Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight, Susan Maberry
January 2019
by Robin McKinley  
Susan Maberry was born in Russellville, Arkansas. Nestled between the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, Russellville is in the Arkansas River Valley. As a small child, Susan’s family moved around Arkansas, but by the time she was in kindergarten, they had settled in Beaumont, Texas.  Susan lived in Beaumont all the way through high school.
Susan’s dad was a physician. At first, he practiced as a GP, but later switched to anesthesiology. Her mother was a school teacher. Her parents met in Floyd, Arkansas, where her mother was teaching at the time. 
Susan says she misses the freedom of being a kid. She says, “I used to leave my house and go anywhere I wanted to. No one knew where I was. I was supposed to go to violin lessons, but no one knew and no one cared.” Finally, her mother did find out from the violin teacher that Susan hadn’t been going but she was not upset. “The Lord had to be watching out for me.  I can’t believe I survived,” Susan muses.
Susan had four siblings, three sisters and a brother. Her older sister died a few years ago, but her brother and other two sisters live in Austin and Round Rock. Moving closer to them is why Susan came to Taylor.
After high school, Susan entered Southwestern University in Georgetown as a pre-med student. She loved science and the technical aspects of pre-med, but decided medicine was not for her. She changed her major but dropped out of school for a while, later finishing her degree at the University of Houston.
Susan has one son, Aaron. He works in computers, analyzing and setting up computers for companies. Even as a child, he was brave and would try anything. An adventurous guy, he served in the Navy in the Persian Gulf. His first enlistment was on a ship which was decommissioned, and then he re-enlisted and that ship was decommissioned as well. He has two daughters, Chloe who is 21, and Carly who is 19. They live with their mother in Lee Summit, Missouri.
The most fun Susan ever had was raising her son. Susan remembers, “The things that came out of his mouth and the things he thought were so funny. I loved being pregnant, and being with him. I was kind of lonely as a kid so having someone there all the time was wonderful.”
At one point, Susan worked at a newspaper in Beebe, Arkansas. Since it was a small-town newspaper, Susan did everything. “It was so much fun,” says Susan. “I got to cover basketball games and chamber dinners. Dinners were great and I got to share in the good food and then write about it.” Susan lived many years in Port Arthur, working at a law firm for 13 years as a billing secretary for two sections of the firm:  labor and intellectual property.
Now, Susan keeps herself busy with substitute teaching for lower elementary classes. She reports she loves the “baby-ness” of the students. “They are so cute and sweet,” she says.  She also volunteers for whatever is needed at the church. First attending the 8:30 service, Susan joined in October 2017, and she switched to the 10:30 service when the earlier service was discontinued. She remembers Don Hughes greeting her most warmly and made her feel like someone knew she was there.  She soon threw herself into helping out at this year’s Pumpkin Patch. Susan appreciates the friendliness of Taylor FUMC.  She loves the sharing of joys and concerns, and the passing of the peace. She has gotten to know everyone from these activities in the church service, and from her volunteering. Reluctant to admit to any “hidden talents”, Susan did say she liked to paint landscapes and animals, especially cats and dogs. She also likes to play the piano but, she is quick to add, not for anybody else.
Susan has already joined the choir, singing soprano. She has sung in choirs since she was 12. “I loved my high school choir,” says Susan. “It was my outlet.” She still sees friends she made in choir during high school. Her favorite hymn is Amazing Grace. She loves the story of its author, John Newton, who was a slave runner. His conversion experience and grace convinced him to change his life, and to leave the slave trade.
Be sure to say a big hello to Susan, and welcome her as a part of our Taylor FUMC family!

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