With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Sandra Suzi Smith Rinehart, 68, who died suddenly on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Suzi was born Sept. 14, 1952 in Hearne to George and Harriett Smith. She was the youngest of three children. Suzi spent her youth in Hearne, graduating from Hearne HS in 1971. She then went on to Sam Houston State University and received a bachelor’s degree and later completed her master’s degree at Stephen F. Austin becoming an educational diagnostician.
Suzi’s career took her to several districts throughout Texas; however, she spent the majority of her career in Wharton ISD and Lamar CISD. Suzi retired as the diagnostician from Lamar Consolidated HS in 2012.
Suzi continued to grow as a person by learning sign language, becoming a massage therapist, and a healing touch practitioner.
Suzi was known for her creative ability to make something out of nothing. Suzi spent many happy hours out in her building, affectionally known as the HAH, (home away from home), that was built especially for her crafts. Using her creative ability, she could make inanimate objects come to life. For example, she could make Christmas ornaments out of paper napkins and old forks and spoons she found in antique shops. She could make pavers spring to life by becoming frogs, ladybugs, and honey bees.
All who knew Suzi referred to her as a bright light. She was known for her kindness, sensitivity, and a smile that brought joy to anyone she encountered. One always left Suzi with her contagious smile and a heart filled with laughter.
Suzi is survived by her longtime best friend Lori Cox; daughter Lisa Rinehart; sister Jo Loy Smith; brother George Smith and his wife Colleen; and nephews Kelly Smith and Jamie Smith. She is also survived by many longtime friends and family who will miss her dearly.
Suzi loved all animals, especially dogs. She also leaves behind her beloved Maltipoo, Piper. In that spirit, donations may be made in Suzi’s memory to S.P.O.T., P.O. Box 584, Wharton, 77488 wcspot@ hotmail.com
A celebration of Suzi’s life will be held when the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.
Arrangements are under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home. Condolences may be left at whartonfuneralhome.com