Rev. Suellen G. Wood, 74, Topeka: March 4, 1944 – May 29, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. – Reverend Suellen G. Wood, 74, passed away early Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at Brewster Place, Topeka, Kan. She was born Suellen Georgann Hoffmeister on March 4, 1944, to Helen Euson Hoffmeister and Walter William Hoffmeister, in Barrington, Ill.

Suellen’s parents divorced in 1949. Suellen and her mother went to live with Helen’s mother, Kathleen. Her mom found love again in Robert Nixon Gray, and they were married on Dec. 23, 1955.

Suellen graduated from Senn High School, Chicago, Ill., in 1962. She met John F. Wood in church and they were married in1967. Soon after getting married, John was transferred to Kansas City, Mo., to take a chemist position at Cook Paint & Varnish Company. Their first daughter was born in September 1969, their second in December 1972. John was transferred to Detroit in 1972 and the family settled in Troy, Mich. The family stayed in Troy until 1983 when John and Suellen parted ways.

Suellen moved with the girls to Kansas City and started a job as executive administrative assistant at a stock brokerage. She later changed positions to work at DST as a client service representative and worked there until the early 90s. In 1991, she went back to school at Avila College to complete a degree in social work, which she finished in 1995. It was during her final year at Avila she heard the call and decided to move on to Central Baptist Seminary where she completed a Master’s in Divinity in 1999. She graduated from Central and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. In 2000, she was awarded a position in Osage City, Kan., where she served as pastor for several years. She retired in 2015 and became a part-time minister at the Second Presbyterian Church of Topeka. There she stayed until she suffered a stroke in 2016 and had to go into a nursing home.

She will live on in the hearts of her daughters, Laurie K. Ashley and her husband, Wilson (Pete) Jr., of Kingsley, Mich., and Jennifer W. Brown and her husband, LeRoy F. Brown III, Lawson, Mo.; grandchildren, Janae L. Ashley and Miranda A. Ashley and a great-grandchild, Kamden Satterly; stepbrothers, William Gray of Raytown, Mo., and Robert Nixon Gray Jr., of Oregon; and a cousin Thomas Euson, Laurel, Ind.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at the First Presbyterian Church, 202 S. Sixth St., Osage City. Inurnment will take place at a later date at Mt. Carmel Cemetery, in Chicago. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until service time Saturday at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Great Lakes Hospice and sent in care of the VanArsdale Funeral Chapel at 107 N. Sixth St., Osage City, KS 66523. Condolences may be expressed vanarsdalefs.com.

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