Susan Laughter Meyers

  • Born: May 19, 1945
  • Died: June 25, 2017
  • Location: Ridgeville, South Carolina

J. Henry Stuhr Downtown Chapel

232 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401

Tel. (843) 723.2524

Tribute & Message From The Family

Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Susan by adding your memories and photos.

Susan Laughter Meyers, 72, of Ridgeville, South Carolina, wife of Ishmael "Blue" Jewel Meyers entered into eternal rest Sunday, June 25, 2017. Her memorial service will be held Friday, June 30, 2017 in Circular Congregation Church at 2:00 p.m. Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr, Inc. Downtown Chapel.

Susan was born May 19, 1945 in Albemarle, North Carolina, daughter of the late Robert Edgar Laughter and Mae Irvin Laughter. She was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earned her Masters at East Carolina University and was a member of the first MFA class at Queens University of Charlotte, graduating in 2003 with a concentration in poetry.

Susan was a welcoming presence to all she encountered and an enthusiastic supporter of other poets. She always had an eye for the small details like line endings, lines, the right sound, the right phrase, not just in poetry but in life. She had a gift and love of words...spoken and written. Susan could write a poem, advise a friend, mentor a young poet, lead an organization, or defuse a crisis all with grace, wisdom, patience, and persistence. Her distinguished record of unselfish service is as long as her impressive list of publications, prizes, readings, and workshops.

Susan was very active in the Poetry Society of South Carolina and North Carolina, including terms as president. She was the cofounder of the Litchfield Tea & Poetry Series, now in its eleventh year. Susan served as President of the North Carolina Poetry Society (NCPS) from 1998 to 2000. Her distinguished record of quiet, unselfish service the NCPS began in 1991. Her first position on the Board of Directors was as a Member-at-Large from 1994 to 1995. She also served as Regional Workshop Committee Chair during that period and moved into the position of Vice President in 1995. Susan played a key role in the planning, publication, and promotion of the anthology Word and Witness: 100 Years of North Carolina Poetry, as well as in preparations for the Touring Theatre Ensemble of North Carolina's performance based on that anthology. Her wise and steady leadership brought the Poetry Society through some major transitions into an even stronger organization. After leaving office, Susan continued her service to the NCPS by critiquing poems of new members and proofreading the newsletter, as well as advising officers and serving on numerous committees. She has taught numerous workshops for the NCPS, for the Press 53 Gathering of Poets in Winston-Salem, and at other venues throughout the state. In 2007 the NCPS dedicated Pinesong, the annual anthology of award-winning poems, to Susan in recognition of her outstanding work for poetry and poets in North Carolina. Susan had chaired the committee that recommended changing the name of the annual anthology from Award Winning Poetry to Pinesong.

Susan was also active in other literary organizations, including the North Carolina Writers Conference where she served as Chair in 2009 and Vice-chair (2008) and Secretary/Treasurer (2007). In 2013 Susan won the North Carolinian Literary Review's James Applewhile Prize for Poetry. She twice won Crucible's Sam Ragan Poetry Prize and in 1996 won the NC Poetry Society's Thomas H. McDill Award. Her poems have appeared in the Southern Review, Crazyhorse, Tar River Poetry, and many other journals and her work has been featured online at Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. Susan won many awards and prizes including the 2013 Edward Stanley Award for Prairie Schooner, the 2013 SC Academy of Author's Carrie McCray Nickens Fellowship, and the 2011 Verna Ubben Fellowship to Virginia Center or the Creative Arts. Her poems have appeared in major journals, including The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Beloit Poetry Journal, Crazyhorse, as well as on-line sites, such as Poetry Daily, Verse Daily and Ted Kooser's American Life in Poetry. Poems have appeared in several anthologies, a most recent is The Crafty Poet l and ll, the latter including an interview.

Susan is survived by her husband of 41 years, Ishmael; step-son, Danny C. Meyers of Irmo, SC; step-daughters: Renee Meyers Kirby (Dickie) of Timmonsville, SC and Novella Meyers Prince (Jim) of Mt. Pleasant, SC; sister, Janice L. Sullivan (John) of Greensboro, NC; sister-in-law, Nadine Laughter of Richmond, VA; grandchildren: Danny Blue Meyers (Joy) of Germany, Jacob Meyers and Kelsey Meyers both of Columbia, SC, Darol Kirby (Stacy) of Columbia, SC, Kylie Kirby and Joseph Kirby (Jordan) all of Florence, SC, Philip Prince of New York and Walker Prince of Washington, DC; six great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her brother, Robert Gene Laughter.

Memorials may be made to the Poetry Society of South Carolina, P.O. Box 1090, Charleston, SC 29402.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Susan Laughter Meyers was known by us through her public readings, workshops, and as an email mentor. Her poetry consistently hit home. We will be remembering her as our poet of the month at our Ruminators meeting tomorrow night. And best wishes to Blue, whom she often mentioned at readings.

