She was the second child of Frances and Gerald Crismon Elmore. Susan started school in Marrakesh, Morocco on the rim of Africa and lived there until the fall of 1958 when the family moved to Houston, Missouri. At that time her stepfather, Gerald Elmore, legally adopted Susan and her brother Tim.
Susan continued attending school at the public schools of Houston. She graduated from high school in 1969, finishing number three in her class. She then attended St. Louis Christian College in Florissant, Missouri.
In 1970, she married Jack Arthur Warkentin of Geary, Oklahoma, who was working in Houston at the time. She moved with Jack to South Dakota and lived on two different Indian reservations while Jack served as a soil scientist for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Susan worked during this time at the Indian school.
In 1974 she moved with Jack back to his family farm and boyhood home near Geary, Oklahoma, where they lived for the next thirty years. They operated that large and productive wheat farm and planted, sowed, cultivated and combined wheat, working in the fields side by side. Susan managed the books and the accounting. In 2004, they relocated to Houston, where Susan lived the remainder of her days in her favorite home, high on a bluff overlooking a bend in the Big Piney River.
Susan loved family, adventure, traveling and photography. She was always interested in her environment and the world around her and loved to experience new things. One of her most memorable and fun adventures was parachuting to celebrate her 55th birthday and to promote Houston Community Foundation. Her other earlier adventures included taking her mother-in-law, 75-year-old Iris Warkentin, to England where they saw Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Susan later took her mother, Fran, to Europe where they celebrated Fran’s birthday with a dinner at the Eiffel Tower and a cooking class at the famous Ritz Hotel in Paris.
Additionally, Susan cherished many other memorable adventures throughout her life. During her time in South Dakota, at Wounded Knee she met an old Indian who was 107 years old and had been at the infamous Wounded Knee massacre at the age of three or four. She never forgot her childhood in Africa, living in that exotic city of Casablanca, and learning to play “jacks” on the sidewalks, riding on Mohammed’s camel and then being invited to eat dinner with his family in his home, and feeding monkeys on the famous Rock of Gibraltar. She found the German P.O.W. camp Stalag 17b in Austria where her stepfather, John Vennink, was held during World War II.
Susan cared deeply about other people, especially the less fortunate. Susan and Jack discovered that a homeless boy was living in an abandoned RV. They took him and took care of him and helped him. That boy was Jack Cannaday, and he went into the military, served with distinction, and after his tour of duty, became an Oklahoma City County deputy sheriff. And that was representative of Susan, giving, doing, helping selflessly and without stint.
Susan continued to teach her children, by Christian example, the lessons she had learned from her mother: always be considerate and sensitive to the needs of others; an organized environment reduces chaos of the mind; and if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well.
Susan was preceded in death by her parents and stepfather John Vennink and great-niece Peyton Zimmerman.
She leaves to mourn her passing her husband, Jack of the home, her 101-year-old mother-in-law, Iris Warkentin of Geary, Oklahoma; her daughter, Heidi Bosley and husband Chris; grandchildren Chase, Scarlett, and Elsa Bosley of Ontario, California: her son, Heath and his boys, Jakob, Jakson, and Mason of Chickasha, Oklahoma; her brother, Tim Elmore and wife Carol of Alpharetta, Georgia; her brother, Alan Elmore from Amsterdam, Missouri; and many wonderful nieces, nephews, and special friends who will miss her more than words can say.
Susan was an active member of the Republican party and loved serving Texas County citizens as their recorder of deeds. She loved the Lord, and she loved her family and friends.
Memorials may be made to CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ). In the memo put ministry #0594236, C/O Jeremiah Nichols 5900 Cove Landing Road #204, Burke, VA 22015. Susan’s passion was to the leading of international and American college students to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Memorials may also be made to Houston Community Foundation.
Visitation were held Friday, April 3, 2015, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.. at Evans Funeral Home. Services were held Saturday, April 4, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. at Houston First Christian Church with Dr. Howell Burkhead and Ron Reed officiating. Pallbearers were Ron Reed, Martin Fisher, Carl Stewart, Jr., Tim Stow, Joe Whetstine, Robert Ross, Jackie Cooper, Jim Bukowsky. Honorary pallbearers are John Casey, Fred Stenger. Burial was in Pine Lawn Cemetery under the direction of Evans Funeral Home.