Dogs, Willie Nelson and correct grammar

Nelson was one of Graves' favorites, as was the female country singer Patsy Kline. Graves combined her passion for animals with her love of country music by naming her beloved Scottie dogs Willie and Patsy.

"The only thing we ever disagreed about was what breed of dog I should get," said Barbara Vink, the public information specialist at the Voorheesville Public Library. The Spotlight runs weekly columns from local libraries, and Vink recalled that Graves always made sure the Voorheesville library column was in the paper.

"Sue loved literature and reading; freedom of information and people's right to access that information," said Gail Sacco, director of the Voorheesville Library. "She understood that libraries are an important place to get information, and she was always a champion of the library."

Sacco said she interacted with Graves not only as the library director, but as a resident of Bethlehem, in particular as a parent of children in the Bethlehem schools.

"We talked a lot and shared viewpoints," Sacco said. "If I called her, she'd always listen and consider my perspective. She was always diligent about understanding and presenting both sides. She had a lot of creativity and vision, and she really let it shine through the paper."

"She didn't hesitate to express her opinions," Vink said. "She had that gravelly voice, which made her seem like an old-time, cigar-smoking editor."

Current Bethlehem Supervisor Sam Messina got to know Graves more than 20 years ago, when he and John Smolinsky co-founded Bethlehem Citizens for Responsible Planning.

"There was a lot of growth and development happening in town, and there was no planning department, no comprehensive plan," Messina said. Messina was also part of the town-established Land Use Management Advisory Committee (LUMAC).

"We developed what we believed was a good comprehensive plan," Messina said. "Sue's editorials were very supportive, and she recommended adopting it. In talking with Sue, I never felt my time was rushed, nor that she wouldn't listen, even if she didn't agree."

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