Suey was born in 1938 to Stan
and Becky Houseworth in Seville, Ohio. In 1948 Papa Stan loaded up
the family, including her brother Terry’s imaginary friend, Dickie
Ronnie, and moved to California. Kinda like the Beverly Hillbillies.
She graduated eighth
grade from Rio Dell Elementary and attended Fortuna High. That is
until dad came in to her Aunt Bessie’s café and swept his little
“blue-eyed darlin” (dad’s sarcastic nick-name for her) off her
feet and married her. March 26 marked 70 years of marriage for mom
Mom was kind of like Cher or Madonna. No matter where you went with her you would hear the cries of “Suey.” Some random person would come up and give her a huge hug. Mostly former co-workers from St. Luke Manor, where she was kind of like the “mother superior.” They remembered her because she listened, encouraged, laughed and loved them and it stuck with them years later. Three weeks ago a nurse asked me “aren’t you Sue Carson’s daughter, I used to work at St. Luke’s” Yep, Madonna, Cher and Suey.
Mom never met a person she didn’t love. Well……..maybe a couple, but they would never have known it. She told me once, “You don’t have to love everyone, but you have to treat them like you do.” That is how she lived her life. Her church and relationship with Jesus were the second most important thing in her life, which I think breaks the First Commandment, but we’ll get to that later. Mom loved her church and especially her church family. Working with Dolores Gardner after she retired was one of her favorite times of life. She formed a fast friendship with Dolores that lasted long after they both retired from the church. She knew she was serving Jesus by serving others. She loved the years she taught in the Kindergarten Sabbath School class and being the lesson study supply clerk. But what she loved most was bringing her children, grand-children and great grand-children to church.
Mom loved her family more than anything in this world. It is impossible to put it in to words and do that love justice. Her family was everything. Three generations, soon to be a fourth, received the benefits of that love. Basically, her family was her only hobby. Her time was spent taking the kids on trips to the beach, Safari World, Brookings, Redding and especially Disneyland! She would do twelve days of Christmas for all the kids until there just became too many and she couldn’t remember what day she was on and what she had already given to which kid. Plus, dad would cut off her Christmas shopping money! She would plan “picnic on the floor” nights when blankets went on the floor, snacks abounded and a movie was played. Dad’s favorite quote (and gripe) was “when I die I wanna come back as one of your grandchildren.” We’re waiting, Dad!
Mom had the greatest sense of humor! The goal was always to tease and harass her until she was laughing so hard she had to run to the bathroom, her belly was hurting or sometimes she even had to pull the car over to finish laughing. It was just so easy to do. Humor came easily to her. Many people (and some family) did not understand our family’s sense of humor which some would say bordered on verbal abuse. But that is just how we roll here. Mom always said, “if my girls aren’t teasing, harassing and calling me names I know they’re mad at me.” And that was a two-way street my friends. Mom gave as good as she got. Sometimes she accidentally made us laugh by some of the crazy things she didn’t even realize she was saying. Like when “someone” accidentally shot a doe not a buck during hunting season and frantic conversations with words like game-warden, and fines were being thrown around. After listening to all this worry mom simply said, “just cut its head off and the game-warden won’t know if it’s male or female.” Think about it. You’ll get it! We call these kind of statements “Sueyisms”.
There are just so many people to thank. Kathy McWhorter. She loved working with you at St. Luke Manor. You too, teased and harassed her making you part of the family. When she came home from Napa, you came down to be with her. You held her hand, shared memories with us, laughed and cried. We know she sensed you and felt your love. Thank you for that.
Paulette Houseworth and Sharon Eglin. You guys came almost every day that mom was home. It didn’t matter to you that she didn’t know you were there. You sat in the quiet with her and just held her hand. You supported all of us as much as mom during that time. Those last days were made easier for us because you guys were there and helped bring some sense of normalcy and distraction during in a challenging time. Paulette I remember when Uncle Jim passed and we were sitting there and mom was saying it wasn’t fair that he went first. She was saying why couldn’t he stay and I be the one to go. You looked at her and said, “because God knew we would need you” and you were so right.
John Denny. When Aunt Bobby passed you and mom became so close. You two understood the same pain of losing a mother and a sister. You were bound together in your grief. You, Gracie, Natalie and Sarah meant so much to her. She swept you all up under her wings and tried to fill a void in your hearts . Thank you. We love you.
Now, the Two Tims. Whitchurch and Elwell. You guys were her sons. Tim Whitchurch you grew up with Connie and just naturally wrangled your way in to the family. You always teased her and made her laugh, and always made sure she had your home-made bread. You checked in on her faithfully and would do anything for her. The crazy things you got your self in to and all the things you always lost kept her quite entertained. We love you for it. Tim Elwell. You too were raised as part of our family. For 60 years you have been her son. You always teased her, made her laugh and checked in on her. At church you always made sure she drank plenty of water and saved her a place. Our pew will never be the same. Thank you and we love you.
Evon Bowling. You guys were babies raising babies when Dad and Amos introduced you. You two didn’t even like each other. But that changed and you spent the next seven decades helping each other collectively raise six kids that to this day consider one another brothers and sisters. Ron and Pam are mom’s children of the heart and our siblings. To Connie and I, you are our other mother. You were her sister, not just her best friend. Thank you for calling everyday when mom was home to check on not just her, but Connie and I as well. When I put the phone up to her ear that day and she heard your voice, she opened her eyes and tried to talk. She knew whose voice that was and wanted you to know it. We can not love you more for sticking with Suey through good and bad times and loving her forever.
We have to say thank you so much to Hospice of Humboldt. Your tender care, compassion and encouragement helped us give mom the best care we could. Thank your for patiently answering our questions and showing us the best way to keep mom comfortable. What you do is not easy, but we saw the heart you have for this kind of work in everyone who came.
Mom did not need to pound people over the head with a Bible to teach them about Jesus. She just lived the love of Christ. Like she said, “you don’t have to like everybody but you have to treat them like you love them.” She knew where her hope and strength came from and never stopped praying that all her friends and family would come to know the grace of Jesus.
In recent years one of mom and dad’s favorite past-times was to compare whose aches and pains, hearing and vision were the worst. It was a feverish competition of some sort. Not sure who was winning. If mom was falling behind, she never hesitated to play the Parkinson’s card. Were sure that they’re up there somewhere comparing whose recent ambulance rides, airplane ride and hospital stays were the worst. There is a Spanish saying that translates to “distance is just a measure of love’s reach.” The distance is unbearable, Mom, but we feel your love. Keep laughing and we’ll see you on the other side.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Suey Carson’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email email@example.com.