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Suzanne O’Connor Smith

Posted By DeBord Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory On May 29, 2020 @ 6:30 am In Obituaries | 61 Comments

Suzanne O’Connor Smith, 67, of Lancaster, died peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Saturday, May 23, 2020, following a courageous battle with multiple myeloma since 2013. 

Born in Lancaster, PA, on January 3, 1953, and raised in Mount Joy, PA, Suzanne was the youngest child of the late Dr. Thomas W. O’Connor and Mary Ellen (Skelly) O’Connor.  She graduated from Donegal High School in 1970, and was inducted into the Donegal Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.

Suzanne was a member of the varsity field hockey and gymnastics teams at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania where she earned a B.S. in Health and Physical Education. She later earned her Master’s in Health and Physical Education from West Chester University.

During her first year of teaching at Manheim Township High School, Suzanne met fellow teacher and coach, John Smith, whom she married on July 12, 1975. He was her loving husband and best friend for 45 years. Together they shared in their greatest joy as parents of three children and grandparents of eight.

After spending time at home with her young children, Suzanne returned to the classroom teaching seventh grade health education at Manheim Township, where she coached field hockey for another 15 years and was instrumental in bringing the girls lacrosse program to the district. In 2014, she retired following 30 years of service as an educator.

In her retirement, Suzanne and her husband traveled, visiting Scotland, taking two European river cruises and a road trip to Yellowstone National Park, among other adventures.

She enjoyed golfing, gardening, reading, and spending time with the many dear friends she made over her lifetime. She loved being “Nana” and cherished gatherings of her family, especially at Christmas, on annual trips to Bethany Beach, and around the backyard firepit making s’mores.

Suzanne will be remembered for her energy, thoughtfulness, encouraging presence and positive outlook. Her six-and-a-half-year fight with multiple myeloma was marked by her bravery, optimism and unsinkable spirit.

Surviving beside her husband are children, Rebecca S., married to A.T. Stamp of Lancaster, Andrew R., married to Lindsey, of Havertown, PA; and Daniel O. married to Lauren, of Lancaster; as well as grandchildren, Thomas and Henry Stamp, Lancaster; Andrew, Lilly and Benjamin Smith, Lancaster; and Charlotte, Ryan and Graham Smith, Havertown.

She is also survived by siblings Mary Ellen Beall, married to Robert, of Potomac, MD; Elizabeth Tomlinson of Doylestown, PA; and Thomas O’Connor Jr., married to Elizabeth, of Milton, DE, and their children and grandchildren.

There will be a celebration of Suzanne’s life at a later time, for which an announcement will be published.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Suzanne’s memory to the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute, 2102 Harrisburg Pike, Lancaster, PA 17601 or the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, P.O. Box 414238, Boston, MA 02241. 

Condolences for the family of “Suzanne O’Connor Smith”

Condolence from Joan and Greg Vistica on May 29th, 2020 1:33 pm

Our prayers are with you during this time. We are glad you were able to be together during Suzanne’s last days.

Condolence from Patti Goldberg on May 29th, 2020 2:06 pm

Dear John, Rebecca, Andrew, Daniel ,
We are sending love admiration and respect for your family. Your mom www I’ll remain our hero and role model. Mimi shared with us her Wisdom, her Strength and her Struggles which she handled with such grace. Our thoughts and Love are with you…..Sam and Patti Goldberg

Condolence from Sally Fasmam on May 29th, 2020 2:28 pm

With deepest condolences for Suzanne’s family and friends. May loving memories of this extraordinary, loving woman give you strength and peace.
With love,
Sally Fasman
(Friend of Mimi)

Condolence from Pam Cook on May 29th, 2020 3:02 pm

My heartfelt sympathy to Suzanne’s family. My friend Mimi shared with me Suzanne’s journey with her disease. I am amazed at the grace with which she handled all that she dealt with. Suzanne kept going, doing, and enjoying.

Condolence from Grace Morgenstein on May 29th, 2020 3:28 pm

Suzanne led a life of love, devotion and purpose. I’m sure she will be missed by every one whose life she touched.

Condolence from Mimi Beall on May 29th, 2020 5:01 pm

The strong bonds of love will continue to connect us to Suzanne and to each other. We all cherish our own memories and also shared memories of our life with her! Those memories are very precious and will keep her spirit with us! Much love always! Mimi

Condolence from Alicia Karanian on May 29th, 2020 7:57 pm

With heartfelt condolences to Suzanne’s family and friends. As Mimi’s friend, I learned that Suzanne was surrounded by love from her family. May your happy memories of a remarkable, uplifting woman sustain you and keep her close.

