In one of the stars
I shalll be living.
In one of them
I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing
when you look at the sky at night.
  • 69 years old
  • Born on August 11, 1942 .
  • Passed away on October 1, 2011 .

We, who love Susan, have created this site for all of her friends and family, who also loved her, to share their thoughts and memories and pictures.  Please feel free to add a short tribute or condolences below or click on the tab above to add a story, with or without a picture. No public memorial service is planned at this time, but many small, private celebrations of her life are being planned at different places and different times, with internment to follow in St. Louis, MO and Tioga Pass, CA.


The quote at the top is from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and was chosen by Susan to be used at her memorial.  


 The following is another quote she wanted:

"Death is nothing at all... Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar names. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. All is well" - from Rosamunde Pilcher.


And finally, Susan wrote her own note to all who loved her:

"I've had a wonderful life. Although it may have been cut short prematurely, I've been blessed with adventures and enough disappointments to help me realize just how special life has been. I was fortunate to have a very special husband, loving friends, and of course my family. The love and support has been so fully given. You can no more tell someone not to grieve than you can tell them to stop breathing - but please remember the special gifts that you each gave to me, especially in these past few years."


In lieu of flowers, Susan's wishes were for family and friends to donate to the charity of their choice. If you do not have a favorite charity, one possibility would be to donate a children's book to your local school or public library.  Susan loved children's books and would be happy to know more books were being made available to children in her honor.

