Commentary: A legend in politics leaves Shenandoah Valley

Sometime on June 14 , a giant in Shenandoah Valley politics went home to be with God and her late husband.  Suzanne Curran was a legend in Republican politics both in Shenandoah County and in the 6th Congressional District.   The vice chair for the Republican State Central Committee for the Western District, Suzanne was a king maker and at the same time one of the kindest ladies ever born, yet the fiercest warrior when it came to the U.S. Constitution and government interference in our lives.

Suzanne was a tireless advocate for everything from issues on traditional values to being a proponent for American culture to limiting the scope of government.  Suzanne was one of the first people I met after moving into Shenandoah County, and so many of us learned so much from her, that her presence will be irreplaceable.  Suzanne, in her perfect world, would rather not have been an activist for limited government and the Constitution.  She was actually raised to vote Democrat, but like so many people (including her hero Ronald Reagan), she learned years ago that the Democratic party had left her.  So she switched to the GOP, but also saw that too many in the GOP were not serious about fighting the tyranny of an overreaching bureaucracy.  So Suzanne, Kenneth Cruise, and so many others started a movement in Shenandoah County dedicated to fighting the expansion of government powers and the proper utilization of our tax dollars, and she took this fight through the 6th Congressional District of Virginia.

Now to be fair, the woman who I referred to as my “bonus mom” could be a wee bit testy at times.  And woe to the person running for office asking for Suzanne’s help but was hypocritical when it came to the issues that she cared about so much.  Suzanne was a tireless advocate for the proper teaching of both U.S. and Virginia history in our schools.  She had been working on a book telling the history of the 8th Virginia Continental Regiment, Colonel Muhlenberg’s German troops.  The Founding Fathers had no bigger advocate than Suzanne Curran.   But no matter how testy Suzanne could be at times, she was always respectful toward the differing opinions of others.  It was difficult to win a debate against Suzanne, because she always studied both sides of an issue, meaning she knew her opponent’s argument better than her opponents did.

In the fall of 2014, Jim Curran, Suzanne’s husband of nearly 58 years, died from heart disease.  Suzanne missed him dearly, as would any spouse.  Approximately a month ago, Suzanne and I were on the phone, and she told me about a dream she had the previous night.  In this dream, she saw Jim, and Jim told her to not worry, they would be together again soon.   She had a happy sound in her voice during this particular conversation.

For those of us who are grieving now, we should see this as a happy day.  Suzanne has gone to be with her beloved.  But we who love our liberties and limited government will miss you forever.

John Massoud is the 6th District Chair of the Shenandoah County Republican Party, and does media relations for the Shenandoah Valley Constitutional Conservatives.