With love, Alicia Karanian

Condolence from Connie and Mark Pombo on May 29th, 2020 8:56 pm

Dear John, Rebecca, Andrew and Daniel,
Our hearts are knit with yours during this time of grief. Suzanne was a thousand points of light–converging into this bundle of love and constant energy. Her laughter was contagious, as was her smile. She always made everyone feel like they were the most important person in the room, whether you met for the first time or had been friends for years. We were blessed to have spent time with you both and will treasure those memories. We’re keeping you in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Much love! Connie and Mark

Condolence from Diane Snyder DeBord on May 30th, 2020 8:40 am

Dear John,
Mark and I both want to send our deepest sympathy to you for the loss of your beautiful wife. I feel sad that we didn’t really know her, but reading her obituary shows what a great person she was.
We always enjoyed seeing you and Suzanne at the Fulton. I never knew how long her cancer struggle was. But I certainly admire her strength.
We always had a special place in our heart for you John. You know why.
I am very glad to read that most of your children live nearby.
Take care,

Condolence from Carol C Clark on May 30th, 2020 7:52 pm

Dear O’Connor siblings – Mimi, Betsy, Tom and all your loved ones,
Sending prayers for your comfort and peace in this sad time and feeling deep gratitude for the life-long connection our families have enjoyed. You and Suzanne are my “forever cousins”! Love to you always. Xoxo Carol (Crow) Clark

Condolence from Nikki Rivera on May 30th, 2020 8:53 pm

Wishing your beautiful family peace of heart and mind at this very difficult time. Suzanne made an incredible impact on my life and I treasure the times we spent together. I tried to absorb her strength and energy that she always exuded. She is dearly missed, but her impact lives on. Peace to you.

Condolence from Kevin and Anita Lambert on May 30th, 2020 9:58 pm

John, Andrew, Becca and Dan…our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Condolence from Skip Walters on May 31st, 2020 7:34 am

John and family-

Very sorry for your loss. It was always a pleasure to see and talk to Suzanne. Our thoughts are with you and may she Rest In Peace .

Skip and Pam Walters

Condolence from Robbin Finkbiner on May 31st, 2020 8:18 am

Dear John and family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your entire family. The Finkbiner’s have many fond memories of Soccer and Field Hockey games. May Suzanne rest in peace. Sympathy to you all!!!

Condolence from Elaine Kump on May 31st, 2020 8:29 am

Dear John and family,
Words can’t say how heavy my heart is for the loss of Suzanne. She was certainly the strong and positive woman that is mentioned in the obituary. Her spirit will always be near to you and your family.
Hugs and prayers,
Elaine Kump

Condolence from Donald Kern on May 31st, 2020 8:39 am

Dear John,
So sorry to read about your lost of your partner. Thoughts and prayers coming your way. She sounds like she must have been and amazing lady. After 45 years I’m sure you have many memories that will always be with you.

Condolence from Brooke Hall on May 31st, 2020 8:47 am

I’m so sorry for your loss. Suzanne was such a positive person. She was a joy to teach with. May she Rest In Peace.

Condolence from Jane Druce on May 31st, 2020 9:26 am

John I’m so sorry to hear about Suzanne. Her positive attitude was amazing and she was such a fighter! Glad your family could be with her. Peace to you and your family, Jane

Condolence from Cindy and Dave York on May 31st, 2020 9:28 am


We were so sorry to hear about the passing of your beloved wife and best friend Suzanne. She was a lovely lady with a big personality. She will be missed by many. The is a deep hole in your heart that your children and your memories will help heal.

Cindy and Dave

Condolence from Katie Hoke Kramer on May 31st, 2020 9:34 am

My heartfelt condolences to the whole family. When I reflect on the positive influences in my education Mrs Smith is at the top. There was ALWAYS a smile and encouraging word. She was definitely a bright light for many!

Condolence from Jason James on May 31st, 2020 10:12 am

I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that I am thinking about you during this difficult time

Condolence from Chet Morrison on May 31st, 2020 10:13 am

Deepest sympathies John. All of your political comrades grieve your loss

Condolence from Melissa Fry on May 31st, 2020 10:34 am

We offer you our deepest condolences. May loving memories of this amazing woman give you strength and peace.

