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Justine Anita Simon Sutphen, 88, died Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at Governor’s Glen Assisted Living in Forest Park, GA from complications of Alzheimer’s disease and COVID-19.
Justine was a loving, supportive, and encouraging mother and the same to the rest of her family. A loyal and generous friend, she loved to share her opinions but treated all with respect and kindness. She especially loved babies and children. They always made her smile, and she didn’t mind listening to what they had to say. She liked travel, fashion, reading, movies, photo albums, and greeting cards, especially Hallmark. She had a ready laugh, fun personality, and quick wit. Justine was the master of the snappy comeback!
Justine was born in Lake Charles, LA to the late Beulah Hawkins Simon and Mottimo (Mott) Simon where she grew up with her three sisters on her parent’s farm. She was the youngest of the four girls. Her sisters, Irma Mandana Simon Harris and Lillian Macy Simon Roberts, preceded her in death.
After graduating from W.O. Boston High School in Lake Charles, she attended Wiley College in Marshall, TX. She met and married her husband, Cecil Sutphen, and had the first of her three daughters, Sussan. She graduated with a degree in childhood education and returned to Lake Charles taking a position in the parish elementary school as a teacher. Her second daughter, Diane was born there. The family moved to Kansas City, MO for better opportunities, and Justine had her youngest daughter, Lady Cecil. The Bureau of Indian affairs recruited her for a teaching position on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, so the family relocated to Eagle Butte, SD where she and Cecil later divorced. Justine remained in Eagle Butte to raise her three girls. She taught first grade initially, then kindergarten at Cheyenne Eagle Butte Elementary School for 42 years before retiring in 2001. Justine was fortunate to spend most of that time teaching with her best friend, Betty Lou Kost, in classrooms next to each other. Her goal was to provide a solid educational and social skills foundation for every child she taught. After retirement, she moved to Oak Park, IL to be close to Lady Cecil and help raise her grandchildren, Morgan and Shelbie. When her memory problems progressed, she came to live in Atlanta near Sussan until her death. A family memorial service will be held in Tuscaloosa, AL in the spring of 2021.
Justine is survived by her sister, Clemmye Marie Simon Crawford of Tuscaloosa, AL, daughters Sussan Kaye Sutphen (Jackie Moore) of Atlanta GA, Diane Carol Sutphen of Milwaukee, WI and Lady Cecil Sutphen (Gerard Wilkes) of Forest Park IL; her grandchildren, Morgan Justine Wilkes and Shelbie Elizabeth Wilkes; great grandson, Isaiah Andrew Wilkes; and nephew, William Stephen Crawford Jr. of Los Angeles, CA, other relatives, and friends. We will miss her gentle spirit, joy in life, and her love for her family.
Memorial contributions may be made in Justine’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org or 225 N. Michigan Ave., Flr. 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or to Reading is Fundamental (Children’s Literacy) at www.rif.org or 750 First Street NE, Suite 920, Washington, DC 20002.
The Sutphen family is being assisted by Georgia Cremation, 1086 Hwy 54 West, Fayetteville. Messages of condolence may be left at www.GeorgiaCremation.com.