Susan (Suz) Hawkey was a force of nature. Born in Huron, SD, third child and second daughter of Ivan and Roberta (Kay) Payne (Patton), Susan used her special “middle child powers” to bend the universe to her will. After graduating from high school in 1978 in Big Piney, WY, Susan worked. She tried her hand at many jobs over the years from Cheyenne to Tucson, AZ; from Dubois to Casper and many places in between. Along the way she married Cole Freeman and throughout that marriage and beyond she worked hard at raising three kids – Angela Gravelis (Lead, SD), Cord Freeman (Casper, WY) and Jacob Freeman (Coeur d’Alene, ID).
When Susan met and married James Hawkey in Casper, WY in 2009, many of her great ideas started to come to life. As a Master Gardener, they built raised gardens that produced a cornucopia of food to be canned and shared freely. (And when it came to these projects, when Susan said “we” she really meant “Jim”). In the summer of 2015, after having beat cancer once, Suz came to her senses, quit her job, sold their house, and moved to St. Leo, to live a dream. Together Suz and Jim set out with plans to share their knowledge of square foot gardening, her love of gnomes, and the stories they had to tell with all who came into their lives. Susan's stories were a silk tapestry of fine detail that took you along for the ride and yet, sometimes she did confess to just making stuff up.
In the end, Suz got everything she wanted: children who loved her, a mate who completed her, grandchildren to spoil and an adventure in Minnesota where there was real soil for gardens. She is loved by many and gone too soon.
Susan is survived by Husband James Hawkey (St. Leo); daughter Angela Gravelis and grandchildren Austin and Morgan (Lead, SD); son Sterling Cord (Angela) Freeman and grandchildren Tristan Couvalt, Ashten Couvalt, Sterling M. Freeman, Jaxson W. Freeman and Easton R. Freeman (Casper, WY); son Jacob Freeman (Coeur d’Alene, ID); Mother, Roberta Kay Payne (nee Patton), sister Cindy (Al) Haley, brother Jerry (Naomi) Payne all of Cheyenne, WY and sister Michelle (Dave) Pichaske of Granite Falls, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father Ivan Ray Payne, maternal grandparents John and Leota Patton; paternal grandparents Dode and Lucille Schanno. A memorial gathering will take place in Casper, WY on June 10 for family and friends (contact family for details). In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to your local Hospice.