The Frys

Condolence from Sam & Rosemary Minder on May 31st, 2020 10:55 am

Dear John and family,

Thinking of you as you mourn the loss of someone so special. We will always remember the early years at MT and fun times we had with you and Suzanne. We will also never forget her great personality and beautiful smile.

With heartfelt sympathy,
Sam & Rosemary Minder

Condolence from Rebecca Hambright Hennessy on May 31st, 2020 12:35 pm

I am so sad to learn of Suzanne’s passing. I remember both of you fondly from my high school days. I enjoyed having her as my field hockey coach, but it was her humor, laugh and spunk that I remember the most. She seemed to always be on the move yet she took the time to stop and talk and laugh. I ran into her a few years ago and I remember thinking how she was still the same.. young at heart and full of life!
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless!

Condolence from Naomi Herr (Gantz) on May 31st, 2020 12:57 pm

It was nice to reconnect with Suzanne and to meet you at Henry and Jan Zerphy’s home. Suzanne was always a kind and compassionate person even as far back as high school. She had a full life and will leave behind a lot of memories for many people.

Condolence from Robbin Finkbiner on May 31st, 2020 1:06 pm

John and family. We are so sorry. The Finkbiner family has many memories of Soccer and Field Hockey games. Suzanne was a wonderful coach and person. May she rest in peace. Our sympathies to you and your family. Robbin Bob Finkbiner and family.

Condolence from Barb Cooper on May 31st, 2020 1:32 pm

Sorry to see Suzanne’s obit in LNP today.
My thoughts and prayers are with you, John, and your family. I always enjoyed seeing & talking to Suzanne, a great gal!
Cherish the memories!
Barb Cooper

Condolence from Amanda Elslager on May 31st, 2020 3:22 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. Suzanne was my mentor teacher during my first year as a teacher and my neighboring teacher for a few years after that. During that first year teaching there were many times I ended up in her room seeking advice and help. She was always willing to listen and offer words of wisdom. She was kind and honest and I always appreciated her insights.
Just a little while ago we were walking and saw her. I got to introduce her to my three boys and say hi. I am so glad that happened and she got to meet them.

Condolence from Sydney Marichak on May 31st, 2020 4:01 pm

Dear John and Family,

My sincere sympathy to you all. Please know I am thinking of you during this very difficult time. Love and prayers to all.

Condolence from Ginjr Humphreys Robinson on May 31st, 2020 4:02 pm

Dear John, Beca, Andrew and Daniel,
Your wife and mom was the best. What great memories of happy and fun years with soccer, Cub Scouts, Girls Scouts and other endless kid’s activities. Suzanne was always leading, teaching, cheering, mentoring and having all of us have fun. I am so sorry for your loss.
Best to all of you.
Ginjr Humphreys Robinson

Condolence from Chris & Rita Adams on May 31st, 2020 4:17 pm

Dear John, Becca, Andrew, and Daniel,

At this time of great sorrow, always remember the love and light Suzanne brought to your lives and to the rest of your family. I always appreciated how she treated students and her colleagues at MTMS – she was an excellent educator and a tremendous human being. Her thoughtfulness, positivity, and sunny disposition will be missed by many. Peace be with each of you and with the rest of your loved ones.

Condolence from Gordon Kirkland on May 31st, 2020 4:53 pm

One of the finest people I’ve ever met. Never heard a negative comment from her; ever, always positive. She and husband, John, were a perfect partnership producing three awesome children. Heaven has become an even greater place with her arrival.

Condolence from Debbie Moore on May 31st, 2020 5:00 pm

Dear John and Family,
My sincere condolences to all of you. Your wonderful family must be devastated by the loss of your dear wife, mother and nana. Suzanne was such a bright light in this world and I’m sure that light will continue to shine through all of you and the memories you will one day be more able to think and smile about.
For now, you are all in the thoughts and prayers of everyone who was blessed to have known her.
Debbie Moore (a St. Thomas friend)

Condolence from PATRICIA NORDINE BURKHART on May 31st, 2020 5:04 pm

Dear John and Family,

Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your beautiful and faithful wife, friend, and mother. Although I didn’t know her, she must have been a wonderful woman to know and share so many wonderful years with. May God give you the strength to get you through the uncertain times ahead and may He bless you with peace and comfort always.

