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Susan Herrnstein

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Susan Herrnstein

Susan Herrnstein passed away on Sept. 5, 2021. Susan was the beloved wife of Richard J. Herrnstein, dear mother of Max and James, and grandmother of eight, who affectionately called her “Grandma Susie”. She was the daughter of Edward V. Gouinlock and Ruth S. Gouinlock and the youngest of four siblings.

Susan was born on March 26, 1938 and grew up in Warsaw, N.Y., attending local schools until she went to The Baldwin School for high school. She then proceeded to Radcliffe College from which she graduated in 1960, majoring in Social Relations.

After graduation, Susan lived and worked in Berkeley, Calif., and New York City. She also traveled with friends in Europe, an adventure which featured a motor scooter. After a brief period, she returned to the Boston area working at Harvard University, where she met Richard. Susan continued to work with Richard and more broadly in academia, including as Assistant Editor of the Psychological Bulletin. Ultimately, she focused on being a full time mother to Max and Jim, while continuing to support her husband Richard’s academic career. Susan and Richard had a lifelong love affair, based on a profoundly deep mutual respect for one another.

Susan was very involved in the community. She worked extensively at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (the MFA). Susan was an Associate at the MFA, and then later a Senior Associate. In that volunteer role she enjoyed giving tours to visitors at the museum. In recent years, she championed the development of The Autism Nature Trail (The ANT) at Letchworth State Park, in Castile New York. With her colleagues, Susan’s determination has resulted in the upcoming, formal opening of The ANT at Letchworth State Park next month.

Susan was predeceased by her husband, Richard. She is survived by her two sons, Max and Jim, their wives Danielle and Robin, and eight loving grandchildren.

For those who would like to remember Susan, in lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to The ANT, made payable to Natural Heritage Trust, Susan Herrnstein Memorial, sent to 625 Broadway, Albany NY 12207. Arrangements are being completed by Robinson And Hackemer Funeral Home, Inc. Online condolences at

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