In Memory

Sue Esther Chatman (Smith) - Class Of 1964 VIEW PROFILE





Sue Esther Smith

Apr. 14, 1928 - Dec. 23, 2004

Sue Esther Smith, 76, of Olive Street, died peacefully in her home at 7:43 a.m. Thursday, December 23, surrounded by her family.

Sue was born on April 14, 1928, in Bells, TN, to Victoria Payne Chatman and John W. Chatman, who both preceded her in death.

On October 10, 1951, she married Albert A. Smith Jr., who survives. She leaves behind to cherish her memory her children Donald P. (Debbie) Smith of Southfield, MI, Sue Kathryn Ballew (Mark) St. Clair of Memphis, TN, Daniel J. Smith of Waukesha, WI, Rita A. Gousman of Indianapolis and Karl A. (Delba) Smith of South Bend; one sister, Brenda Walker of South Bend; 12 grandchildren, Russell (Taraneh) Ballew of Manteca, CA, Stacy (Gerald) Holland, Jamie (Vincent) Brady, Aaron and Cory Smith, all of Indianapolis, Andre (Robin) Ballew of Chicago, Cheris Gousman of Atlanta, GA, Tiana Batiste of South Bend, Azuri Broussard of Waukesha, WI, Wynton St. Clair of Memphis, TN, and Donovan and Sydni Smith of Southfield, MI; eight great-grandchildren; and a godchild, Donna Wilson.

Sue moved to South Bend as a teenager and proudly graduated from Central High School May 20, 1964, after returning to attend the adult evening high school program of the South Bend Community School Corporation. Later, she attended Indiana State and IUSB specializing in child development.

She went on to distinguish herself as a pioneer in the field of child care. Sue owned and operated a family daycare center, Tender Loving Child Care (TLCC) for 27 years. Following the designation of 1979 as the International Year of the Child, the then Governor Otis R. Bowen recognized and commended Sue in 1980 for her work "in promoting an awareness and understanding of the special needs of children." The Youth Service Bureau presented Sue's daycare with an award for outstanding leadership and supervision because of her dedicated efforts to support the 1981 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). Sue received the Community Coordinated Child Care's (4Cs) 4th Annual Investing in the Future Award in 1991.

In addition, she demonstrated commitment to her faith through her dedicated service to her family, church and the community at large. She was a member of the Pilgrim Baptist Church Deaconess Board. During the 100th Anniversary Celebration of Pilgrim Baptist Church in 1990, Sue was recognized for 30 years of outstanding service. She served a number of those years as the director of the Youth Missionary Department and the Sunshine Band. She was also the Junior Church Supervisor and Sunday School teacher for many years. She also served as one of five founding members and original organizers of the Women's Northern Indiana Baptist District Retreat and was a longtime member of the Eastern Star, Odessa Chapter.

The most recent award that Sue received was the Real Services Caregiver of the Year Award in 2002 for her personal work as a fulltime caregiver for her husband over the past 10 years, and for her work in educating other caregivers on resources available to assist them in their work. According to the July 30, 2002, South Bend Tribune Hometown Correspondent, Julie Ferraro, "Sue Smith of South Bend has cared for her husband and kept him involved in community activities, while also getting the word out to many seniors about legislation or issues which affect them." The article went on to say that Sue volunteered to read to the vision-impaired, and was "a supreme example of one who gives true love to a spouse" while having enough to also share her gifts with others.

Services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2004, at Pilgrim Baptist Church. Visitation for family and friends one hour before services. The Clark-O'Neal Funeral Home of South Bend is handling arrangements.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Real Services, Area 2 Agency on Aging of St. Joseph County, P.O. Box 1835, South Bend, IN 46634.


06/09/2021 DEC

South Bend Tribune

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