October 1, 1926 – May 15, 2020
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
Susan Vanderpool Winton Suttles Clevenger died peacefully on Friday, May 15, 2020, at Westminster Manor in Austin, Texas, where she had made her home since June 2010 to be closer to family. She was 93.
Affectionately known since childhood as Noonie to her family and friends, she is survived by her five children, Katherine Randolph Suttles Wood of Buda, Texas; Mary Edmond Suttles Woodward and spouse William Robinson Woodward of Missoula, Montana, and Huntsville, Texas; Margaret Fraser Suttles Smith of Llano, Texas; Robert Earl Clevenger Jr. and spouse Cynthia Cross Clevenger of Buda, Texas; and Susan Winton Clevenger Thornhill and spouse Gabriel Felder Thornhill IV of Austin, Texas. Noonie also is survived by 11 grandchildren: Alden Randolph Wood of Washington, D.C.; Caroline Fairfax Wood Proto and spouse Christopher Louis Proto of Washington, D.C.; Morgan Gibbs Woodward of Missoula, Montana; Hatch Cummings Smith Jr. and spouse Sarabeth Hirschfeld Smith of Boerne,Texas; Katherine Suttles Smith Tuck and spouse Daniel Francis Tuck of Austin,Texas; Robert Earl Clevenger III, Cary Winton Clevenger and Constance Lee Clevenger of Buda,Texas; William Curry Shoff and spouse Madeline Ryan Shoff of Charlotte, North Carolina; Gabriel Felder Thornhill V and Travis Ransom Thornhill of Austin,Texas.
She is also survived by four great-grandchildren: Marykate Hirschfeld Smith, Hatch Cummings Smith III, Oliver Francis Tuck and Hudson Fraser Tuck. Noonie is also survived by her loving older sister, Mary Isabel Winton Green of Chicago, Illinois, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Susan is preceded in death by her husband of 45 years, Robert (Bob) Earl Clevenger who passed away in 2007 and by her first husband Edward Lillo Suttles who died in 1957; and grandchildren Fraser McKinnon Woodward, William Robinson Woodward Jr., infant Conrad Allen Clevenger, her oldest sister Katherine Edmond Winton Kline, and son-in-law Hatch Cummings Smith.
Susan was born October 1, 1926, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Flora (Fuffa) Isabel Edmond Winton and Howard Abram Winton. After her father died, before Susan was two years old, Fuffa moved her three small daughters to Waco, Texas, to be closer to family. Susan and her sisters each played a musical instrument. With Noonie on the cello, Mary violin and Katherine piano, they made a sweet ensemble to entertain friends and family. She graduated from Waco High School, earned a B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1948, and remained a lifelong member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.
Susan was a classic beauty, elegant and genuine, and will be most remembered for her infectious smile, cheerful optimism, and her inclusive and vivacious personality. Her joyful spirit could light up a room. Throughout her life, she embraced the core values of service to others, good humor and perseverance.
Susan raised her children with a commitment to responsibility, education, good manners and the wisdom of the Bible. “Stand up straight, shoulder’s back, put yourself out there, say hello, and be kind” were familiar reminders. She had an innate gift to recognize each of her children’s individual strengths and nurtured their paths. Her five college-educated children were the light of her life, and it filled her heart with joy when her big family with children, grandchildren and greats gathered together in celebration.
She dedicated time and energy to charitable, social, and church activities, including the Junior League of Houston, Houston Pi Beta Phi, and the River Oaks Garden Club, where she was the 1996 Pink Elephant chair. She was a lifelong member of The Church of St. John the Divine, where she participated in Stephen Ministry with her husband, Bob. She was a member and treasurer of the Houston chapter of The National Society of Colonial Dames of America and led her peers as president of the Houston Country Club Women’s Association from 1983-84. In her spare time, she enjoyed entertaining, gardening, solving crossword puzzles, playing cards, and exercising.
Inurnment will be held at a later date in the Urn Garden at St. John the Divine. No immediate service is planned, but we hope to honor our beloved Noonie in the coming months. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Blvd., Houston, TX, 77019, or to the charity of your choice.
- Church of St. John the Divine
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May 21, 2020
When I think of a person who supercharges a room full of people with his or her presence, I think of my Aunt Susan Clevenger, hands down! There are no rivals in that category!
I have never thought of my Aunt Susan with any thoughts or emotions other than Joy, Love, Excitement, Energy, Encouragement, Living Life to it's Fullest, true sense of feeling so Blessed for having her as one of the most precious members of our larger family, Blessed by the five children she brought into this world and nurtured. I have the utmost gratitude for her life!
She is the 0.001% (that's 1 in 10,000) for a life well lived!
I will never not think of Aunt Susan without a sense of great appreciation!
God rest her soul!
May 20, 2020
Susan was a joy to see every day at Westminster the past year and a half when I visited my father, who lived down the hall from her. She was fun to talk to, always had a smile ready, loved to sing and clap to the piano performances, and go on the famous Saturday bus rides with the other residents and Brooks. Her style was impeccable; her temperament even; she showed true decency, and classic grace. My heartfelt condolences to her family for their loss. I will miss her.