Susan A. Smith passed away on April 26, 2019 at New Friends Memory Care in Kalamazoo after a long period of declining health due to early on-set dementia. She had been a resident of Walker, Michigan for the past eleven years.
Born May 3, 1957 in Kalamazoo, she was the youngest child of Alyce L. and Sydney Smith. She is survived by her father, brothers Christopher, Allan, Perry and thirteen nieces and nephews. Susan leaves a very special friend, David Tjepksma of Grand Rapids to whom her family is deeply grateful for his extraordinary care and support that sustained her as her dementia progressed.
Susan grew up in Oshtemo Township and later attended Galesburg Augusta High School and Western Michigan University, majoring in criminal justice. After college, she worked as a legal secretary from 1984 to 1985, then as Civil Assignment Clerk, Ninth Circuit Court of Kalamazoo County. From 1987 to 2007, Susan served as the Case Manager for U.S. District Judge Richard A. Enslen. She scheduled hearings for cases and was in the courtroom daily, interacting with attorneys and jury members. In 2007, she transferred to the Federal Court in Grand Rapids and retired in 2009.
When not working, Susan pursued hobbies, pampered her cats and enjoyed time with her friends and family. She was a member of Delta Zeta and served as a senior advisor to the sorority for many years. Early on, she volunteered with the Kalamazoo Jaycees. Later she got hooked on scrapbook and craft making, attending workshops and events to improve her skills. Her love of Detroit Red Wings hockey and music inspired many outings to games and concerts. She was a kind, caring, fun-loving person who cherished her family and friends. Her declining health brought much sadness to those who knew her and in passing, she will be sorely missed.
In lieu of a funeral service, the family will host a celebration of Susan’s life at a later date. Cremation has taken place. Condolences may be sent to the family in care of Sydney Smith, PO Box 113, Galesburg, MI 49053. Gifts in Susan’s memory are suggested to Alzheimer’s Assn, www.alz.org or a charity of one’s choice.
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