Your fellow SASHS classmate,
Pat Nordine (Burkhart)

Condolence from Vic Brutout on May 31st, 2020 7:23 pm

Dear John and your three great kids,
If my memory is still working, John, I believe you came to basketball practice on a Saturday morning after your first date with Suzanne the prior evening. You said you were going to marry her! And you did and created a great life and an even greater family. May all those memories help you now and in the future to turn your tears into smiles.

My thoughts are with all of you.

Vic Brutout

Condolence from Deborah (Ranck) Gavalchik on May 31st, 2020 7:29 pm

I was so saddened to hear of your loss. I remember Mrs. Smith as a kind and dedicated teacher who truly enjoyed her students and made us feel cared for and respected. Praying for God’s peace during this time for your family.

Condolence from Ann Ritter on May 31st, 2020 8:05 pm

My deepest sympathy to your family!

Condolence from Kermit Norris on May 31st, 2020 9:22 pm

Dear John and family,

I am saddened by your loss. We will miss Suzanne very much…..a light in our lives.

What a wonderful lady full of fight and energy.

Know that we hurt with you!

Doc Norris & Luci Steele

Condolence from Todd Hoagey on May 31st, 2020 10:41 pm


Praying for you John. Very sad news. Thought I’d reach out and let you know how much you meant to me during my high school years. Maybe knowing how many lives you touched will bring some sort of comfort during this time. Take care of yourself and your family.

Condolence from Twila Shaeffer Dowling on May 31st, 2020 10:44 pm

John & Family……remembering Suzanne with her bubbly personality and infectious smile. May she rest in peace.

Twila Shaeffer Dowling
MTHS 1979

Condolence from Michael J. and Beth Ann Vertucci on June 1st, 2020 1:22 am

Suzanne’s memory will be cherished by all who had the privilege to know her! Her legacy, all she she touched! Her family, the truest testament to all she was. John, our prayers for you and your family!

Condolence from Ed Journey on June 1st, 2020 10:02 am

Dear John & Family,

So very sorry to hear of the loss of such a special person. Being a Lock Haven grad, I knew she would be a wonderful Health & P.E. teacher. She was a joy to have as part of the MT P.E. department. Her enthusiasm and energy were infectious. I can’t remember her without a smile. Our prayers are with you and those 3 terrific kids. Suzanne touched many lives and will be truly missed. Rest in peace special lady.

Ed & Ginny Journey

Condolence from Lonna Hoffman on June 1st, 2020 11:22 am

Thinking of the Smith and Stamp families at this difficult time. May your memories bring you comfort.

Mrs. Hoffman
Schaeffer Elementary

Condolence from Marilyn and Bill Ebel on June 1st, 2020 2:03 pm

Dear John ,

Please know we are thinking of you and your family and holding you in our prayers.
You were such special neighbors when we lived on Bonnie Drive. I will always think
of Suzanne in her garden which I know she loved and our conversations about her
grandchildren whom she love more .

I am so glad I had a special time of conversation with her a few months ago …..stopping
In without planning since I was in the neighborhood. It was also good to see you at that time…… never knowing that it would be my last time with Suzanne

Words of comfort, feelings of gratitude that you both were blessings in our
life journey . We send you are love and caring !!!

Marilyn and Bill Ebel

Condolence from Lanco Federal Credit Union on June 1st, 2020 4:19 pm

Dear John & Family – –

Thinking of you as you morn the loss of Suzanne. Our thoughts are with you – – may she always rest peacefully. A donation will be made in memory of Suzanne to the Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute.

Sincere condolences,

Your family and friends at Lanco Federal Credit Union

Condolence from Beth Crosby on June 2nd, 2020 11:01 am

John and family,
While my path crossed most frequently at Schaeffer Elementary School picking up grandchildren, it is apparent from reading her descriptive obituary that she lived her life dedicated to her family and special causes. It’s always hard to lose a spouse and a parent as my children Kirsten and Colin know. We extend our sympathy to your entire family. Blessings,
Beth Crosby

Condolence from Cindy S Herrmann on June 2nd, 2020 12:29 pm

John, I was so sorry to see Suzanne passed away. I always loved seeing her…and you! She truly was a wonderful person. So thankful for the many wonderful memories you have. Praying for you and your family during this time of loss.

Condolence from Kelly (Cromer) Farrell on June 2nd, 2020 5:00 pm

I am very sorry for your lose. Suzanne was a great field hockey teammate at Lock Haven.