Posted by james raff - greenville, SC   October 11, 2017

It is with such terrible shock, I respond. While in search of Susan's mailing address(thinking she had a website, came up instead. I am about to mail a check for her latest astute reading of my collection. I chanced to meet Susan at a workshop on Ossabaw Island about four years ago. We hit it off--she, the best reader ever. Our last correspondence was early in June when she complained only of a hip problem. She had completed an abundance of work on my latest collection and had, as always sent love. Her kindness as a reader was over and above the norm. I am so grateful to have had her in my life--never had a chance to talk in person other than those few days four years ago. I always thought I would see her again. Cannot find words now for the total shock I am feeling, and have no words for the pain in my heart. My sympathy to you, Blue, especially. I have read about you and feel I know you from Susan's poems.

Posted by Madelyn Camrud - Grand Forks, ND   July 02, 2017

Susan embodied a rare spirit of elegance, kindness and strength. She will be missed and mourned by so many. We are fortunate to have her work, as well as the memory of her gracious generosity to sustain us.
How lucky we were to have you here with us, dear Susan.

Posted by Gwynyth Mislin - Columbus, OH   July 02, 2017

I am so sorry for the loss of such a beautiful heart and life who left her imprint. The impact Susan had on those knew her or those who knew her loved ones was significant and she is greatly missed. I pray that you would feel the presence and strength of Abba Father and that He'd carry each one of you. I'm so sad, I will continue to pray for you and your family. Much love, Deb Way

Posted by Deb Way - Charleston, SC - Family Friend   July 01, 2017

Susan was one of the the best people I've ever known and one of the best poets. She was a joy to know, share time with over the years, and also, to share conversation about poetry. I will miss her kindness and lunches in Columbia. We all have her beautiful words though, and that will be a comfort. I know her family will take comfort in all the memories about her that they will share. I keep them all in my prayers. Gone way too soon.

Posted by Linda Lee Harper - Augusta, GA - friend   June 30, 2017

I am sorry for your loss. I will pray for the family. 2 Corinthians Chapter 1 verses 3 and 4

Posted by A friend   June 29, 2017

Blue, on your bad days think of Novella, she's a recipe for a smile and energy to move forward . I'm so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Banks Wannamaker - Mt.Pleasant, SC - Friend   June 29, 2017

Susan's presence, wherever she was, was always a welcoming and reassuring presence. It is so hard to believe that she will not still be present at gatherings of the Poetry Society of South Carolina, where I most frequently interacted with her. Her absence will diminish the pleasure of those evenings.

Posted by JoAnne Simson - Charleston, SC   June 29, 2017

No words, shocked. Thinking of you Blue and sending prayers to all. Remembering Susan's Southern Charm and grateful we had our time together visiting in your home. I will always remember the peacefulness of you two together surrounded by the birds, the squirrels, the trees...peace be with you.

Posted by Debra Ann Afarian - Yorba Linda, CA - Family Friend   June 29, 2017


It was such an honor to know Susan. I know she had no idea what a light she was in so many lives. She was so encouraging and respectful to those of us who struggled, she kept me writing. I can't imagine how many lives she touched.

To family and close friends, no words are adequate to convey how sorry I am for your loss. I hope you will be comforted by how much of herself she left in her writing and in all of you.

I will not be able to attend the memorial because of health issues, but I am honoring her with prayer and holding her close. I will be with you in spirit.

Posted by Sally Arango Renata - Surfside Beach, SC   June 29, 2017

Susan was such a gentle and creative spirit. I never saw her when she wasn't smiling. She communicated kindly with me during a crisis time, and I will always be grateful. She was a talented poet who supported other poets with gusto. I will miss her.

Posted by Jo Angela Edwins - Florence, SC   June 28, 2017

Two beautiful words to writer Henry James were "Summer Afternoon." To so many of us now during these summer afternoons and in future times, there are three beautiful words: Susan Laughter Meyers. Memory Eternal.

May peace be gently on its way to you, Blue and family.
Ellen and David Hyatt

Posted by Ellen Hyatt - Summerville, SC   June 28, 2017


Dear Blue & family,

Sending you our heartfelt sympathy on your sudden loss of Susan. Does not seem real as we just saw you all at Jim's birthday late May. May your wonderful memories give you some comfort at this sad time.

Joe and Susan Maloney

Posted by Joseph & Susan Maloney - Newburgh, NY - Friend   June 28, 2017

For the past few days my thoughts have been filled with memories of my time with Susan.She taught me to appreciate the simple things in life and I like to think I'm a better person for having her in my life. I know how difficult it will be for you, Blue. I pray that the memories which cause you sadness now will eventually give you comfort. I will always cherish the friendship we shared.

Norma Jo James

Posted by A friend   June 28, 2017

my thoughts and prayers go out to you Blue and all your family Susan was a wonderful kind, and loving person the world will miss herQ

Posted by louis cervini - georgetown, SC - Friend   June 28, 2017

I'd like to add my words of admiration and affection for Susan to those written by the many people who were her friend. She was a bright, calm, intelligent, kind presence in all our lives, and we will miss her. Janice and Nadine, I'm so very sorry for your deep loss.

