School 31

Sue Smith Aiken

1943 ~ 2021 (age 77)


Died on February 10, 2021 after recent severe health challenges, non-COVID related. A native Vermonter, Sue graduated from University of Vermont. She pursued her passion for social work with a Master of Social Work from Indiana University, where she also became Executive Director of Big Sisters of Indianapolis.


Sue was a retired leader of multiple non-profit human service and education programs, and an engaged public and private Board member and leader for over 20 years. Sue was a force for immense good in many quarters, bringing humor and energy to her work in early education services within schools, family and children services in communities, and as the director of one of the largest Head Start programs in the U.S., in Bergen County, NJ.


Having lived in the U.K., Sweden, and several parts of the U.S., Sue was an admirer of arts, handcrafts, and cuisines, maintained friendships across many time zones — but her greatest passion was supporting children and families.


Sue was born on September 9, 1943 in Palm Springs CA, to Durwood James Smith and Sue Mauldin Smith. Sue is survived by her loving husband James, her daughter Kate and son-in-law John, her son Robert and daughter-in-law Casey, her grandchildren Maxwell, Reed, Emerson and Liza, her sisters Coleen Smith Slosberg, Charleen Smith and Caroline Smith DeWaal, and many nieces, nephews and other loving family members.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either the P.E.O. International Foundation to support educational opportunities for women (Sue Smith Aiken Memorial Fund) or to Community Action of Allegan County, MI (all donations in Sue’s name will be put towards Head Start and Early Education Services Program services.)

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P.E.O. International Headquarters
3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines IA 50312
Tel: 1-515-255-3153

Community Action of Allegan County
323 Water Street, Allegan MI 49010
Tel: 1-269-673-5472

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