NEW YORK — Susan Bucenec, 55, vice president of sales at Kids Headquarters, died Sunday at Lenox Hill Hospital here.

This story first appeared in the June 8, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The cause of death was liver and pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed a week and a half ago, according to a spokeswoman for her family.

A 1975 graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Bucenec began her career at Frederick Atkins as a buyer and then switched to the wholesale side of the business. She became vice president of sales at Kahn Lucas, a children’s wear manufacturer, before joining Kids Headquarters, where she spent the last 18 years of her career. While at Kids Headquarters, she launched U.S. Polo, among other brands, for the company, reporting to Jason Rabin, president.

“Everybody loved her. She ran a very successful business,” said Rabin. “She really put her heart into it. Her buyers loved her, and they’re flying in for the service.”

Bucenec was able to seamlessly weave her personal and professional lives, turning her numerous business associates into personal friends. Among her passions were her trips to Italy, where she traveled more than 20 times, and her Havanese, Leo.

She is survived by her fiancé, Michael Curcio; her mother and stepfather, Irene and Bob Witherspoon; father and stepmother, Herman and Meryle Meinster; a brother; a stepbrother, and a niece.

Services will be held today at Riverside Memorial Chapel at 180 West 76th Street, at 10 a.m. Donations may be made to Bucenec’s favorite charity, the American Kennel Club.

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