Della Susan "Susie" Harmon, age 78, of Paducah, KY, passed away at her home on May 8, 2022. Susie was born on July 16, 1943, in Hartford, Kentucky to Cosby D. and Irene Randolph-Leach. She was nurtured in childhood by her beloved aunt and uncle, Leathel and Sherrill Leach.
Although trained and employed in accounting, Susie's genuine vocations were her years of work in special education in the Paducah Public School System, particularly at Forest Hills, and her years of volunteer service at Lone Oak First Baptist Church. She had a genuine love for children and for any person that may have been viewed as “less than” or as an underdog. Countless children and young people were able to experience the gifts of her generous kindness, love, and loyalty. It was not uncommon for Susie's home to be a safe space for anyone needing a respite or safe haven. She always opened her heart and home to those she knew were hurting or vulnerable. Susie loved deeply, she showed generosity and kindness to all who knew her. Hers was the place all could go where they knew there would be compassion, empathy, assistance, and no judgment. She will be deeply missed
Susie had a love of learning -- always curious and questioning. She fostered that inquisitiveness, abundantly evident in her children and grandchildren today. There are multitudes of memories and stories for those of us fortunate enough to have had her undivided attention while creating school research papers or science projects at her kitchen table Her handwriting was beautiful and she was quick to remind us less fortunate in that department when improvements were needed. She loved to play Scrabble and could spend hours with her friend Jo doing just that. Susie would gladly sit down and partake of any board or card game with people in her home and there remain decades of Yahtzee score cards with the names of kids who now have kids. A particular favorite was cards with Carol and for years, the only caveat was not to wake Frank with the giggling!
Susie had the innate ability to show children how to have fun, whether it be through trips to the library and splashing in the fountain, trips to the movies (although having to sneak out after watching ET because she was embarrassed by the wailing she was doing) or allowing sneaks to McDonald's from Bobbie Hill's house. She was always up for a good debate and twice-yearly spent a considerable amount of time debating and explaining the reasons behind the time changes so Shane would stop asking. It didn’t work, but she debated with gusto each time.
Susie navigated many years of her life in THE green Maverick– windows down, cup holder hanging from the open window and driving as if on a mission. Countless people were given rides, shared laughs, and had great adventures in that green Maverick. Lisa, Laura, Teena, Billy, Tonja, Cheryl, Theresa and others— she’s gotta be a better driver in Heaven or maybe not, because where’s the fun in that?!
Susie loved big family get-togethers, especially when they were not at her house. She would not be found sitting at a table, but rather in the kitchen with a horde of chicken wings and a spoon going from pot to pot, or bowl to bowl, eating as she went and visiting with everyone who walked by. She loved the loud, noisy gatherings, but she never wanted focus brought to herself.
Susie was preceded in death by her always and forever husband of 43 years, Frank D. Harmon. She is survived by son Thomas Dale Harmon and daughter Phyllis Ann Kincaid, both of whom are grateful for the lessons of compassion and service to others modeled and deeply instilled by their mom. Susie is also survived by, and simply irreplaceable to, her cherished grandchildren Frankie, Sarah, James, and John Wesley; and great-grandchildren Madeleine and Isla Howering. Other surviving relatives are brothers, Eddie Leach of Clermont, Florida and Billy Leach and wife Mae of Owensboro, Kentucky; Sisters-in-law Mary Ellen Harmon-Shemwell (a dear friend) and husband Junior of Benton, Kentucky; Edna Harmon-Williams and husband John of Spanish Fort, Alabama and many nieces and nephew as well as great nieces and nephews.
Proverbs 18:24 says, "… there is a friend who is closer than a brother" and Susie found that cherished friend of 51 years in Jo Ashley. Jo and Susie were a formidable child-rearing, Scrabble playing, to the bridge walking, mischief-making team. The entire Ashley and Aldridge families were Proverbs 18:24 blessings to the end, for Susie.
A memorial service will be held Monday, May 16, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. in the Worship Center at Lone Oak First Baptist Church 3601 Lone Oak Road, Paducah, Kentucky with Brother Dan Summerlin officiating.
A Celebration of Life will be held July 15-17, 2022, at Green Turtle Bay Condos and Resort in Grand Rivers, Kentucky. The family’s hope is many, from every season of Susie’s life, will come at any time during those 2 nights and 3 days and in the spirit of Susie bring kids of all ages for boating, indoor and outdoor pool swimming, card playing, crafting, biking, hiking, Scrabble, horseshoes, playground playing, food and most importantly the collection of Susie Stories from anyone whose life she impacted, for her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and generations to come. If you knew her, there is a good chance she has pictures of you-- those images will be available for you to take.
Lone Oak chapel of Milner & Orr Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.