Posted by Melody Price on October 2, 2019
Another year gone by. I think of you so often and am inspired. You were and are still one of the most influential people in my life.
Posted by Rogelio Lopez on October 1, 2019
You are forever missed dear Susan and when I look at that night sky for that star that shines so bright and will remember you dear friend
Posted by Dee Wood on August 11, 2019
Susan was the BEST teacher of teachers... kind & caring... and the smartest with new, complicated info. Her presentation style for 30 or 300 was always calm, authentic and well-planned. Susan was a talented professional that is still missed! You’re certainly NOT forgotten Ms. Spoeneman! ❤️
Posted by Melody Price on October 1, 2018
My favorite aunt, mentor, friend, and confidant... I still miss you. I wish you were here to see our sweet grandson - 18 months old now! I hope I can be as supportive to the people around me as you always were to me. Thank you for your inspiration.
Posted by Lois Irwin on October 1, 2018
Susan, my dear sister, I feel you with me almost every day. Being with you opened parts of my heart and spirit that were previously closed and my life is so much better because you were in it. I see things through your eyes, experience more joy because of you. In some ways, I don't feel like you are gone. You were/are a rare being with so much curiosity and joy about life that it permeated the people around you. We treasure you.
Posted by Catherine Boyer on August 27, 2018
Oh my, has it been 7 years already? I miss you so very much and I think about you so often, I still have a hard time. This month was emotional for me. Michael would have been 55! I would like to believe you are both somewhere laughing and cracking jokes with Uncle Bob. My dad turns 80, and so I am reminded we are all aging. Elisabeth is now entering her Jr. year and Sarah her 8th grade year while Levi is on to 2nd grade. Teresa and Miguel have their hands full with 3rd, 2nd and 1st! Lilly is going into 5th and Raegen 3rd. We have such a great family. You would be proud of how well Marco is doing with the kids! I love you always, Catherine
Posted by Marilyn Koeller on August 12, 2017
Happy Birthday to a fantastic person and teacher.
Posted by Dee Wood on August 12, 2017
Happy Birthday. Susan!!
Posted by Catherine Boyer on September 3, 2016
Hello Aunt Susan!
Today I am in the beautiful state of Colorado, visiting Ashley,Jonathan, and Bailey. It is so peaceful, and I am having such a wonderful time. I thought of you many times in this past day and a half and how many times as a child I visited you, then how many times my children visited you. I feel so terrible that I was not a very good aunt to Brandon or Renee so I am trying to be one with Bailey. I am going to walk tomorrow as there is a special Denver Walk for Hydrcephalus. I'm not too sure how my feet or back will feel afterwards, but Bailey has gone through 6 brain surgeries in her short life, so I think the walk is the least I can do. Anyway, I thought I would tell you how much you are missed and how much I love you.
Posted by Catherine Boyer on August 11, 2016
Well, I thought about you all day!! Vicky got home from Jordan this time and has been here a few weeks now. Marco brought the kids, and I met Vicky and Raegen (she is getting so tall) at Huntington Beach and Marco was there within a few short moments after I arrived!! Elisabeth starts High School, Sarah starts Junior High, Daniel will start 2nd grade, Christian 1st and Raegen 1st too!! Levi off to Kindergarten. I'm sure you see Angela; she is such a joy and a kick in the ass!! SO much like Teresa I take a double glance more than once!! I still miss you so much, especially this time of year. I get your down comforter out and wrap myself up in it and I swear I can still just get a little wiff.......
Posted by Rogelio Lopez on August 11, 2016
Happy birthday Susan. You will always be remembered!! Keep a seat warm up there for us. My hope is to some day be up there chatting with you and enjoying the moment once again
Posted by Susan Perry on August 11, 2016
Happy Birthday dear friend! You are missed!
Posted by Marilyn Koeller on August 11, 2016
To a fantastic teacher on my staff whom I will never forget.
Posted by Catherine Boyer on August 11, 2015
Happy Birthday Aunt Susan!!
I can't believe it has been 4 years. I look up at the stars and wonder where you are, but then I think you are every where. I miss you so. It is hard not to get weepy thinking of you, and yet I smile at the same time. It is a conundrum I don't think I will ever be able to explain. The kids are all getting so big!! We ALL miss you so, but are glad you can dance your days and nights away with Bob. I think like Melody in that sometimes, I wish I could call you and hear your advice, or just your voice, and get those great big hugs. Life goes on. Love, Love Love you
Posted by Melody Price on August 11, 2015
I thought of Susan several times today, on her birthday. She was like a mother to me and also like a very good friend and I very much miss her. I re-read the tributes here and am thinking about what a wonderful person she was. I want to be that positive, loving, wise person. I hope I am becoming just a little like her.
Posted by Melody Price on October 1, 2013
I think of Aunt Susan so often and wish she was still here to talk with me, offer advice, hear me out, and just be my friend. Sometimes I miss her so much! But I feel so blessed for having had her in my life. I hope I can be that kind of person to some of the other people in my life.
Posted by Marilyn Koeller on August 12, 2013
Enjoyed reading all the tributes to Susan over the years. Her legacy will live on through all the lives she touched!!!!
Posted by Susan Perry on August 11, 2013
