Who: Born and raised in Scranton, Nicole Suchter was a free spirit who enjoyed making others smile or laugh and loved having fun, whether it be in karaoke, cooking or lots of outdoor activities, according to her younger sister, Jessica Suchter. A graduate of Bishop Hannan High School, where she received highest academic honors, Nicole modeled as a teenager in New York City and Philadelphia with Ford Models and Elite Model Management. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business from University of Scranton and co-owned Ty’s Bar in New York’s Greenwich Village, also living in Philadelphia for a time.

Jessica Suchter saw her sister as “a special girl, beautiful inside and out, who had a heart larger than life.” She loved animals, especially her dog, Mario, and would rescue animals that seemed in danger or needed a home. In addition to supporting Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, Nicole was deeply spiritual and cared for elderly and homeless people in addition to raising money for different charities and causes. Nicole looked forward to returning to the Honesdale/Poconos KOA campground this summer, where she’d made many friends during her stay in her camper last year.

What: In early January, Nicole thought she had caught the flu and started a regimen of rest, hydration and medication to nurse herself back to health. Before the 44-year-old could reach out to a doctor, however, she died early in the morning of Jan. 11. Her family later learned she actually had pneumonia.

Nicole left behind her sister; mother Frances Suchter and Jack Lyons; father, Emil J. Suchter and wife, Andrea; and extended family as well as many memories. Nicole “left a lasting impression” on others, including her best friend, John Brazil, her sister said.

“She always lived life to the fullest, as told by the many stories by those who knew her,” Jessica Suchter said.

Why: Nicole’s sudden death has left her loved ones in shock, but they feel grateful and overwhelmed by the love, memories, donations and support others have shared with them. They are accepting donations to cover her final expenses, and anything the family raises beyond those costs will go toward Griffin Pond Animal Shelter and dedicating a bench in Nicole’s honor at a location to be determined.

How: The public can donate at the GoFundMe page, “Nicole Suchter (Nick Rock),” but her family also encourages people to donate in her memory to Griffin Pond Animal Shelter or a charity of their choice.

In her own words: “We are on an emotional roller coaster of grief. It doesn’t feel real, and then (we realize) just how real it is again. We couldn’t get through this without everyone’s support that knew and loved her. We are all leaning on each other in the time of need.” — Jessica Suchter, sister