Suzanne “Sue” Lee Swallow Smith went to be with the Lord on the morning of Friday, May 20, 2022. She is survived by her adoring husband, Wayne Smith, her three sons: Rick (Vickie) Guipe, Mike (Debbie) Guipe, and Pete (Tracey) Guipe, and her twin sister, Pat Griffin.
Sue’s nurturing spirit was felt by all, and she was blessed with a large and loving family. She will be fondly remembered by her bonus children: Debbie, Janet, Wayne Jr., April, and Jennifer. Her legacy to live life to the fullest will be carried on by her nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Queenie and Bella, her two precious doggies, will miss her soft touch and her warm lap.
Sue was born on December 15th, 1942 in Richmond, IN to Charles and Ruth Swallow. She treasured the good times she had growing up on the farm with her two brothers, Steve and Bo, and her twin, Pat. Sue graduated from Richmond High School and later attained her certification in Cytology. She set a goal for herself to learn how to jump horses by her 50th birthday, and her achievement of that was another testament to her great determination.
In 1977, she moved to Southern California to be closer to Pat. One Sunday, Pat brought her to Granada Heights Friends Church in Whittier, CA and it was there that she met Wayne. The church group had a bowling social after Sunday service and Wayne and Sue were put on the same team. From that moment on, they never left each other’s side. They married at Granada Heights Friends Church on July 15th, 1978. In their 43 years of marriage, Wayne and Sue raised a blended family (including horses, llamas and sheep) and built a beautiful life together. Their love for adventure took them from Whittier, CA up to Carmel, CA to Fredericksburg, TX to Tampa, FL, and finally, to Traverse City, MI, their home since 1999. From the farm to the beach to the Cherry Capital of the World, Wayne and Sue made dear friends and the sweetest memories along their journey.
Sue’s talents brought joy to many. Her passion for wearing fun patterns and vibrant colors led her to open a women’s boutique shop, The Barn Swallow, in Carmel, CA. Her love of music inspired her to play the piano for the residents at the local senior center. Her performances continued, as she even played her keyboard outside, on the second-story deck of her home, for all the neighbors of Long Lake Peninsula to enjoy. But she also valued quiet time and creativity. Sue spent afternoons painting in her art studio, a charming shed in the backyard that sticks out like a crayon box amidst the tall trees in pure Michigan nature. She always made a fashion statement.
Sue lived for a good laugh and her giggle was contagious. Her smile was unforgettable and her blue eyes had a sparkle that lit up every room. Her faith in the Lord was strong, her biscuits and gravy were heavenly, and her gift of storytelling will forever be cherished by her family and friends.
A private memorial service was held at Bible Baptist Church in Traverse City, MI on May 26th at 11am. Her final resting place will be Oakwood Cemetery in Traverse City, MI. Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home handled the arrangements.