Susan Shipley Balch, artist and longtime member of the Belfast community, died peacefully on Dec. 29, at the home she built in Swanville, surrounded by family and friends.

Susan left her home state of Maryland to attend Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. where she received her fine arts degree. She moved to Maine in 1971 to help Dr. David Thanhauser build his home. Over the 40 years of her career as an artist, Susan created many hand colored block prints and cards. Her designs were chosen twice for the MOFGA fair poster. She also worked as a teacher at the Belfast Area Children’s Center and as an assistant in the law office of Miles Frieden, before taking a job with Liberty Graphics where she worked many years as a color separator. She was a huge supporter of the arts, a former Belfast Masker and an avid gardener.

Susan was the daughter of the late Molly and Franklin Balch. She leaves two sisters, Jennifer Quick and husband Bruce Schaeffer, Martha Hubbell and husband Tucker; a brother Stephen Balch and wife Ginni; and three nieces and a nephew.

There will be a retrospective of her artwork at the Belfast Library during the month of April. The community is invited to join the family in a celebration of her life in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Library April 26, from 2 to 4 p.m.