Susan Campbell Frankenberg

Susan Campbell Frankenberg

In Remembrance
January 25, 1937 - July 1, 2024

Susan Alice Campbell was born in Alabama on January 25, 1937, to Irma Victoria Wiggins and Wayne Price Campbell. She lived in Montgomery for most of her childhood and throughout her life retained strong ties to her friends from Montgomery and Sydney Lanier High School Class of ‘55, as well as a deep Southern accent. College took her to the University of Alabama, where she graduated in 1959 with a major in biology, enjoyed life in the Kappa Delta sorority house, and became a life-long fan of the Crimson Tide.

Early in her first year as a graduate student at Emory University she met her future husband, Dirk Frankenberg. They married in 1960 and spent several years living and working on Sapelo Island before moving to Athens, Georgia. Initially interested in science, Susan changed paths in Athens, founding a successful gallery for modern art, the Frankenberg/Guthrie gallery.

In 1974, Susan, Dirk and their children moved to North Carolina. Initially planning to settle in Chapel Hill to be close to the University, Susan discovered Hillsborough and fell in love with a big, old Victorian house, where she lived for her remaining 50 years. She began to buy and sell antiques in the late 1970s, filling her house with things she treasured. She founded her second business, Susan C. Frankenberg Antiques, and traveled frequently to Hong Kong, China and Indonesia in conjunction with Dirk’s oceanographic consulting trips. Making many friends on those trips, she was known as the “female entrepreneur.” She also collected folk art, Native American baskets, and southern furniture.

Susan worked passionately over many years to preserve Hillsborough’s beautiful old buildings, joining the Historical Society and serving on the Burwell School Commission. She was a staunch supporter of efforts to promote Hillsborough without altering its small town appeal and historic character. She was also an active member of St Matthews Episcopal Church.

Susan died on July 1, 2024, after a bad fall the week before. She leaves her children Elizabeth and Eben and her grandchildren Avery, Walker, and Campbell. An institution in Hillsborough, Susan called things as she saw them, had a sharp sense of humor, delighted in slow drives around the neighborhood and small-town social life, and could be found most evenings enjoying food, friends, and a glass (and a half) of wine at her favorite Hillsborough restaurants.

In lieu of flowers, you are welcome to make a donation to your favorite charity in Susan’s memory.

Memorial Service
Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church
210 St Marys Rd.
Hillsborough, NC 27278
 August 12
10:30 am