PEORIA - Susan Oakford Champion, 56, of Peoria died at 2:50 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, at Methodist Medical Center surrounded by family and friends.
Susie was born on Sept. 11, 1956, to Art and Judy (Little) Oakford in Peoria. She married Michael Alan Champion on March 18, 1978, at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. He survives.
Also surviving are her two children, Amy Champion and Andy (Mandy) Champion; and one grandchild, Ellie Champion, all of Peoria; her two sisters, Betsy (David) Paul of Fountain Hills, Ariz., and Lynne (Steve) Anderson of Oswego, Ill.; nephews and nieces, Sarah (Mark) Zameda, Katie (Eric) Sharp and Abby (Nicholas) Gargo, all of Oswego, Ill.; Bryan (Aimee) Paul, Meagan (Kelly) Knedler and Matthew Paul, all of Phoenix, Ariz., and Haley (Greg Sonnemaker) Miller of Peoria.
She was preceded in death by her grandparents and her sister, Kitty Oakford Miller.
For those that have been a part of Susie's life, we are blessed with the gifts that she leaves us. Her spirit and her passion were reflected in her love of her family and friends, whether it was a thoughtful note, a holiday gift basket, creative party planning or just a fun surprise. She was blessed with a gift of finding creative ways to go out of her way to show people how much she loved them and how special they were to her, and for this we have all been blessed.
She was a devoted mother who cherished her children and loved supporting them in their various activities. Many lifelong friendships were formed at soccer games and swim meets. Her passion for children was also demonstrated as she volunteered for the CASA association. She participated in the grade school PTO throughout her children's education and was involved with many other organizations and groups.
Susie was in the class of 1974 at Peoria Central High School, where she made friends that lasted her lifetime. She then attended Western Illinois University, where she was a member of the ASA sorority.
Susie's employment began as a dental assistant, working for David Crow Orthodontist in Davenport, Iowa. She was a member of the PEO Davenport, Iowa, chapter. She had a passion for young people as she worked for 22 years at PALS Pre-School, where she developed cherished friendships with parents and co-workers. Most recently, she worked for Orlando Park Dental Services.
She was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral.
A memorial Mass will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. The Very Rev. Robert Dedmon and Father David Richardson will officiate. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, at Wright & Salmon Mortuary. An additional visitation will be one hour prior to the Mass at the cathedral. Cremation rites have been accorded.
Memorials may be directed to Illinois Cancer Center.
Tributes and condolences may be submitted to www.wrightandsalmon.com.