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Suzanne Spencer Hess passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, surrounded by her loving family. With faith, courage, and quiet dignity, Suzanne fought brain cancer. She endured valiantly and faithfully to the end, and she is now rejoicing with her parents and in the presence of her beloved Savior.
Suzanne was born January 23, 1952, in Salt Lake City to Donald Jay and Beverly Carmen Spencer. She was the oldest of seven children and her parents credit her for helping to raise her six younger siblings.
Suzanne grew up in Torrance, California. As a young girl, she enjoyed organizing parties, events, and carnivals for the neighborhood children. Her childhood home was a short walk to the beach, and she developed a great love for the ocean. She graduated from West Torrance High School in 1970. In high school she played the violin in the orchestra and was a percussionist in the marching band. After high school, she attended El Camino Jr. College. She transferred to Brigham Young University and graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Relations.
While at BYU, she met and fell in love with Timothy Hess. Tim and Suzanne were married on August 2, 1974, in the Los Angeles Temple. Tim would tell you that his beloved wife was his greatest blessing and the love and light of his life.
Suzanne had a passion for teaching and nurturing children. She created a happy, fun, and beautiful home in Alpine, Utah where she raised her eight children. Suzanne’s joy was to create fun, learning events for her children. She organized adventure days, reading time, morning devotionals, water parties, family service projects and Grandma camps. Two of Suzanne’s favorite admonitions to her children were:
“You don’t have to be best friends with everybody, but everyone deserves your kindness.” And,
“Stick to your task til it sticks to you, beginners are many, but enders are few…”
Suzanne has a vast collection of children's books. For the past 25 years, Suzanne has led her "Bookies and Cookies" children's book reading club every Monday afternoon during the summer. She would invite neighborhood children to gather on the lawn in the shade and she would delight the children by reading picture books while the children ate cookies.
The joy of Suzanne’s life was being a mother and a grandmother. She gave birth to seven children and then in 1997, she and Tim travelled to an orphanage in Vladivostok Russia to adopt their eighth child, 12-month-old Svetlana.
Suzanne had a deep love and appreciation for Primary and for Primary Children. She served as Primary President five times and as a Primary counselor numerous times. Her joy was loving and teaching children. She became an expert in influencing young minds and hearts and preparing them to lead happy, faithful, and productive lives. Even as her health declined, she continued to lead her weekly “Stripling Warriors Book of Mormon Reading Club” with her grandchildren.
Suzanne has a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She loves her Savior Jesus Christ, and her life has been one of faith, purity, loving service, and devotion to the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Suzanne found great joy in serving. She has served at the Missionary Training Center twice, at the Dan Petersen School Handicapped Seminary in American Fork, as a Host at the Conference Center in Salt Lake, and at the Primary Resource Room at Primary Headquarters in Salt Lake City. She has served twice in the Temple, and she has served as a United Way "Welcome Baby" coach for new mothers. She has volunteered in the education department at Thanksgiving Point where she would give school children tours of the farm and even drove the big farm tractor.
Suzanne's greatest adventure in service came while serving as a full-time missionary with her husband Tim. Suzanne and Tim served for twenty months in Turkey, Germany, and Denmark. In Turkey, Suzanne developed an understanding and a great love for Islamic people. She loved them and they loved Suzanne. She loved and served and lifted the people of the countries where she served.
Her passion was making connections with people, finding something in common and creating cherished friends wherever she went. She has established a small army of lifelong beloved friends from around the world with whom she has kept constant touch and who have been a great source of strength and comfort during her illness.
Suzanne is survived by her husband Tim, her eight children, Adam (Amber) Hess, Amy (Shaun) Christian, Heather (Dave) Eaton, Brooke (Chase) Grant, Ted (Angie) Hess, Jonathan (Emily) Hess, Michael Hess, and Mary Svetlana Hess, and 29 wonderful grandchildren and her six siblings. She was preceded in death by her parents.
As Suzanne’s strength and abilities declined, she repeatedly asked that this message be given to her friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances …” Please tell them how much I love them.”
Suzanne’s family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at the Huntsman Cancer Institute for their compassionate and skilled care. Many thanks to all those who have prayed for Suzanne’s help and comfort. Your prayers have been answered.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 21, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. in the Village Way Chapel (901 East Village Way, Alpine, Utah), with a viewing held immediately prior from 9:30-10:45 a.m. A viewing will be held the prior evening, Wednesday, July 20, 2022, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Anderson & Sons Lone Peak Chapel (6141 West 11000 North, Highland, Utah). Please share a memory on Suzanne's tribute wall.
If you're unable to attend the service in person, but would still like to pay your respects to Suzanne, please select the following Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88239935385
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
6:00 - 8:00pm (Mountain time)
Anderson & Sons Lone Peak Chapel
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Starts at 11:00am (Mountain time)
Alpine Village Way Chapel
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