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Sunset Memorial Park & Funeral Home

1701 Austin Highway, San Antonio, TX

OBITUARY

Sarah Suzanne Rea

April 22, 1950November 29, 2019
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It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, sister, aunt and dear friend Sarah Suzanne Rea. Suzanne passed away peacefully in the early hours of November 29, 2019, at the age of 69. She was surrounded in her final days by the ones who loved her most, reminded continually that she made a profound impact on their lives. Suzanne is survived by her son Jacob and sister Janice Stewart. She was proceeded in death by her brother Jerry Deener. Suzanne was born to Harold and Sarah Deener on April 22, 1950, near her hometown of Marshall, Indiana, a town of about 300 people. She described her childhood as “our Mayberry”. She grew up surrounded by several aunts, uncles, and cousins. She graduated from Turkey Run High School near Marshall, and then received her Bachelors in Education at Indiana State University where she met her future husband, Michael Rea. Her teaching career began in Bloomingdale, Indiana and soon moved to Muenster, Germany where she taught the children of American military families. There she birthed her son Jacob, before moving to San Antonio. Suzanne had a love for early childhood education, a field in which she taught for over 42 years as a first grade teacher, and later as a Reading Specialist. She spent her life believing that the path toward opportunity for young children began with a strong foundation of literacy, and in the process had an immeasurable influence on the lives of hundreds of children across multiple generations. Her legacy as an educator at Woodridge Elementary in Alamo Heights made an impression on students, parents and her fellow teachers, and will live on far past her time there. A memorial service for Suzanne will be held at Sunset Memorial Park and Funeral Home in San Antonio on Wednesday, December 4th from 5-7pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a charity that supports Suzanne’s vision for literacy opportunities for young children, Born to Read by the San Antonio Public Library Foundation (https://www.saplf.org/programs-initiatives/programs/born-to-read/).

  • FAMILY

  • Suzanne is survived by her son Jacob and sister Janice Stewart. She was proceeded in death by her brother Jerry Deener.

Services

  • Memorial Gathering Celebration Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Memories

Sarah Suzanne Rea

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Rebecca Hester

December 6, 2019

I grew up in the same community as Suzanne. She was a Rainbow sister. She always had a beautiful smile. My condolences to her family and friends.

Ann Fiala

December 5, 2019

It was my privilege to get to know Suzanne during the Teacher Reading Academies. She was a wonderful trainer of teachers, an exceptional teacher of literacy, and a dear friend. She will be missed by many.

Linda Schlather

December 4, 2019

It was an honor and privilege to have known Suzanne as a colleague and friend. She knew God's life mission for her as a teacher, and she accomplished it faithfully. What a positive impact she made on so many lives. My condolences to her family. May wonderful memories and God's peace sustain you.

Kathi Martinez

December 4, 2019

Our family was so blessed by Suzanne! Suzanne was our son Nick's first grade teacher with Linda Neville, providing all the curriculum of first grade and that reading support he so needed. For the longest time Nick could not imagine one without the other, they were "Neville/Rea" and he would not separate their names while in first grade. Truly a dynamic duo! Suzanne was always kind, encouraging, engaged and her laugh was full of joy! She empowered and believed in each child and they felt truly known and loved! Fast forward 20 years... as one of her coworkers in AHISD she continued to ask about Nick and his life. A life well lived and shared in service of others! With much love and admiration, the Martinez Family (Ray, Kathi, Marissa, Nick and Bella)

Donna Milliner

December 4, 2019

I was blessed to call Suzanne "cousin." We shared a wide circle of cousins, born to our Grandma and Grandpa Bell's nine children. Our childhood was blessed by family renions that brought us all together for high adventure at the old homeplace. Many years separated us as we married and started our careers. But recently, we gathered again for a beachfront reunion that will be treasured forever. Years seemed to melt away as we remembered and shared, heart to heart. From long sits on our veranda, to private walks along the shore, our words and laughter whispered on the ocean breeze. Then, one magical moonlit night, we circled by the surf. We toasted our mothers--strong women, all, and we praised them for raising strong daughters. We remembered our fathers and praised then, too. We sang, we danced, and like kids, we wrote our names with sparklers in the air. That was truly a happy moment in time. Like the incoming tide that startled and nearly swallowed our candles, the news of loss has shocked and pained us all. Our love and prayers are with Suzanne's family. We celebrate her life, so well lived in service to others. We thank God for the recent precious days we shared by the sea. We will not forget her lovely, gracious presence among us.

Lucy Gonzalez

December 3, 2019

I remember her dedication to helping children learn how to read and at the same time teaching them to love reading. She was full of ideas and it was always about how important it was to love reading. Her and Linda Neville were an awesome team. She was an inspiration for me. I feel so privileged that I had the opportunity to learn and work with her. My deepest condolences to her family.

Carol Hebdon

December 3, 2019

WOODRIDGE ELEMENTARY
1st Grade Mrs. Rea
Our daughter hit the lottery! As did everyone who had the privilege of being in her classroom!
Beginning her educational journey starting with Mrs. Rea was a golden road she set for Elizabeth and all her students. Mrs. Rea was an amazing educator, counselor (as she loved everyone!), mother, dedicated mentor!
We thank God for your gift of education and love!
May you continue your gift in Heaven educating the children, with my Mother who thought was the best teacher ever.....l.l

Sandy Shaw

December 3, 2019

Jacob, Your Mom was a remarkable woman who made a difference in so many lives. She was and still is loved. I wish I had an opportunity to have met her. Lots Of Love to you and your family.

Ben Keenan

December 3, 2019

I met Suzanne ten years ago in a workshop. Five minutes of conversation and she became one of my favorite people ever. She’s a legend in the realms of literacy and Elementary Ed. Her lesson ideas also resonate with the high school students I teach. She had a hug for me every year at Convocation. It was a great way to start. I will miss her.

Amy Soupiset

December 2, 2019

Suzanne was a mentor to me when I became an interventionist upon my return to teaching after a 12-year hiatus. She modeled for me the love of literacy and learning. She inspired me to get my Masters degree in Literacy and to pursue the job I have working with middle school students teaching reading. She was always there to offer sage advice and a warm smile. Her legacy will live on in the students she loved and encouraged in their literacy journeys.

FROM THE FAMILY
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