Condolence from Kurt and Dot Shellenberger on June 3rd, 2020 11:08 am

Suzanne’s had an impact on the lives of many. She will be missed by many but she will be remembered for her humor and perseverance. Suzanne taught us all how to live.

Kurt and Dot Shellenberger

Condolence from Matt Mundorf on June 3rd, 2020 11:08 am

I am so sorry to her about Suzanne. Hopefully our paths will cross soon and we can celebrate her wonderful life. You were blessed to have her in your life.

Matt Mundorf

Condolence from Judi Shive Hauck (AST Sorority sister) on June 3rd, 2020 11:54 am

Dear Smith Family,
Suzanne was such a vibrant lovely woman. I am one of her sorority sisters and spent many fun and memorable times with her. We had reconnected a number of years ago and I just wish we would have had one more time. She was a fighter. I will miss her warm loving mischievous smile.
Prayers to you all.

Condolence from Fran Duncheskie on June 3rd, 2020 11:59 am

Dear John and Family,

We are deeply sorry for your loss. Please know we are thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

Emily and Fran Duncheskie

Condolence from Marv and Barbara Cochran on June 3rd, 2020 7:23 pm

Dear John and family,

We are so sorry to learn of Suzanne’s passing. Our hearts go out to you at this difficult time and hope that all your wonderful memories help to bring you peace. It was such a pleasure getting to know Suzanne when she was our son’s teacher. She was always so kind and compassionate with Shawn. She will not be forgotten.

Condolence from Roxie Wolgemuth Sarroff on June 4th, 2020 1:09 pm

Dear John and Family,

I’m so very sorry about your loss. As a high school classmate and recently, a lunchmate from time to time, I know Suzanne as a champ.

With deepest sympathy.

Condolence from Pamela R. Lyons-Neville on June 4th, 2020 8:19 pm

Dear John and Family,

As time passes, so do our loved ones, but your memories, full of her spirit, will live on. Suzanne and you, John, have been since 1974 two of my favorite colleagues even though our paths differed after moving from the 9th grade building. From Mount Joy to the purchase of your first home to the years of balancing career with parenting, Suzanne has been a beacon of possibility. I am so sorry for this loss of your special friend, partner, and loved one. Suzanne will always be special and her influence will remain with you always. May you find peace, light, and love.

Pam Lyons-Neville

Condolence from Colleen Fry on June 5th, 2020 10:08 am

Dear John and Family,
I was so sorry to read about Suzanne’s passing. She was a wonderful person. We were all young teachers together at MT and I remember your courtship and then marriage. Many years later, our paths crossed again with you as Principal at Hempfield HS and Suzanne as MT’s field hockey coach when our daughter was a student at HHS and played field hockey.
Reading her obituary shows a life well-lived as a person, wife, parent, teacher and coach.
Colleen Hagan Fry

Condolence from Jeanne Ryan on June 7th, 2020 3:21 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
May the memories you share keep Suzanne’s spirit alive in your hearts.
Jeanne Ryan

Condolence from Janet Harriger on June 7th, 2020 4:53 pm

Dear John and Family,
I was saddened to read that Suzanne had passed. I played field hockey with her for years and we both started on LHU’s varsity team as freshman. She was a genuinely good and kind person and yet a force of nature!
I know her family meant the world to her and I extend my deepest sympathy to you.

Janet Harriger

Condolence from Pat Browning on June 13th, 2020 3:13 pm

Dear John and family,
I was so very sorry to hear about Suzanne. I’ve been reminiscing about our times together through our kids and MT— Girl Scouts, swim team, Nitrauer activities. She had such enthusiasm for life that I know has been passed on to her kids and grandkids. Her memories will surely bring you comfort and laughter. My heartfelt condolences to all of you!
Pat Browning

Condolence from Sandra Buch on June 23rd, 2020 8:34 pm

Dear Mr Smith & family,

I was so sad to read about the loss of your wife..my deepest sympathy to you and your family. She was my gym teacher and you were my business math teacher..back in the day! You actually worked for my Dad one summer..Richard Groff plumbing n heating..my daughter graduated high school with Daniel..and my best friend from high school Linda Smith(Leisey) now Rittenhouse worked with you @Hempfield. I just wanted to reach out to you, so sorry for your loss. Wishing you many wonderful memories of your wife..mother of your children and your grandchildren.

With Sympathy,
Sandra Buch(Groff)

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