Susan Iris DeRienzo, 60, passed away Monday, April 5th at her home in Kiln surrounded by her loving family. She was born May 10, 1960 in Queens, NY, the second of five children to Joseph and Elba (Medina) Kohler. She grew up in Suffolk county on the South shore of Long Island, in the hamlet town of Sayville. Her family and friends were important to her and she developed a love for music. With a strong Catholic background, Susan had a love for the Lord and a talent for singing, which she began to do in church as often as she could. This led to her becoming a classically trained vocalist, as well as learning to play guitar and piano. After her high school graduation, Susan attended Long Island University's CW Post campus, where she earned her bachelors degree in Elementary Education. She went to work teaching music and art at Smithtown Christian School and stayed there for a few years before accepting a position with United Cerebral Palsy. While there, she worked with clients in a group setting, taking them on field trips and other activities. In 2001, Susan met a minister named Abraham DeRienzo, better known as "Rocky". They were married and moved to South MS where Rocky pastored The Church of Living Waters in the White Cypress Lakes community. Susan loved being a pastor's wife, ministering to the community and singing. When Rocky passed away in 2010, she continued to minister and sing in area churches. In her spare time, she enjoyed painting landscapes and others scenes, gardening and tutoring children. Susan is remembered as a Christian woman with a truly caring heart. She had a goofy but great sense of humor, loved to laugh and help others to do so as well, and was always there for her son no matter what. Susan gravitated to those in need, doing whatever she could to help, especially in and through difficult times. She possessed a true heart of compassion and was more than determined, which meant there wasn't many challenges she couldn't solve. Throughout her life, Susan kept her eye on the Lord, prayed fervently and had His joy in her heart, no matter the situation she faced. Her smile and laughter will be forever missed by all whose life she touched. She was preceded by her parents, Joseph and Elba Kohler, her brother Joseph Kohler, Jr., and her loving husband, Rev. Abraham DeRienzo. Left to cherish her memories are: her only child and son, David (Janya) Jarres of Kiln; sisters Sandy (Richard) Wilcox of Ontario, Canada, Sylvia Westo of TN and Sharon McGee of CA, with several nieces, nephews. She leaves a legacy of untold numbers of students taught and tutored, congregants ministered and sang to, and friends and neighbors loved on and helped through the years. Susan's final wishes were to be cremated and returned to Long Island for interment, which her family is honoring. Trinity Funeral Services is honored to serve the DeRienzo family in their time of need. Please keep David and the entire family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
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