Sue Catharine Buchanan, 81, passed away surrounded by her family on November 16, 2018 at the Brookdale Topeka – Alzheimer’s unit.
She was born on May 3, 1937 in McPherson, KS, to Edward Groh Johnson and Catharine (Colver) Johnson.
Sue graduated from East High School in Wichita in 1955, and remained in touch with her core group of high school friends throughout her life. They had yearly reunions and traveled together to many destinations, and shared lots of laughs and memories at those gatherings. Sue was the life of the party and was the one to tell the jokes.
Sue loved playing her mother’s beautiful flute in marching band, orchestra and various chamber music ensembles.
She married Ronald L Buchanan on August 16, 1958 in Wichita, KS. Sue and Ron moved to Topeka in 1958.
Given the times, Sue’s choices for college were teacher, nurse, or mom. She did all three. She was a mom, nurse and teacher to her own children and to her students. She graduated from Kansas State University in 1959 with a BS degree in Elementary Education.
While working full time as a teacher and taking care of her family, Sue continued her education and graduated from Washburn University in Topeka with a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education in 1972.
Sue loved being a teacher for 39 years, but she was so much more. She was a favorite of her 1500 students because of her gentle, loving approach to teaching. Sue believed that each student as a unique individual that needed that special attention to blossom and she was willing to give each one as much as humanly possible. She loved art so she taught art, she loved music so she taught music, and she loved reading and writing so she had her students write a book, poems and journal. She went above and beyond to be the best teacher she could be.
Sue loved her colleagues at East Indianola like family and she remained dear friends with many of them right up to the end. Sue’s first teaching job was 3rd grade at East Indianola, Seaman District, Topeka from 1959-1962. After her first child was born she taught kindergarten at Rossville, KS from 1963-64, in 1966 after her second child was born she began teaching at East Indianola, Seaman School District, Topeka as the kindergarten teacher where she remained until her retirement in 1999.
One of Sue most treasured honors was Teacher of the Year 1982 for the Seaman School District, Topeka, KS.
Sue was a member of Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Eta Chapter, May 1956, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS; member of Alpha Delta Kappa, Omicron Chapter, Teacher’s Honorary Sorority, member of Topeka Area Retired School Personnel (TARSP) now KARSP, Vice President Membership for 2 years; member of Alpha Delta Pi Alum Group, secretary, Alpha Delta Pi Alum Bridge Group, and Seaman Teachers Association.
Sue and Ron have been members of the Arab Shrine, Topeka, since 1998. Both were very involved in the activities of the Shrine. Sue enjoyed being a member of the Creative Ladies of the Shrine.
Sue’s family was her biggest joy. She loved being a mom and raising four children was truly her most important accomplishment. Sue is survived by her husband of 60 years, Ronald L. Buchanan, Topeka; her brother, Charles E. Johnson (Joan), Bellevue, WA; her four children, Rebecca S. Drager (Kirk), Topeka; William E. Buchanan (Priscilla), Lenexa; Bradley C. Buchanan, Topeka: and Brenda L. Weintraub (David), McKinney, TX; her eight grandchildren, Catharine Carter (Alemeo), Beth Jeffries (Adam), Kristina Buchanan, Jacob Buchanan, Sarah Buchanan, Dylan Weintraub, Kylie Weintraub, Addyson Weintraub.
Sue’s hobbies included attending the theatre, playing bridge, quilting, crocheting, gardening, reading, listening and playing, and rescuing feral cats.
The visitation will be at 5-7 pm on Monday, November 19, 2018, at Penwell-Gabel, 1321 SW 10th Ave., Topeka, KS 66604.
Memorial service will be held at 10 am on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at Penwell-Gabel, 1321 SW 10th Ave., Topeka, KS 66604.
Two worthy organizations for donation in memory of Sue: Alzheimer’s Association or because of Sue’s love of her cats and dogs: Helping Hands Humane Society of Topeka.
The family would like to thank all the special people that helped Sue during the end of her life. Special thanks to all the devoted people of Brookdale-Topeka where Sue resided for the pass 14 months; Sue would have been lost without their daily loving care. Also to the many hospice workers of Great Lakes Caring, Sue and the family were fortunate to have them for all the support, guidance, love, and kindness. We thank hospice from the bottom of our hearts for your dedicated service making Sue’s journey here on earth so much easier and more comfortable. Hospice helped take the pressure and stress off the family, so we could spend those precious last days with mom giving her the love she so deserved.
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