Sue Tushingham McNary, an internationally renowned artist, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great grandmother, and loyal friend, passed away peacefully on Monday morning, Aug. 3, 2020, in Coronado. She leaves behind her two sons, two daughters-in-law, three grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. She is finally reunited in heaven with her late husband, William Francis McNary, Cmdr., USN (ret.).
Suzann Till Tushingham was born in Camden, New Jersey, on Dec. 9, 1937. She began formal art training in Collingswood, New Jersey, when she was 9 years old. Sue took art classes in high school and earned an art degree from Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri. Sue spent one year of intensive art training at Michigan State University. Following college, she married Bill McNary, a young United States Navy officer, and, as military families do, they made frequent moves, including stints in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Virginia, and New York. During these moves, she gave birth to her eldest son, William Wallis McNary, in Guam, and to her youngest son, Glenn Michael McNary, in Pensacola, Florida. Despite having two young sons to look after while her husband was often deployed elsewhere, Sue kept up her art and eventually established a solid artistic reputation during the three years she lived in Brooklyn, New York.
Sue and her family arrived in Coronado in August 1972. In 1983, she opened the Sue Tushingham McNary Art Gallery in the historic Hotel del Coronado. For 15 years, she sold her art to clients from all over the world, including Prince Charles and Dick Van Dyke. She was commissioned to do original artwork for the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Hotel del Coronado, San Diego Gas & Electric, Coronado Municipal Golf Course, Bank of America, Coronado Public Library, Mercy Hospital, Coronado Village Elementary School, and U.S. Navy ships and shore commands.
When she wasn’t painting, Sue loved to share her love of art with others via public speaking or mentoring Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts or participating in art shows. She thoroughly enjoyed traveling, skiing, wine tasting, philanthropy, practicing her faith, and dining out.
Most of all, Sue loved and enjoyed being with her family and friends. Be it Money Honeys, the Rotary Club, Coronado Chamber of Commerce, Charter 1000 (the University Club), and so many other groups, Sue rarely missed an event to catch up with her friends and share her thoughts and ideas. As for family, she lived for opportunities to spend time with her sons, Bill and Glenn, and their families. She was especially proud of her youngest grandson, James, a budding musician.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was no viewing, wake, or church service. She was interred alongside her late husband in a private, family-only, ceremony at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery earlier this month. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations in Sue’s name be made to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Coronado. A proper and fitting celebration of life will be held for Sue at a date and time when it is safe to hold such a gathering.