Susan Julia (Johnson, Jones) McDannel, passed away January 4, 2019 peacefully surrounded by her children.
In July 07, 1943, Susan was born to Clarence and Ruby Johnson in Denver, Colorado. A day after her birth her mother passed away. Her father was still in the military, and her Aunt Violet kept her for a year, until her father was able to take her. Clarence remarried to Bernice Carter, who adopted Susan.
They relocated back to Des Moines, Iowa. Susan married her High School sweetheart, John Charles Jones. From this union, they had 3 children, Cherrie, Dennis and Bonita.
She eventually remarried and relocated to Security Colorado, then moved to Great Falls, Montana. To this second union, she had 3 children – Heidi, Shandy and Shane.
Sue has done many things in her life, and has had many careers. From being a CNA, day care provider, restaurant business owner, acquiring her CDL and driving 18-wheelers, to eventually doing her passion, a dog groomer.
At 4 foot 11 inches, and driving dump trucks, she had to strap blocks of wood onto her feet just so she could reach the pedals, and had to use pillows to help her see over the dash. Many of her co-workers were amazed at such a tiny woman safely operating these huge pieces of equipment.
She came a long way – from a teenage mother who could barely boil water to a restaurant owner in Great Falls, Montana. She became an awesome cook, and we all treasure her many recipes that she has collected over the years.
She has moved all over the country, and loved Arizona. But she ended up in Montana to stay close to her children. She had a special bond to her grandson Samuel, and they were napping buddies.
Sue has always had a very big heart, and has taken in strays – both human and critter. She loved deeply and completely, and always forgave quickly and easily. She never wanted to be an inconvenience to anyone or anything, and sacrificed so much, especially for her children and her friends. She made a lot of life long friends since she was a child, as everyone who met her were drawn to her quiet loving nature. If she could help – she would give a hand up to help anyone and to any animal. She hated abuse of any kind to people or animals.
She finally purchased and owned a horse – she purchased a pure-bred Arabian horse, pure black, named Midnight. Her dream was to be able to ride her on long trail rides, but her illness eventually robbed her of the strength to be able to work her – Midnight became a lawn ornament, and a big pet for her. Midnight brought her immense joy to visit and feed her.
Sue loved to write, and has written some treasured children stories that all of us love to hear. We have fond memories of her telling them to us. The story about the sock monkey will be an especially treasured memory. As we children remember – mom always had her many lists, and motivational quotes taped all over her walls, her desk and her work areas! She could express herself so deeply in her writing and us children knew when she wanted to express something about what was going on in her life, such as a Christmas letter, it was pretty much a novel. When you received it – you needed to get a cup of coffee and sit down for a good read!
Even at the last – Sue had written to-do lists, improving her self and growing to be a better person. As she got close to the end, she had told her friend that she still had so much to do and to get done. That was mom – still working hard and trying to care for others! She strongly believed in peacefully getting along with others, and to try to learn to compromise and to be a bigger person to forgive and love. She was truly an inspiration of hard work, giving to others, and being a kind person. Anyone could talk to her about anything, she was an awesome listener.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her birth mother, Ruby Johnson (Bellis); her parents Bernice and Clarence Johnson, her husband John Jones, Aunt Violet, Boomer (John) Peterson; her grandson Little John, and her beloved Chihuahua Paco Taco.
She is survived by her children, Cherrie Beyer (Matt); Dennis Jones; Bonita Day (Paul); Heidi Wolf; Shandy McDowell (Micheal); Shane McDannel (Crystal). She is also survived by her grand-children: David Johnson (Candace); Morgan Glueckert (Paul); Megan McKay (Ian); Melissa Beyer (Kale McClure); Thomas Beyer; Erika Day; Auston Day; Ian Day (Kirstein Brazzel); Amanda Scifres-Wolf (Branden); Emily Scifres-Wolf (JP Yates); Dennis Wolf; Bry Wolf, Dasan McDowell; Delila McDannel; Lillian McDannel and Samuel McDannel. She is also survived by 9 great-grandchildren. Allena, Isaiah, Shara, Bria, Adam, Felicity, Ezra, Elizabeth, and Greyson at 5 months. She is also survived by her oldest and dearest friend Jan Anderson, and her Chihuahua Tootsie, her Arabian horse – Midnight; along with other long-time family friends.
Sue’s family would like to thank the Hospice Nurses and Friendship Villa for the wonderful care they gave her during her illness.
All of Sue’s Grand-children, and long-time friends are honorary pall bearers.
In Lieu of flowers, please give to Best Friends Sanctuary: https://bestfriends.org/donate/make-gift-memory/make-gift-honor-donate or your local animal rescue shelter.
A celebration of her life will be held at Stevenson and Sons funeral home in Miles City, Montana, on January 8th, 2019 @ 11 AM. Condolences to the family may be sent by visiting www.stevensonandsons.com