Edna Sulat, 61, Social Security specialist

Edna Faye D. Sulat
Edna Faye D. Sulat
Posted: March 26, 2014

Edna Faye Dubbin Sulat, 61, of West Deptford, who retired in 2011 as a field services specialist for the Social Security Administration regional office in Philadelphia, died of cancer at her home Tuesday, March 18.

Most recently, she was the designer for a Social Security field office at Two Penn Center, her husband, Gerald, said.

The design was complex, he said, "because not only does it include a typical field office, but it is attached to a Social Security card center."

And that combination is rare, he said, because usually a card center "does nothing but issues Social Security cards as well as replacements."

Her design work for other SSA offices took her on four- and five-day trips to western and northwestern Pennsylvania as well as to Virginia.

Working with the General Services Administration, "she probably did at least half a dozen offices" in her last eight years with the SSA, her husband said.

Marilyn Asam, a retired field services representative who worked with Mrs. Sulat at SSA regional headquarters at Third and Spring Garden Streets, recalled that Mrs. Sulat was chosen for the Penn Center project "because of her expertise and her ability to get her job done."

It was, she said, "a very visible project."

The two had met in 1980 and began to work together on agency matters in 2004.

Mrs. Sulat, she said, "learned things very quickly and was always willing to take time to share her knowledge."

Born in Lake Worth, Fla., Mrs. Sulat graduated from Graham High School in Bluefield, Va., where she lived with her maternal grandmother, Faye Brewer, and earned an associate's degree in Spanish at what is now Palm Beach (Fla.) State College.

Her choice of government work was easy, her husband said.

"When you're living in southwest Virginia," as she was after college, "it's essentially a depressed economy and government jobs are attractive.

"Down there, it's coal mining and railroads and, if you're a woman, you're basically excluded from both."

She joined the SSA in Bluefield in 1975, he said, "and advanced quickly."

After the Sulats, both SSA workers, married in 1980, he said, they moved to the Philadelphia region, where she was a claims representative in the agency office in Chester, Delaware County, until about 1990.

Mrs. Sulat held the same job at the Cherry Hill office and became an operating supervisor before returning to Philadelphia in the early 1990s.

In retirement, she was a volunteer with the Community Health Law Project of South Jersey in Collingswood through 2013, working as an advocate for the aged and disabled.

"She was uniquely qualified," her husband said, "because so many of the programs were Social Security programs."

Besides her husband of 33 years, Mrs. Sulat is survived by sons Israel Thompson and Zachary Sulat, two sisters, and her former husband, Stanley Thompson.

A visitation was set from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, March 27, at the Budd Funeral Home, 522 Salem Ave., Woodbury, before an 11 a.m. memorial service there.

Donations may be sent to the Office of Institutional Development, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Ave., Philadelphia 19111.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.buddfuneralhome.com.


wnaedele@phillynews.com

610-313-8134 @WNaedele

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