Susan Elaine Howard was born April 9, 1961, to the union of the late John Essex Howard Sr. and Ferdie Webster Howard in Fort Wayne, IN. Susan was the youngest of five siblings. She departed this life on October 20, 2021.
Susan loved the Lord, she was baptized at an early age at Union Baptist Church by the late Rev. Clyde Adams and before the pandemic, had been attending Good Hope Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Timothy Williams.
Susan received her education attending L.C. Ward Elementary, Weisser Park, Ben F. Geyer Jr. High and graduating in 1979 from South Side High School with honors in Journalism and English. Susan was very active in various student activities at South Side, the speech team, Journalism, the school newspaper, the school yearbook, JA, Student Council and photography club.
Susan left Fort Wayne for Syracuse, New York to attend Syracuse University earning her dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Print Journalism and English Literature in 1983. Susan then went on to John Hopkins University earning her Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing and Fiction in 1985. Susan was completing her PhD studies in Rhetoric and Writing at Bowling Green (Ohio) State University.
Susan had worked at various journalism positions from Syracuse, NY to Atlanta, GA (The Atlanta Constitution) on to Houston, TX. We all remember Susan’s panel appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show! Susan was a book, music and movie fanatic – all things that promoted thought, she could be found engaged in. Susan communicated with J.K. Rowlings – the author of the Harry Potter books – challenging her lack of diversity in her stories. Susan wrote a formal published paper entitled “Slaves No More; the Harry Potter series as a Post-Colonial Slave Narrative.” Susan presented her research at a symposium at Cambridge University in London, England; she also presented her research at a Purdue University symposium on the topic. Susan was given the autonomy to create an English course at Ivy Tech on her Harry Potter research; students readily took the opportunity to take this creative writing and research course. Susan was very proud of her research, proud of her work. At her passing, Susan was an Assistant Professor of English and Program Chair at Ivy Tech Community College here in Fort Wayne. Susan had also taught English at IPFW.
Susan was a wonderful conversationalist. You had to be prepared to talk with Susan! She could meet you on any level, any topic, any song, any movie or the Bible. Susan enjoyed life to its fullest with her small circle of family and friends whom she considered family; for Susan, being fluent in French and a connoisseur of fine cuisine and spirits. If Susan considered you family, you were lucky - as she never forgot a birthday, would attend your special events; she treated you like her family. Susan always requested her close circle join her for her annual birthday celebration at Don Hall’s Gas House. It would be a night of lively conversations, plenty of photos and laughs that Susan would talk about for months.
Susan enjoyed traveling and listening to live music as well. Susan had plans to do a lot of traveling to research her roots, hoping to meet more of her family, hear about her lineage and create new family connections.
Susan is survived by her sisters, Janet Baker, Sandra Baker; her brothers, Cozey Baker (Mary) and James Howard (Willodean); nieces and nephews, Cynthia Stewart, Zandra Davis, Jacqueline Howard, Robin Harris, RoLonda Harris, Tira Davenport, Gayle Harris, Eric Harris, J. Michael Harris, Tionna Baker, Breann Baker and Kenneth Baker; her brother-in-law, Eddie L. Harris and her uncle, Joe Webster of Indianapolis, IN. Susan has 25 great nieces and nephews, and numerous great-great nieces and nephews with one great-great-great niece. She also leaves, close friends, Cricket Schuricht, Kevin Smith and Catherine Christoff.
Susan was predeceased by her parents, siblings, John (Dorothy) Howard Jr., Doris Howard Harris and Kenneth Howard; nieces, Marcia M. Harris and Tracy L. Howard and her nephew, Edward D. Harris Sr.