Coping with Grief
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Susan Valerie Menard Smith left this world a better place because she was here. Her human body was suddenly taken from us, and her family, friends and associates are devastated. Sue was born on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 1958. This was an appropriate birthday for her because she spread love and kindness everywhere she went. She was born to Janice and Kenneth Menard in Holyoke, MA. She attended Holyoke elementary schools. Her family moved to Springfield, MA where she attended Springfield Technical High School graduating in 1976. Sue went onto study at Holyoke Community College. Sue was the practice Administrator for Pioneer Spine and Sports for 25 years. She loved her job and took it very seriously. Realizing she had many people relying on her, she was fastidious in all aspects of her work. She planned her own time off around her work related obligations and payroll so her coworkers would have the least amount of job interruptions and no interference with their pay schedules. Those same people have expressed what a fair and wonderful boss she was. The practice will miss her loyal dedication, extensive knowledge and her kindness beyond measure. Sue had a kind, quiet sweetness about her. Her gentle nature was felt whenever she was around. She was considerate of everyone and sympathetic to weaknesses. However, do not mistake her gentile ways for weakness. She was a force to be dealt with in the kindest of ways. She could be assertive without being aggressive. She was a tower of strength to everyone around her but those same people knew that she could be firm when she needed to be. In true Sue form, she and Bob became involved with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. They formed a bond with their little brother when he was nine. She encouraged him to be the best he can be, not only through encouraging words but it was her actions that always spoke the loudest. They are still in weekly contact with their “little” 22 years later. Sue loved being in the sun. It made her feel good all over. Her happy place was sitting by her backyard pool or enjoying the sun at the beach, any beach. The beach was her happy place. She loved her vacations with friends that always involved the beach, shopping, eating, talking, reading, sunning, relaxing, resting, and enjoying her down time and camaraderie. Sue was always up for a shopping trip. There were many places that she was happy to explore for the perfect find. Her one pet peeve was because she was short; capris were always too long and became ankle pants. UGH. This was always a shopping challenge for her. However, it did not stop Sue. She persevered. You could not keep a good girl down. She was always on the constant look out for places to shop looking for the perfect find. Sue loved to watch movies with her dogs by her side. Sue and Bob love their dogs, Bronx, Chance and Dakota. They are all rescues and she cherished them beyond words. They will be lost without their mom and faithful companion. Sue was so grateful for friends in her life. She was especially grateful for her friends of 55 years, Kathy and Dorey and her friend of forty years Nancy Bosworth. They were like family to her. Their vacations, especially the time at the beach and, at the very least, monthly dinners they shared held a special place in Sue’s life. She so enjoyed this sharing time with these dear ladies. Those that knew her well knew that cooking was not her forte. Dinner out or take out and eating in was a staple for Sue. She loved food but did not cook. She did not like cooking and was a regular at Delany’s take out. That is just the way it was. Sue reveled in every achievement and milestones that her family reached. She was so proud of her children, grandchildren and her precious great granddaughter. Her love was unconditional on all levels. When she was asked to officiate at her granddaughters wedding, Sue did not hesitate to accept. She was so honored and privileged to have been asked. This was a task where she did not underestimate the importance of marrying her granddaughter. Although, Sue had many wonderful moments in her life that were memorable and fun, this was one of those very proud lifetime achievement moments. Sue was strong in her faith. She was a faithful parishioner. She was a regular communicant of St. Michael’s Parish in East Longmeadow, Mass. As Sue has finished her time here, she leaves behind her beloved husband, partner, friend, companion of 39 years, Bob Smith. She also has left behind but will continue to watch over her six children, Jonathan and his wife Cathy, Michelle, Jamie, Bob Jr., Jason and Tiffany. Sue will continue her heavenly guidance and watchful eye on her beloved grandchildren, Chelsea and husband Greg, Kristin, Anthony, Brandon, Kayla, Jake, Brandi and Jaevon. They will feel her presence watching over them always. Sue will hold her great granddaughter, Aniya, close to her heart even in death. Sue leaves her brother Ronald and his wife Barbara, and sister, Dee, to continue this life’s journey with her watching from above. Sue leaves many inlaws, nieces and nephews whom she loved and they loved her back. They will all miss Auntie Sue’s sweetness, kindness and friendship. Their depth of grief over losing her earthly, human self is indescribable. A void too deep to fathom right now. In lieu of flowers, donations in Sue’s name may be directed to the Thomas J O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center, 627 Cottage St., Springfield, MA 01104. Her love of rescue animals will live on through your generous donations. Her funeral will be held on Tuesday, May 24th at 12 noon at the Byron Keenan Funeral Home & Cremation Tribute Center, 1858 Allen Street, with burial to follow at St. Aloysius Cemetery, Berkshire Ave., both in Springfield. Calling hours will precede her funeral service on Tuesday morning at the funeral home from 9-12 PM.
Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center
627 Cottage Street, Springfield MA 01104