Obituary of L. Sue Lawler
L. SUE LAWLER (1947-2023)
Sue Lawler was born L. Sue “Susie” Munden on July 14, 1947, in Stafford, KS. The oldest child of Gilbert and Billie Munden, Sue attended school in Stafford, graduating from Stafford High in 1965. A childhood polio survivor, she went on to run intramural track, play softball, and some basketball during her school years. In school, she was also active in speech and debate.
Immediately after graduation, she entered training to become an X-ray technician. In 1966, while working as an X-ray tech at the hospital in Great Bend, KS, she met the love of her life, Dr. Robert (Bob) Lawler, a visiting Radiology resident. After a whirlwind two-week courtship, Sue accepted Bob’s proposal. They were married a few months later, and Sue joined Bob in Nashville, TN. There, she worked as an X-ray tech while he completed his Radiology residency at Vanderbilt.
Their first child, Bob Jr., was born in 1968, just a month before the small family moved to Wichita Falls, TX, where Bob served in the USAF. During their two years in Texas, Sue gave birth to the couple’s second son, David. When Bob’s service obligation was complete, the family moved to Cocoa, FL, where they had another son, Richard. Despite ten years of raising boys, the family still felt incomplete until daughter, Debbie, joined the family. During the kids’ youth, Sue wore a variety of hats, including Homeroom Mom, Cub Scout Den Mother, Team Mom, and Field-Trip Chaperone, just to name a few. At times, Sue and Bob served as “bonus parents” for teens from church and friends of their own children, even taking under their roof a young man whose home situation was rather difficult. After their own kids were grown, Sue and Bob opened their home to numerous foreign exchange students, who became like family to them.
Together, Sue and Bob opened and operated the first out-patient diagnostic radiology office in Florida. Sue even continued to manage the practice’s business office while she returned to school in pursuit of a college degree in the late 80s.
Sue’s love for God and Christ was apparent to everyone who ever met her. Sue was very active in the Church of Christ from childhood. In Cocoa, she was regularly active in the church’s “Pillow Corsage” hospital visitation program. She and Bob were founding members of the Rockledge Church of Christ. Sue and Bob even took a group of more than a dozen teenagers from church on a tour of the Holy Lands in the early 80s. In the 2000s, Sue was instrumental in organizing and leading a congregational ministry providing deeply discounted bulk food staples for those who were struggling.
Together, Sue and Bob travelled the world. Some of their stops included the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Israel, Egypt, Greece, Australia, Iran, Afghanistan, Romania, and Costa Rica. They were even part of a small group of medical professionals who were the first Americans to visit China after President Nixon’s 1972 visit.
Sue loved entertaining and, in years past, often opened the family’s home for a variety of parties, celebrations, and -once- a wedding (all alcohol-free!). Sue’s expertise in planning such events led to her being recruited to coordinate and direct a number of weddings of fellow church members, friends, and even employees. As a notary public, she served as the officiant for the wedding held at her home. Such events were rare after Bob’s passing, but she did occasionally entertain in later years and always enjoyed the experience.
Privately, Sue was an avid reader, particularly of classic mystery novels. She loved musical theater, a love she passed down to some of her kids and grandkids. Some of her proudest moments were when one of her children or grandchildren was cast in a production.
After a lengthy illness that she kept private for some time, Sue left this world on February 21, 2023, departing from Titusville, FL. Her final days were filled with loving visits, both real and virtual, from family and friends. All of her kids and grandkids were, at some point, by her bedside in those final days, with one holding her hand until her last moment.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bob; and a late-in-life fiancée, Dallas Peter. She is survived by her sisters, Mary Lou Ruble of Houston, TX, and Cindy Martling of Wichita, KS; her children and their spouses, Bob Jr. (Melody) of La Vergne, TN, David (Lauren) of Dacula, GA, Richard (Yesenia) of Bradenton, FL, and Debbie (Ryan) Oberle of Melbourne, FL; and six grandchildren.
Per Sue’s explicit final wishes, no formal services will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Mount Dora Children’s Home.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of L. Sue Lawler, please visit Tribute Store