Those who knew Sue Smiser were blessed to know a gracious and kind woman. She was talented in every way – beautiful and funny, a devoted mother, brilliant businesswoman and manager, and family matriarch who was incredibly generous and supportive.
Sue came from humble beginnings. Born in Malone, TX on Oct. 16, 1922, she was one of nine siblings raised on the family farm. Eventually, her secretarial skills led her to a position at the Army base in Harlingen, TX where she met and married her husband, Samuel L. Smiser. After Sam’s military commitment, they resettled in Bakersfield, CA where they established their trucking business and raised their family.
In 1970, as the business expanded, they relocated to the Pasadena area. One of the many groups they connected with and came to support was the San Gabriel Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Sam had attained the rank of Eagle during his time as a scout and Sue was the proud grandmother of three Eagle Scouts. Sam and Sue became major contributors to the construction of the council’s new scout center named the Smiser Scout Center in their honor. Sue continued to be a donor and board member for the council after she relocated to Coronado, CA.
Pasadena always held a special place in her heart because of her love of gardening. She was a frequent visitor and supporter of the Huntington Library and Gardens and along with her husband and his much-loved team of mules, she participated in several Rose Parades in the 1980’s. Sue was also a supporter of Pasadena area schools as well as Elizabeth House, a Pasadena organization dedicated to helping and empowering pregnant women and their children in crisis situations.
Throughout her life Sue was increasingly drawn to volunteer and to generously support community organizations that served the public good. In addition to her work in Coronado, Sue provided funds to help renovate the historic high school in Hubbard, TX into a community center and library for the small town where she had grown up.
Her family of three daughters and their spouses had grown to seven grandchildren, their spouses, and fourteen great grandchildren. Each one felt the love of their “Noni” in a special way. The oldest grandchild, Stephen Scheidler, penned these words: “Today our beloved “Noni” went home to be in the presence of our LORD. In her final moment she was surrounded by love though this was not unique as all who knew her were drawn to her and couldn’t help but fall in love. She exuded kindness and compassion to everyone she met. She was the author of a legacy of grace of which I am honored to be a part. She will be sorely and painfully missed…but that pain, even though it is very real, is dwarfed by the immensity and gravity of the love she showed to us and to the countless others around her. Thank you, Noni, for all the things you were and are, for all the things said and not said, for the example you gave, for your laugh, for your spirit, for eagerness to see and do good. We love you.”
Sue passed away June 28, 2020 at age 97 in her Coronado home, in the company of her daughters, Mary Sue Scheidler, Beckey Smiser and Sammye DeBerry, her granddaughter Colleen Warren, and her devoted sister, Jean Savage. Her ashes will be buried at a later date in the family cemetery in Hubbard, Texas. In lieu of flowers, please continue her attitude of generosity by contributing to organizations that are helping to promote goodness in our society.