The daughter of John and Patsy (Thurman) Stark, Susie (as she was known to her family) was born in Davenport, Iowa, October 3, 1947. Later her family moved to Strafford, Missouri, where she graduated from high school in 1965. She earned bachelor and master degrees from SMS (now Missouri State University) in Springfield.
In 1967 she married Gary Maggard of Strafford in Cabool United Methodist Church, Cabool, Missouri. They recently celebrated their 48th anniversary on December 16.
In l969 when her husband was deployed overseas, she began her teaching career, and Cabool became her home. During her 30 years in the classroom, she taught primary grades and reading. Her kindness and thorough love for children was evident from the beginning.
While she had always displayed a strong spirit and friendly way, those attributes were challenged in 1997 when she became a victim of bacterial meningitis. The disease took much from her, but it did not break her spirit. She became an inspiration to many due to the grace with which she handled the aftermath of this disease. Her countless cards of encouragement and friendship to others will be sorely missed. She continued with her giving ways even after death by becoming an organ donor.
Her life, as she would tell you, was full of joy. She so exuberantly loved her children and grandchildren, all of whom survive her: son Greg (Kary) Maggard, Lexington, Kentucky; son Matt (Stephanie) Maggard, Cabool; and daughter Anne (Travis) Longwell, Springfield; grandchildren John Christopher Fales, Finn and Sawyer Maggard, Ethan and Morgan Longwell, Brittany (Austin) Blankenship, and Michele Aguilar. She became a great-grandmother with the birth of Brittany’s daughter Isabel, December 8.
She was a faithful member of Cabool United Methodist Church, an avid prayer warrior, a Sunday school teacher, and a planner of many fun times. Her humor and warmth will be missed by so many.
In addition to her immediate family, she is survived by sisters Jane (Bill) Baker of Aurora, Missouri, and Becky (Jeff) Mitchem of Highlandville, Missouri; brother Andy (Tamara) Stark of Springfield; her aunt, Doris Graham of Springfield; sister-in-law Linda (Jim) Appleby of Bolivar, Missouri; brother-in-law Gene (Donna) Maggard of St. Louis, Missouri; 13 nieces and nephews, and many other relatives and friends who loved her dearly.
Visitation was held Wednesday, December 23, 2015, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Cabool United Methodist Church with services on Thursday, December 24, at 10:00 a.m. at the church under the direction of Elliott Gentry Carder Funeral Home of Cabool.
A scholarship fund has been established in her name at Cabool State Bank. Contributions may be given to the funeral home or at the bank.