI - near whichever university her father was teaching.
Susan received her Bachelor’s Degree from Swarthmore College in Greek (1960), pursued a Postgraduate at University of London, earned her MA from University of Michigan in Archaeology, followed by a Postgraduate at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens before finally receiving her PhD from Bryn Mawr College in Archaeology with her dissertation focused on numismatics (the study of ancient coins) in1968.
She married George Ronald Auth of Hightstown, NJ on January 1, 1971, in Ann Arbor, MI and remained happily married for 52 years.
Susan participated in archaeological digs in Croatia, Greece and Turkey, served as a curatorial assistant at the Toledo Museum Art (1967), and as an assistant professor of ancient art and archeology at Rutgers University (1968-1971). In 1976, she authored Ancient Glass at the Newark Museum and continued her career as curator of the ancient collections (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Glass, Coptic art) at the Newark Museum from 1971 until her retirement in 2006.
She was a unique personality and always true to herself and her passions. A life-long learner with a love for ancient art and Egyptology, she translated ancient Greek texts (for fun), enjoyed hikes, played violin with a chamber music group, and was an avid gardener and voracious reader. She traveled extensively, enjoyed learning about new cultures and trying to learn new languages.
An accomplished academic, she earned countless awards throughout her life, most notably: Summer fellow American Numismatic Society, 1963; Fulbright scholar, 1964-1965; grantee Smithsonian Institute 1971, Ford Foundation 1975, National Education Association 1975 and Mellon 1990. And she dedicated her time to renowned institutions including the Archaeological Institute of America, The International Association of Glass, International Association of Egyptologists and the Coptic Art Society.
She is survived by her husband George Ronald Auth “Ron” (Boonton, NJ), stepdaughter Teri Nalbone and spouse Chris Nalbone (New Hope, PA) and grandchildren Pace Nalbone (Pittsburgh, PA) and Emma McGregor (Chicago, IL); stepson Richard Auth (Lambertville, NJ); daughter Rachel Melgaard and spouse Jeffrey Melgaard and grandchildren Penelope, Jolene and Freya Melgaard (Montville, NJ) and by her twin sister, Sarah Handler (Oakland, CA).
A memorial service will be held on Saturday April 29th from 10:00am to 12:00pm at Codey & Mackey Funeral Home, 107 Essex Ave., Boonton, NJ. To share a condolence with the family, please visit codeymackeyfh.com.
Donations can be made in Susan’s memory to The Newark Museum, Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore.
In Loving Memory
1939 - 2023
107 Essex Avenue
Boonton, NJ 07005
Richard J. Codey, Owner/Manager, NJ Lic. #3175