Retired teacher from Warren died of COVID-19 several months after being vaccinated


This obituary is part of “We Will Remember,” a series about those we’ve lost to the coronavirus.

Her daughter encouraged her to get tested even though she had been fully vaccinated since February. That’s when Suzanne Martha Madigan found out she was positive for COVID-19. 

Madigan, 74, died May 16 at Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit as a result of complications from the illness.

The Warren resident was born in Detroit and grew up in St. Clair Shores, where she graduated from Lakeview High School. Madigan received a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in education from Wayne State University. She taught in the Grosse Pointe Public School System for 26 years.

Madigan met her husband, John, to whom she was married for more than 40 years, while at Michigan State University. They had five children and 13 grandchildren. He died in 2013.

After the death of her husband, Madigan spent a lot of time with her family and often found herself running from one event to the next, according to daughter Kelly Salamango. Her activities included spending time at her cottage off Lake St. Clair, attending grandchildren’s sporting events, going out for dinner with her sisters and babysitting her grandchildren. 

Madigan, known to many as Susy, loved flowers and spent lots of time tending to her meticulous garden.

In May 2019, Madigan was struck by a car in a parking lot after visiting her brother Duke, who had just undergone surgery. She ended up breaking both of her wrists and femur and had to undergo surgery.

“She spent the next few months in a rehab facility learning to walk again while her brother was in another rehab facility doing the same thing after his surgery,” Salamango said. “The joke between the two of them was who would get out first and get to go to their cottage.”