Susan Spicer Lowery (1947 - 2019)

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  • "So sorry to hear this Stevie and Rachel. Your mother was..."
  • "She lit up many lives with her kindness and generosity; I..."
    - Suzie Smith
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    - Harry VanWhy
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    - Barbara Warner
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    - Joyce Cardenas
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Service Information
Neptune Society- Kentucky
708 Lyndon Lane
Louisville, KY
Celebration of Life
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019
6:00 PM
Rosewood Bar & Grill (in the banquet room)

Susan Spicer Lowery, a fierce animal advocate, renowned cook, longtime newspaper cooking columnist and passionate, proud Democrat, died on Sept. 24, 2019. She was 72.
In 1979, Susan helped found the Marion County Humane Society with her good friend, the late Georgia Duley, and served as its president. She was also instrumental in starting the Marion County Animal Shelter in 1982. Her first passion before cooking was animals. She spent countless hours rescuing animals, helping pay for spaying or neutering expenses when pet owners couldn't afford it, and going to check on animals reportedly starving and needing help. Her connection to animals was very rare. It was almost as though they sought her out. They knew where to find her, and vice versa.
Susan also worked as a cooking columnist for The Lebanon Enterprise for 40 years. She began writing her column when her former husband, the late Steve Lowery, was the editor of the Enterprise. She continued writing long after their divorce in 1989. She also published her very own Susan's Kitchen cookbook in 1993. (Copies are still available at the Enterprise office.)
Susan was born on Jan. 24, 1947 in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Beryl B. Spicer and Dorothy Dillon. As a baby, the family's cat, Timmy, slept in the bassinet with her, which might explain Susan's lifelong love for animals.
Sidell was, and is, a very small town. The Main Street is brick, and they have a Brick Street Festival every year in June. Growing up, Susan's grandmother Ruth Spicer lived at one end of town and her grandparents Dr. Carl and Mabel Dillon lived at the other end. It wasn't even a complete mile from one end of the town to the other. Susan could make it on her bike in about five minutes if she went really fast. Her childhood was idyllic. She played outside with her friends until it was dark. And she would eat dinner with her parents every night. She loved her mom's spaghetti. They had it at least once a week.
Susan was an exceptional student, and was the first child in Sidell to ever skip a grade. She skipped the sixth grade, and developed a lifelong love of reading at a very young age. After graduating from Jamaica High School, Susan briefly attended Butler University. She had a lot of fun, but admittingly didn't learn too much. She spent most of her time at the Student Union playing cards. She also attended Danville Jr. College, before moving to New Orleans with one of her roommates from Butler. They had an apartment on Dumaine Street in the French Quarter. She went part-time to Spencer Business College, and worked in the office of Traffic Court Judge Louis Trent during the investigation into President John F. Kennedy's assassination by District Attorney Jim Garrison. She saw Garrison in the halls all the time.
Susan moved to Kentucky in 1974, and bought some knob land. She was part of the "back to the land" movement. She lived in the woods with no running water or electricity, initially. She owned a couple of horses, goats, chickens and grew a huge garden. She didn't have much money, but she always remembered that time of her life very fondly.
Susan married Steve Lowery, a reporter at the Central Kentucky News Journal in Campbellsville, on Sept. 9, 1978. They moved to a home on Sallie Ray Pike in Raywick, and in 1979, Susan gave birth to twin girls, Rachel and Stevie.
Susan and Steve divorced in August of 1989, and she and her twin daughters moved to a farmhouse in St. Francis. She planted eight acres of trees in 1991, which is now a forest, and bought her first miniature donkey in 1991. She began raising them, and today 12 donkeys reside on her farm.
Susan never remarried, but she was happy. She said so herself in a letter to a classmate her daughters found recently saved on her computer.
"I live by myself, though Stevie is right next door, and I am very happy," Susan wrote. "I have some health problems, but I'm still kicking, though perhaps not as high."
Having only been born with one kidney, Susan lived most of her life with stage four kidney disease. However, she was adamant that kidney disease would not kill her. And, as always, she was right. In fact, until the last week of her life, she never had to go on dialysis. Her nephrologist, Dr. "Al" Yaser Al-Solaiman, referred to her as his "miracle patient." Her one tired kidney was still working the day she died.
No matter how Susan was feeling physically, she always smiled through the pain. She never stopped doing the things she loved, such as gardening, caring for her animals and cooking. If you visited Susan, she went out of her way to make sure you felt right at home. No matter when you visited, even if it was unannounced, she would make sure you had something to eat. Food, and her amazing ability to make something from scratch, was a huge part of her life. Her homemade bread was legendary. And, she would sauté onions almost every day. Her daughters think it was a form of meditation, even if she didn't realize it. But most importantly, she wanted others to enjoy it. Oftentimes, she wouldn't even eat her own meals. But she would sit with you and smile as you enjoyed every bite.
She loved sitting on her front porch and reading, especially in the summer when the hummingbirds would come close and sip on the food she made for them daily. She would have flowers everywhere, and gardens full of green beans, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and all sorts of vegetables. The wind chimes on her front porch would make music in the breeze and Susan would just sit and take it all in. She loved the peacefulness of the country life she lived. Living on her farm, raising her daughters (and her donkeys) and cooking for others was Susan's dream come true. She lived the life she wanted until the very end.
And, while she enjoyed her tranquil life in St. Francis, she was painfully aware of the state of our country under the "leadership" of Donald Trump. If you wanted to get her riled up, just mention his name or the names of U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. However, she always expressed her opinion respectfully, but unapologetically. She proudly passed that trait on to her daughters and her grandchildren, especially her grandson Owen.
She also taught her daughters and grandchildren to treat others as you would want to be treated. She looked beyond race, gender, political party, religious affiliation or sexual orientation. She just wanted you to be kind to all people and creatures. (With the exception of ticks. She hated ticks with a passion.)
Susan was not only kind with her words and actions, but also with her pocketbook. She donated to several organizations, causes and groups that were important to her. In fact, the list is too long to print, and her daughters continue to discover more charitable donations their mother made during her lifetime. It comes as no surprise to them. That was their mom. That was her heart. She wanted to do her part to make this world a better place for her grandchildren and future generations. And, she did.
Susan was preceded in death by her parents. Her mother, Dorothy, died on Dec. 23, 1989 at the age of 74. Her father, Beryl, died on Feb. 6, 2004 at the age 90.
She's survived by her twin daughters, Rachel (Adam) Redden and Stevie Lowery, three grandchildren, Owen Daugherty, 13, Archer Redden, 7, and Emery Redden, 5, 12 donkeys, two dogs, a bunch of cats, and a raccoon or two that she fed in her garage.
The family would like to thank Dr. Yaser Al-Solaiman, Dr. Janet Chipman and Dr. Steven Reiss, as well as the nursing staff at Baptist Hospital East, for the exceptional care of their mother.
In memory of Susan, please consider donating to the Marion County Humane Society, C/O Dr. James Wooldridge, 600 Clear Creek Road, Raywick, Kentucky, 40060.
Susan prearranged her own cremation (of course she did), and her family and very close friends will be spreading her ashes on her farm in St. Francis per her request.
A celebration of Susan's life will be held at 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19, at Rosewood Bar & Grill (in the banquet room). All friends are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served, including many of Susan's appetizers from her cookbook.
Published in The Lebanon Enterprise on Oct. 2, 2019
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