Sue Ellen (Smith) Spence

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Murray-Weaver Funeral Home

Sue Ellen Spence was born on August 12, 1947, the first child of Harold Nathan and Wilma Bernice (Bullock) Smith near Galveston, Indiana. Later, her sister, Carol (Shoaff) and brother Craig were born, completing the family. Growing up on the farm, she loved the country, animals, and hard work. She graduated from Lewis Cass High School in 1965 and Ball State University in 1969 with a degree in teaching. After teaching Home Economics at Lewis Cass one year, she married Kent Spence on November 21, 1970, in the First Baptist Church of Bunker Hill, Indiana. Following the wedding, Sue moved to Bamberg, Germany with her husband, where he was stationed in the U.S. Army.

In September 1971 Sue and her husband moved to Okmulgee, Oklahoma where his job awaited. She made friends and memories there, but the best thing that happened to her was the birth of her daughter, Janna Renee (Lynas). In 1973 a job transfer moved them to Mt Zion, Illinois. Soon after the move, she gave birth to her first son, Evan Scott. She dedicated herself to her highest priority, caring for two toddlers, while forming a friendship that would last a lifetime. In 1976 her second son arrived, Aaron Christopher, and life got even more interesting – and busy.

In 1977 Sue and her husband decided to return home to Cass County, Indiana. Settling near Grissom Air Base, Sue focused on what she loved – raising her three children, working in her garden, cooking delicious meals from scratch, and making the best home for the family that God had given her. And when the family needed it, she taught in the Title 1 program at Maconaquah Elementary, helping other children. During the forty-two years she lived in that home, she blessed the marriages of Janna to Derek Lynas, Evan to Karina Sawaguchi, and Aaron to Melinda Smith. She was blessed with grandchildren Amelia, Hope, Mac, and Mesfin (Lynas), Rebecca and Jacob (Spence) and Cleo (Bellaw). Sue loved family times with all her family near her, and especially one-on-one times with grandchildren.

Applying her gifts of teaching and cooking, she taught for years in children’s Sunday School, Junior Church, Toddlers, and helped with many funeral dinners at church. She also worked with girls as a 4-H leader at one time. She sought a place where God could use her, and gave her best.

With a bird book always close-by, Sue loved to watch and identify local birds. She also loved quilts, and with determination and patience, finished one her mother had started years before. That was her last big project.

Diagnosed with a progressive neurological disease in 2018, Sue and her husband moved to Noblesville in 2020, to downsize, live on one level, and be near family. On March 16, 2024, Sue passed into Jesus’ arms and experienced the best day of her life, with an eternity of them to come. We will miss her for now – her sense of humor, her counsel, her common sense – but we won’t forget the blessing of being loved by her.

Private family services and burial will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Bible Baptist Church, 2635 S. Dixon Rd., Kokomo, IN 46902 in Sue’s memory.

Arrangements were entrusted to Murray-Weaver Funeral Home.

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