Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Jackie Sue Lean

Heaven gained its long-awaited guest on January 24, 2024, as Jackie Sue Lean, lovingly known by her family as “Susie,” aged 91, peacefully entered into eternal rest at Wyoming Central Hospice in Casper, Wyoming.

Born on October 16, 1932, in Gridley, Kansas to Peter Middleton and Elsie Caroline (Gilliam) Scales, Susie’s journey was marked by love, laughter, and a profound impact on all who knew her. Raised alongside her sister, Twila Beth, and brother J Pete, Susie’s early years in Kansas were filled with many family adventures. After her school years, she started on a remarkable journey that led her to Georgia, where, while working at the PX on Warner Robins Air Force Base,  she met and fell in love with a man in uniform, David Lean, and married him in 1952. Their military life took them to various bases in Del Rio, El Paso, and San Antonio, Texas, Duluth, Minnesota, San Fransisco, California, and Cheyenne, Wyoming.  In 1963, while in Duluth, their family expanded and was blessed with the adoption of their daughter Tami Anne.

Susie’s life eventually led her to Walters, Oklahoma after her husband returned from the Vietnam War. In 1967, she moved to Kimball, Nebraska to be close to her parents and devote herself to raising her daughter, where she remained until 2020. In 1979 she became a grandmother and a great-grandmother in 2008, a role that brought her so much happiness. In her late 40s, Jackie finally acquired her driver’s license so she could travel to Wyoming to see her grand babies. In 2020, she moved to Casper, Wyoming where her daughter could care for her during the last sweet years of her life. She touched the hearts of many, leaving an indelible mark on each community she called home.

A crossword puzzle enthusiast and a walking dictionary, Susie’s intellect was matched only by her warmth and kindness. As an avid reader, one could catch her either reading one of her beloved books, watching Matlock play on the TV while enjoying a Coke or baking her famous oatmeal raisin cookies and pink cherry chip cake. She was fond of Chihuahua puppies and had a collection of E.T. figurines.  Susie loved to create, excelling in crocheting, sewing, jigsaw puzzles and solving crostic puzzles. Her well-dressed demeanor reflected her appreciation for style and aesthetics. Her house was a welcoming haven, open to family and friends, and she shared countless cherished moments with all who walked through her door.

Traveling was another one of her joys, visiting almost every state with her daughter and grandsons and embarking on many adventures with her best friend, Evelyn Revel. From train trips to Washington D.C. and the east coast to taste-testing every Mexican restaurant within a 100-mile radius, Susie embraced life’s pleasures and shared them with a kindred spirit. In the kitchen, Susie was nothing short of an amazing cook. From her town-famous rolls, a culinary delight shared generously with the community, to her perfecting of the casseroles and her signature fried chicken, Susie’s delicious creations were a source of joy for those lucky enough to savor them. Christmas was a special time in her home, filled with the sweet aroma of various baked treats, showcasing her love for baking and spreading festive cheer to families and neighbors.

In her 70-plus-year career, Susie worked as the head cook of the local A&W in Kimball before she became the Kitchen Supervisor at the Kimball County Manor, retiring part-time to the laundry department. She was the longest-working employee with over 50 years of service to the elderly at the manor. She impacted countless lives with her culinary skills, dedication, and genuine care for others. Sundays found Susie at the 4th Street Church of Christ, where she quietly sang old hymns and eagerly listened to the preaching with her Bible in hand. Her commitment to attending services reflected her deep faith and the values she instilled in her family. She was a pillar of support for her loved ones, offering words of wisdom such as “Happiness is a choice” and “ There are blessings in each stage of your life and each year. Enjoy everyone of them.” The most important thing out of everything in Susie’s life was her love for her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, her family, and her church family.

Susie is survived by her only daughter, Tami Clay, and her brother J Pete Scales. She also leaves behind a proud lineage of grandsons: Thomas (Jenny) Clay, Andrew Clay, David (April) Clay, and Eric (Becky) Clay, along with eleven great-grandchildren: Lylah, Karrington, Reese, Harper, Sawyer, Katherine, Nathaniel, Alexander, Cora, Iris, and Levi. Nephews and Neice: Dee, Jack, Jessica(Durham), Peter, Joe and Eli Humphries, Michael and Philip Scales, and special daughter of the heart, Charise Bohac. She is preceded in death by her father Pete and mother Carrie, sister Beth Humphries, son-in-law Tom Clay, niece Ebbi Humphries and sister of the heart Evelyn Revel.

The funeral service was held February 3, 2024, at 10:00 AM at Paradise Valley Christian Church in Casper, Wyoming with her four grandsons officiating. A live stream will be available on YouTube.com/@pvtube (http://youtube.com/@pvtube). In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Paradise Valley Christian School in Casper, Wyoming.

The family extends heartfelt gratitude to Wyoming Central Hospice and Paradise Valley Christian Church for their continued support.

Susie’s laughter, wisdom, and unwavering love will forever be in the hearts of those who held her dear as she rests in the arms of Jesus.