Posted by Judy Goldman - Charlotte, NC   June 28, 2017

Blue, my condolences on the loss of your beautiful wife. Maryrose and I will always remember Susan with great admiration.

Posted by Tim Henebry - Redmond, WA - Friend   June 28, 2017

I will definitely miss seeing Susan's sweet smile and miss her presence at the YMCA (Ponds)! I will be praying for all her family and friends in this time of sorrow.

Posted by Robin Lewis - Summerville, SC   June 28, 2017

Susan was known for her kindness and generosity within the poetry community in the Carolinas. She opened doors for me by writing a thoughtful, brilliant review of my poetry book for the North Carolina Literary Review and by inviting me to read in Charleston. Her gifts extended far beyond the page; she was a beautiful person as well as a talented, accomplished poet. Her unselfish example and her beautiful words will continue to inspire me and many others.

Posted by Beth Copeland - Gibson, NC - Friend   June 28, 2017

To Blue and family,
My heart is with all of you as you grieve the loss of Susan and celebrate her life. She touched so many lives in such a gentle and sparkling way. Her creativity delighted many and influenced the writing of many. I knew Susan from the YMCA gym at the Ponds in Summerville. We were in Spin, Yoga and Chisel classes. Always positive and friendly to all, she will leave a huge hole in our Y family. Her spirit will remain with all of us who loved her. Susan always let me know when her hummingbirds returned in the spring. That meant they'd be drinking from my feeders in 2-3 days.

Posted by Ann Shahid - Ridgeville, SC   June 28, 2017

We are so sorry. Grace to you all.

Posted by Jean and Jim Smith - SC - Friend   June 28, 2017

I am so shocked with the passing of Susan - What a wonderful woman she was - when my husband passed away last December from Cancer, her kind notes back and forth were such a help to me - my thoughts and prayers to Blue and family.

Posted by Rosemary Schaffer - Burnsville, MN - Friend   June 27, 2017

I am so shocked with the passing of Susan - What a wonderful woman she was - when my husband passed away last December from Cancer, her kind notes back and forth were such a help to me - my condolences to Blue and family.

Posted by Rosemary Schaffer - Burnsville, MN - Friend   June 27, 2017

Poetry is language at its purest, so I believe that poets can represent the very best that humanity has to offer. I know that Susan was and will remain at the top of that list.

In simpler language, I miss my friend now and will miss her always. I'm glad that she has left us so much of herself to read out loud and to ourselves when we search for the right words to say.

Posted by Duna Miller - Columbia, SC - Friend   June 27, 2017

She was a gentle person, was kind to everyone. She never missed a birthday. She never forget my parents birthday. My mom would call and laugh, because as she is opening Susan's card a bunch of confetti would fall all over the table and the floor. My mom called today and said, I looked in the bedroom, and saw confetti in the floor from one if Susan's cards. She was my dads favorite person. He has bad knees and can't walk without a walker. She brought him these electrod pads to put on his knees for pain.
Always thinking of others. She made my uncle Blue and everyone that knew her a better person. You will be missed by so many Aunt Susan.

We love you.

Tricia Filas

Posted by Tricia Filas - Franklin, WI - Family   June 27, 2017

Blue, I am so sorry. But so glad I got to see the two of you at Jim's party. Susan was the most gentle and soft-spoken person I have known.We just never know. I am in prayer for you

Much love,

Posted by Janet Rockey - Georgetown, SC - Friend   June 27, 2017

Of the many lives she has touched,
I am but one.
But my days are darkened
by her gentle going.

Posted by Ray Dotson - Dudley, NC - Friend   June 27, 2017


The news was a complete shock to me out of nowhere. I feel very lucky to have known Susan with her ever-present smile and southern charm. I am so glad to have visited last summer and spent some time with her and Blue in Charleston. She was indeed a beautiful person with an incredible love for life. I will miss her but remember her for the remainder of my life.

Posted by Tony Afarian - Yorba Linda, CA - Friend   June 27, 2017


My thoughts and prayers are with all of Susan's family and friends. I had the most lovely pleasure of knowing Susan through the Wildacres Writer's Workshop. She was a great supporter of the written word and a beautiful spirit. She is missed greatly.

Posted by Amy Burle - Candler, NC   June 27, 2017

Once the milestone is complete the journey ends swiftly.Thoughts and prayers.Doris C.johnson.Loris,S.C.

Posted by Doris C. Johnson - Loris, SC   June 27, 2017

I have wonderful memories of the many walks Susan and I went on when she lived in Minnesota.. One memorable walks was when Novella joined us for an especially rigorous hike, and ended up carrying both of our backpacks. I missed Susan when she moved back home to South Carolina, but was fortunate to be able to visit.

Posted by Janet Talle - Hopkins, MN - Friend   June 27, 2017

Family Album