For reasons certainly unknown and not well understood, Susan Rose safely passed from this life to the next on February 2, 2022, after a short illness. On October 5, 1961, Otis and Geraldine Rose welcomed their third child and first daughter to a family that would eventually grow to four boys and three girls. Keeping track of seven active children would test the limits of any parent; keeping everyone on a relatively straight path required assistance. As the eldest daughter, Susan assumed the position of 1st Mother’s Assistant without complaint, a role she would ultimately fulfill and excel at her entire life.
While she lived “down below” in Layton for nearly half of her life, Susan always considered herself to be a farm girl from Morgan. Raised on a small dairy farm, Susan was pressed into service on two fronts. When farm work called for all hands on deck, Susan’s hands were on sprinkler pipe, hay bales, and the mind numbing task of driving the tractor back and forth seemingly a million times when the Jackson fork was used for unloading hay. If not needed outside, Susan apprenticed in the art of domestic skills under the tutelage of her mother, becoming a master chef and seamstress in her own right.
At Morgan High, Susan was a good student who played clarinet in the band, attended ball games, and kept an eye on three brothers who were with her in school at one time or another. In many ways, Susan’s high school experience was typical, if not average, except for a special Home Economics teacher, Ardath Peterson, who inspired confidence in a quiet, unsure teenage girl. Susan thrived in the fertile soil of Ardath’s nurturing classroom, achieving success in so many ways, including being selected as a Future Homemakers of America (FHA) state officer, an honor she was particularly proud of. Susan and Ardath remained lifelong friends.
After high school, Susan continued her education at Utah State University until she accepted a call to serve the Lord in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia mission just a few credits shy of completing a degree. She developed a deep affection not only for the people she served, but also for the Philadelphia area and cheered loudly when her “Philly” teams won championships. Following her mission, Susan went to work at a title insurance company and spent her entire career working in the title and real estate industry. For the past eight years she worked for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the real estate records department.
It may be tempting to conclude after reading the particulars that Susan’s life was rather ordinary. That conclusion would be wrong. Susan demonstrated how to live an ordinary life in an extraordinary way as anyone with the good fortune to know her would attest.
Although Susan was not blessed with a traditional family, her extended family was infinitely blessed by Susan’s remarkable gifts. At the time of her passing, Susan counted 23 nieces and nephews and 38 grand-nieces and nephews (with two more on the way) as her “kiddos.” Susan was not just their aunt, she was their life. Each one had a unique and special relationship with her.
Susan had a wicked sense of humor and those she loved the most suffered the greatest indignity much to her delight. Each niece and nephew looked forward to the antics Susan would orchestrate for their sixteenth birthday with equal parts of anticipation and apprehension. From crowns and tiaras to embarrassing posters and t-shirts, Susan raised public humiliation to an art form, yet each niece and nephew wore their sixteenth birthday experience as a badge of honor.
For many, vacations and travel are a means to get away. While Susan loved to take a trip, her motives for choosing destinations were always to draw her family near. Susan was partial to locations where the majesty of God’s splendor was on display, such as Yellowstone, Capitol Reef, and camping near Beaver, UT. She knew that the best views were found on frosty mornings or at the end of a long canyon. Those who yielded to her insistence to leave a warm bed or hike a mountain trail were treated to bugling bull elk, spectacular wildflowers, and soaring eagles (her favorite). With Susan you saw things you wouldn’t normally see because she understood the principle that effort equals reward.
Susan’s generosity knew no bounds. The amount of time and/or money spent was of no concern to her. Her post-Thanksgiving chocolate dipping day was legendary. Susan easily spent several hundred dollars and innumerable hours prepping for a multi-generational event, making a mountain of candy that she didn’t eat. She stalked the sidelines of endless ball games snapping photos for albums that were not hers. And she meticulously pieced together stunningly beautiful quilts under which she would not sleep. Her joy was fueled by giving freely.
When Susan’s mother passed away, she filled the void for her father and siblings. When her father passed away, Susan stepped in to become both the rock and glue for her family. Baby blessings, birthdays, baptisms, graduations (pre-school, high school, and college), weddings, holiday celebrations. If it involved family, you could count on Susan to be a part of it and often the director and producer.
While many measure wealth in money and material possessions, Susan invested seriously in her family. Her inclination to favor other’s needs over her own ensures that her investments will reap handsome dividends for generations to come. If ever there was an angel who walked the earth, Susan was it. She proved that an ordinary life lived in an extraordinary way has eternal repercussions. Did she leave this world a better place than she found it? The evidence overwhelmingly confirms that she did.
Susan is survived by six siblings, Wendell (Alisa) Rose, Douglas (Jill) Rose, Rodney (Vicki) Rose, Beth (Mike) Wangsgard, Ellen Rose, and Brent (Allison) Rose. She also leaves behind a friend, Denise Sorensen, who is a sister in every way except for the birth certificate and is included in all previous references to family. Susan was preceded in death by her parents.
Funeral services will be held at the Porterville church on Tuesday, February 8th, at 11:00 am. A viewing will be held also at Walker Mortuary on Monday, February 7th, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. and from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. at the Porterville church prior to the funeral service.
Interment will be in the South Morgan Cemetery.
Those wishing to honor her memory can best do so by donating to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to either the missionary or humanitarian fund.