On Monday, June 8, 2020, Leslye Sugar (née Donner) passed away after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was at peace in the company of her family near palmtrees, the Pacific Ocean, and the Hollywoodsign, far from the small suburb in Baltimore Country from which she hailed.
Leslye is survived by her husband, Fred N. Sugar, M.D.; her children, Jillian Kogan Dunn (Matt Dunn) and Joshua L. Kogan; her younger sister, Betsy Dunphy (Michael Dunphy and their children); Fred’s son, Gary Sugar (Stefani), and daughter, Terry (the late Michael Zaslow); and grandchildren Jackson, Zoe, Mia, and Bella. She is fondly remembered by her cousins, Sandra Miller (the late Melvin Miller) and her son Jeffrey Miller and his children and Susie Mindell (Morty) and their children, as well as many lifelong friends, extended family, and her darling, devoted dog, Pippa.
The eldest daughter of Dr. Leon and Selma Donner, Leslye grew up in Baltimore County and attended Forest Park School. Her grandparents Rosa and Israel Ruck often cared for her while her mother taught math and her father attended University of Maryland medical school. An academic with a passion for Romance languages, Leslye graduated from Goucher College in 1965 with a BA in French, a language she continued to master for the rest of her life.
She earned a Master of Liberal Arts degree and a Master’s in Language Arts in Romance Languages from Johns Hopkins University, and she attended the M.S. Program in Public Information at American University. She also studied photography at the Maryland Institute and proudly earned First Place in the Baltimore Sun’s A. Aubrey Bodine Photo Contest. She captured and printed commercial images of Orioles legend Brooks Robinson and former attorney general Steve Sachs, as well as portraits of close families and friends.
As a French teacher, elle était adorée by her students at St. Paul’s School for Girls, The Park School, Roland Park Country School, and McDonogh School. She worked alongside her cousin, Harold Goldsmith, Chairman of the Board at Merry-Go-Round Enterprises, and served as Director of Creative Services and Director of Publications and Special Projects for Johns Hopkins University and Medical Institutions. Leslye spearheaded projects for such prodigious institutions as the Clayton Heart Center, Meyerhoff Center for Digestive Diseases, Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care Unit, and Sugar Ray Leonard Center for Eye Research. One her great career moments was hosting the Duke and Duchess of Kent at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
A devoted and loving mother, she always made it home for dinner, helped with homework, edited papers, carpooled, and cheered from the sidelines of her children’s numerous athletic pursuits. She enjoyed reading, playing tennis, skiing, biking, walking, playing softball (when cajoled), shopping, and spending time with friends. Forty years ago, Leslye met the love of her life, Fred Sugar, a respected Baltimore neurosurgeon, at a dinner arranged by mutual friends, and their love story, filled with romantic adventure, continued to her death. The couple explored the world and set down roots in several of their favorite places: Aspen and Vail, Colorado; Southport, Connecticut; Cap-Ferrat, France; New York City; and eventually, Los Angeles. To be certain, they never had an issue getting their children or grandchildren to visit.
Throughout her life Leslye generously committed her many skills and talents in service of her community. She will be lovingly remembered as a compassionate woman, a beautiful person, and a true lady. She will be laid to rest in the City of Angels.
The family requests no flowers and has directed all contributions to The Alzheimer’s Drug
Discovery Foundation (ADDF) or the Breast Cancer Research Foundation