Suzanne Acuff Rhodes, age 90, died on December 30, 2022, at her home in Overland Park, Kansas. She was born July 27, 1932, in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, daughter of Claiborne Russell and Frances H. Acuff. She grew up in Lee’s Summit, Missouri and dearly loved her years there.
Suzanne graduated from Lee’s Summit High School in 1950. She attended Stephens College for two years and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Missouri. She was an active member of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority at the University of Missouri.
While teaching elementary school in Roswell, New Mexico, Suzanne met her husband Erwin D. “Dusty” Rhodes who was stationed there as a First Lieutenant with the Air Force. They were married in 1956 and lived in Massachusetts, California and eventually settling in Overland Park, Kansas in 1966 where they raised their three children. They were married for 61 years.
Because education was important to Suzanne, she and her sisters-in -laws, Gail Van Reen Acuff and Dee Danford Acuff established an endowed fund in education at the University of Missouri. She was active in the community serving as a Musette for the Kansas City Museum, a member of P.E.O, the Kansas City Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Group, Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church,and was an avid traveler.
Suzanne was known for her easy-going nature, wonderful sense of humor and ability to always make everyone feel wanted and welcome. She had the ability to only see the best in everyone she met. Devoted to her family, she will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Suzanne was a promoter and active participant for 50 years in the annual ‘Big August’ family reunion held in Branson, Missouri.
Suzanne was preceded in death by her husband Dusty in December of 2017 as well as her brother, Phil R. Acuff and sister-in-law, Gail Van Reen Acuff. Survivors include her children: Linden Rhodes (Doug Reinhardt) of Leawood, Kansas, Richard Dale Rhodes (Cathy) of Leawood Kansas; Elizabeth Rhodes of Olathe, Kansas; brother John W. Acuff (Dee Anna) of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Grandchildren: Gabrielle Rhodes DeFonso (Andy Michels); Grant Robert DeFonso: Julia Deggendorf (Ian); Dalton Dale Rhodes (Mollie), Dane Kenneth Rhodes (Elizabeth); Haley Rhodes (Matt Swing), Sara Mai (Bryan), Alison Hageman (Barton); Lauren Rhodes; Jayk Rhodes; four great grandchildren and six nieces and nephews.
Thank you to Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care for their loving care,and the special caregivers from Synergy Home Care.
In lieu of flowers or memorial contributions, Suzanne would want you to hug a family member and take them out to lunch.
Burial will take place at the Lee’s Summit Missouri Historical Cemetery and a private family Celebration of Life in the spring.