From all accounts, Caryn Sue Husk lived the meaning of “circle of friends” — her geniality drew people to her and then they became good friends with her other friends.
“Whenever we’d go out dancing, Caryn would be in the middle and we’d always dance around her,” said Lesley McCrory, of Danbury, Connecticut, who met Husk 40 years ago when they and two other girls shared one pillow at a sleepover. “I guess it’s because a lot of us met through her. She was always the strongest link.”
Husk, a Casselberry, Florida, resident who lived most of her life in Suffolk County, died Sept. 1 of kidney cancer, heart failure and other complications.
The widow, whose husband Scott Husk died in 2016, was 58.
She had lived and perhaps let go of life for her daughter, Shayna, born 24 years ago after years of fertility treatments, family said.
The new mother was forever thrilled at having a child and fulfilling her daughter’s wishes. She took jobs that allowed her to work from home so she could greet her daughter's return from school. At times, when she was not feeling good, she’d still drive half an hour to Disney World to pick up collectibles for Shayna’s mailing business.
“Everything she did revolved around me,” said the daughter, of Casselberry.
She said her mother was in a coma at rehabilitation center the last time she visited: “If it wasn’t me telling her it was okay to let go, she’d still be here because she would have lived to make sure I was okay. Shortly after I kept telling her ‘it was okay to go, it’s okay,’ you could see from the monitors she was letting go.”
Husk had been a Verizon employee handling issues and setting up phone numbers for 20 years, then had a variety of telephone-related jobs for other companies, including setting up a call center in the Philippines for 1-800-FLOWERS.
Perhaps a phone career was “inevitable” because she loved being on it, said her brother Marshall Lubin, who produces Newsday’s sports score pages. When the two lived in the family’s East Northport home, he recalled, he bought a phone for his room and she bought an extra long cord so she could commandeer the phone for hours in her room, racking up her brother’s long distance bills.
Socializing with friends was so important that she chose a clunker as her first car, a Plymouth Fury station wagon, because it could fit eight friends, her brother recalled.
“She was like the spoon that stirred the drink,” said Lubin, of Holbrook.
She met Scott Husk, a single dad with a daughter, during a singles event and they fell in love quickly, marrying in 1990. “She loved the fact that he had a very good singing voice,” Lubin said.
Scott Husk toasted her with a song at their wedding, and she and her family eventually converted from Judaism to her husband’s Christianity before the couple moved to Ohio to pursue his church goals, her friends said.
To talk about Husk was to laugh over her kooky ways, as her circle of friends did the Friday after her death during their usual Zoom get-together.
When she and Scott married in an elegant affair, they had someone dress up as a chicken doing the chicken dance, friends said. To support a comedian friend performing at a club, Lubin said, she bought a “laugh machine” that haw-hawed with her distinctive “hysterical” laughter — “Thanks Caryn, all I needed was you,” the comedian said.
“She was the funniest person,” said John Kleinfeldt, of upstate Beacon, her friend of almost 40 years. “Just the things she did cracked me up and I will miss that,”
While Husk liked to track down long-lost acquaintances and call out of the blue, then share updates with her circle, she was vague about her own struggles.
During the Zoom meets for the past three years, her friends saw her energy waning but she never complained.
Shayna said her mother always thought of others: “She wanted to make sure that everybody was happy, that everybody was in good spirits.”
She also is survived by daughter Michelle Colindres of upstate Goshen.
A celebration of her life will be livestreamed at 2 p.m. Saturday from The Storehouse Church in Fern Park, Florida, at storehouse.church/live.