I think of you often, dear friend. The handmade ceramic heart you made for me is still on my desk in my office so thre you are everyday. Having a "hot dog" lunch with you one day resulted in you showing me the " real way" to eat a hot dog with chips. Put your chips directly on the dog!!!! To this day, I think of you when I have a hot dog....with chips on top of course! Loving you..Susan
Posted by Patricia Hurley on March 28, 2013
I met Susan at the Garden Club in Lake Arrowhead. She was always so vibrant and alive and interested in so many things. The pictures are a joy to watch because they show her love of life. I miss you, Susan, but know that you are reunited with Bob and having the time of your next life!
Posted by Catherine Boyer on October 1, 2012
Today is a celebration. My husband and I celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary, which Bob and Susan were such a big part of. Also, today is my granddaughter's 5th birthday. What a celebration of life. 7 years ago during the same week, Susan found out she had this cancer that took her from all of us. She did what she could and left the rest out, meaning she LOvED life!!
Posted by Marilyn Koeller on October 1, 2012
As i said last year, Susan was one of a kind. Her students were so fortunate to have had her as their teacher!!!!
Posted by Melody Price on July 12, 2012
I'm missing Susan so much today. Everything around me seems to be reminding me of her. Truly, she is part of me, but I still miss her voice and advice and comfort.
Posted by Dee Wood on November 1, 2011
Susan was a huge influence in my teaching life. She shaped so many of us with her knowledge and passion to be a better educator.  She made a huge impact on teachers in schools in West Orange County.  She'll be remembered with huge love and admiration for all she gave to us. Thank you and rest in peace, dear friend and colleague, Susan.
Posted by Marilyn Koeller on October 24, 2011
Susan was one of the fantastic team at Vista View school while I was their principal from 1975-1981. Their support for one another was a source of comfort for all.
Posted by Mark Spoeneman on October 21, 2011
As a wife, as a friend, as Grandmother, seemingly whatever she endeavered to do, Sue always did it well. Well done, good and faithful servant, your work is done, now go in peace.
Posted by Sharen Martin on October 18, 2011
We have such special memories with Susan & Bob in our Christian Small Group. After Bob's passing Susan was always so brave & positive with her outlook of life.
Heaven is so fortunate to have her come home.
Posted by Virginia Brier on October 13, 2011
To honor your memory, I am planning a week of service learning tutoring in the Navajo Nation Schools in Tuba City, Arizona. I will remember you each time I see the twinkling stars in the Arizona sky.
Posted by Judy Jackson on October 10, 2011
I've lost my very dear friend of 24 years. Yes, she was my "boss" for twelve of those years but she was, more importantly, my friend. Susan enriched my life with her wisdom, her sincere caring and her love. My life will continue to be enriched with 24 years of memories.
Posted by Tori Lopez on October 9, 2011
I will always remember Susan as an extremely positive person. She was my third cousin, but she was like an aunt to me. I had the privilege to spend time with Susan at the beach about a month before she passed. Susan accomplished many things and I will never forget her.
Posted by Marilyn Carpenter on October 9, 2011
The highlight of Susan's visits to Spokane was the time we spent sharing the newest children’s books I brought home for her to see. She always had a wonderful insight or observation I missed. Those times are a treasure to me.
Posted by Rogelio Lopez on October 9, 2011
My joy comes in knowing she was a sister in Christ and that some day we will meet again on that Celestial Shore. "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands." 2 Corinthians 5:1
Posted by Rogelio Lopez on October 9, 2011
"As a fellow teacher we shared many things in common regarding education and life in general. Her passing only saddens me in knowing that we won't have any more of these talks this side of heaven. 
Posted by Rogelio Lopez on October 9, 2011
"Whenever I was around Susan I always felt a sense of peace and caring. The way she was engaged in whatever conversation we were having gave me that sense that she was totally there in the moment."
Posted by Ellen Bye on October 9, 2011
I will never forget you Susan and you will always remain in my thoughts and memories. Your courage was profound and my admiration for you astounding. Peace to you my friend.
Posted by Linda Chapel on October 9, 2011
Susan was a wonderful teacher of teachers. The Teacher's Center was a unique program that ensured some of finest teachers in California. We have Susan to thank for so many quality staff development programs which teacher's chose to attend! She has left a legacy so few will have.
Posted by Susan Perry on October 8, 2011
"I am forever blessed in knowing you dear Susan. The laughter and giggles we shared while you sat in a chair taking your chemo like a trooper, and, me on a stool beside you is still so fresh in my mind. You were truly an inspiration to everyone who was blessed in knowing you."
Posted by Janice Wilhelmson on October 8, 2011
Dearest Susan, I don't know if you ever understood how you were admired and loved. You were one of if not the most courageous women I have ever known. You were beautiful on the inside and on the outside. I can see you now in Heaven with the love of your life, till we meet again
Posted by Michelle Price on October 6, 2011
I will always remember Great-Aunt Susan's warm supportive spirit. She always made me feel welcomed and gave amazing advice about life and love.
Posted by Lois Irwin on October 6, 2011
I feel so privileged that I could live with Susan these past 9 months. I feel her joy inside me, am relieved she could let go so peacefully from her failing body. Tell a funny story or share a memory with us all!
(Susan's sister)

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