Cover photo for Suzanne Bardwell's Obituary
Suzanne Bardwell Profile Photo

Suzanne Bardwell

August 19, 1955 — January 7, 2022

Suzanne Bardwell

A celebration of life for Suzanne Brown Bardwell will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at First Christian Church in Longview with the Rev. David Farmer officiating. A family graveside service will be held at noon Saturday at Hamilton Beeman Cemetery in Retreat. Visitation will be held Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at Croley Funeral Home in Gladewater.
Suzanne passed away Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, following a traffic accident in Longview.
She was born Aug. 19, 1955, in Corsicana, Tx, to Charles Wayne and Mary Juanita Brown. She grew up on the family ranch, which she credited with giving her a strong will and work ethic that she passed along to family and students throughout her life.
She was preceded in death by her brother Donald Wayne Brown, her father Charles Wayne Brown, her grandparents, and uncles and aunts.
Left to cherish her life is her husband of 46 years Jim Bardwell, who she met at church camp at age 13, her son and daughter-in-love Josh and Jennifer Bardwell, her mother Mary Juanita Brown, her brother and sister-in-law Charles Philip and Julia Brown, her nephew Charles Wesley Brown, her niece Katy Suzanne Brown, and her mother and father-in-law Carol and Gary Jones, cousins and scores of students and friends who she cherished, loved and prayed for every day.
Suzanne graduated from Dawson High School and grew up in the First Christian Church of Corsicana and later the First Christian Church in Longview. She is co-owner of the Gladewater Mirror, White Oak Independent, Lindale News & Times. She served as president of the North & East Texas Press Association and was multiple award winner in the Texas Press Association for her columns which inspired and taught her readers over the years. She also was honored for her photography, news writing and community service projects.
She also served as a U.S. History Adjunct Instructor for Kilgore College for 12 years while teaching high school Journalism, Psychology, Sociology, and was the adviser for the nationally award-winning Yearbook and Newspaper at White Oak High School. She influenced White Oak students for 20 years. She also taught at Spring Hill and Gilmer High School.
Suzanne graduated from East Texas State University with a B.S., M.S. M.S.-U.S. History; B.S.-Social Studies/English/Psychology/Science 1975 – 1980 and earned an Associates of General Education in General Studies from Navarro College, 1973 – 1975.
She was honored to be asked to speak at Columbia School of Journalism in New York several times while a yearbook adviser. In 2013, she was named the Max R. Haddick Teacher of the Year by the University Interscholastic League (UIL). The award is presented annually to the best high school journalism instructor in Texas. She also was awarded the University of Texas at Austin. Edith Fox King Award, Texas Exes Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007.
After retiring from teaching, Suzanne became very active in the Texas Retired Teachers Association and was instrumental in rallying retired teachers from across the state to get better retirement benefits from Texas state legislators. She also was active on the Texas Press Association’s Legislative Advisory Committee, helping to stave off bills that would limit freedom of the press and open records and open meetings.
Suzanne was very active in Gladewater and White Oak, being honored with the “Woman of the Year” award by both communities. She was a member of the Friends of Lee Library, Gladewater Chamber of Commerce, Gladewater Education Foundation and many other groups and associations. She was a crusader. She helped save Gladewater’s Manna House and the Gladewater Lee Library by raising money to help keep the local food bank operating and securing grants to help rebuild the library after last year’s winter storm leaving it severely damaged and on the verge of permanent closure. She also spearheaded and chaired Gladewater’s Beautification Committee. Where there was a cause you could find Suzanne leading the way for positive change and a better community.
Suzanne loved music and travel. Suzanne and Jim attended concerts frequently across the US. She and Jim experienced the majesty of the Grand Canyon’s sunrises and sunsets, the white sand beaches of the Florida coast and were regulars at Walt Disney World where they always played like kids at the “Happiest Place on Earth.” They loved being in one another’s company holding hands and enjoying life.
Suzanne believed in teaching her students more than just what was in the book. She taught what was in the heart.
One of Suzanne’s favorite movies was “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which she showed to all her students each Christmas. Her favorite quote from the movie can be seen hanging on the wall of George Bailey’s father’s office and it said: “All You Can Take With You Is That Which You Have Given Away. “
Suzanne gave her all, her entire life. She always helped others and always found the good in each person she met. She will be missed by all who loved and knew her. Her teaching and examples in how she lived her life will be felt for generations.
God bless those who are left behind. Heaven has now gained another angel who will be waiting for us to join her.
Pallbearers are JD Shipp, Jon Keller, Bill Woodall, Phil Major, Lloyd McMillan, and Brian Gray in Longview and Billy Steele, Ricky Steele, Brad Steele, Brent Steele, Montana Steele, and Dalton Steele in Corsicana.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a memorial fund in Suzanne Bardwell’s name established at City National Bank in Gladewater or the Mirror Office.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Suzanne Bardwell, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, January 13, 2022

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central (no DST) time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, January 14, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central (no DST) time)

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