Roscoe ‘Rocky’ S. Suddarth

Eulogy by Tersh Boasberg

My Uncle Rocky, a man whom I truly idolized all my life. Besides my father, he was my Knight in Shining Armor, a true gentleman, diplomat and of course, scholar. How does one begin to explain the great influence a person has in one’s life? Rocky truly helped me to be the best I could be at whatever I did, he was one of my greatest role models. He adored his wife, his children, grandchildren and friends. Saying he lived life to the fullest does not do him justice and he expected the best from me as well. That was OK, as it made me strive for the heights in my operatic career and the heights of being a great human being. I know that he touched so many lives, and had a great impact. When you were talking with him, he had the ability to let you know, he was interested in every word and your opinion mattered, even though he didn’t always agree (seeing that he was a devout Democrat, I, a middle of the road Republican, we agreed to disagree a lot!) but always respected my thoughts. I am so grateful that we had our love of music in common, and our love for Michele, whom I adore as well, the love of his life. He was my one and only uncle, but I am so lucky to have had him in my life, albeit too short of a time…Rocky, I shall miss you eternally, Love, one of your three graces (nieces) Kim… – Kimberly Salyer, July 15, 2013

Rocky and I were Yale classmates and friends, as well as Foreign Service colleagues in later years. I very much admired his intelligence, charm, intellectual curiosity and love of life. When Rocky walked into a room, be it a State Department meeting or a social gathering, his presence brightened the atmosphere and encouraged people to bring out the best in themselves. He also had the precious ability to stimulate others to look at issues in new and creative ways. Along with his legions of friends and colleagues, I will miss him. – Pierre Shostal, July 8, 2013


Roscoe Sheldon (Rocky) Suddarth died June 29, 2013 in Washington, DC. He is survived by his wife Michele, father-in-law Max Lebas, sister Georgia Allman, children Anne and Mark, and four grandchildren. Born in 1935, grew up in Nashville, TN, graduated from Yale in 1956, Oxford in 1958. Career Foreign Service Officer. Ambassador to Jordan from 1987 to 1990. Lifelong learner, passionate about Classical Music and Jazz, Yale, and all things French, starting with his wife, Michele. A memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in the name of Rocky Suddarth may be made either to: WPFW Radio; University of Maryland School of Music; or Yale University.

Published by New York Times, July 7, 2013