Photo courtesy "Skating Through The Years"
Suzanne first put on a pair of skates at the age of nine at the Braeburn Country Club, where she received early instruction from Dan Keefe and Bud Monroe. She didn't really start taking skating seriously until the family joined the Skating Club Of Boston when she was thirteen. She took her first formal lessons in figures at the age of fourteen from Willie Frick and quite incredibly managed to claim the U.S. junior women's title less than a year later.
Constance Wilson, Suzanne Davis, Melitta Brunner, Cecil Smith, Maribel Vinson and Sonja Henie at the 1930 World Championships
Though she skated in the shadow of her training mate Maribel Vinson for much of her career, Suzanne finished in the top three in the senior women's event at the U.S. Championships from 1928 to 1930 and won the bronze medal at the 1929 North American Championships in Boston behind Constance Wilson and Maribel. In 1930, she was selected to represent the U.S. at the World Championships in New York City. Though she placed last of the six entries and dropped to fourth at the 1931 U.S. Championships in Boston, she remained undeterred in her quest for success on the international level despite being labelled as something of a Susan Lucci - "always the bridesmaid, never the bride."
Suzanne Davis and Frederick Goodridge's winning Original Dance from the 1933 U.S. Championships in New Haven, Connecticut. Photo courtesy "Skating" magazine.
Photo courtesy "Boston Globe" Archives
Perseverance paid off when Suzanne amassed a huge lead in the figures and won the 1934 U.S. women's title with unanimous first place marks from all five judges. She also repeated as winner of the Original Dance with Frederick Goodridge and took home the gold in fours skating with Richard L. Hapgood, Frederick Goodridge and Theresa Weld Blanchard that year, making history as the first skater to claim the singles, dance and fours title in the same year. Sadly, Suzanne's father passed away the summer before and was unable to see his daughter finally win the U.S. women's title after so many tries.
Settling in Richmond, Virginia, Suzanne became a mother of two, a co-founder of the Skating Club Of Richmond and a national level judge. Late USFSA President and ISU Technical Committee Benjamin T. Wright knew her well and regarded her as "a good gal and a fine judge." Memorably, Suzanne performed in the USFSA's star-studded anniversary shows in 1971 and 1986.
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