Suellen Furlow

Published 3:59 pm Thursday, April 4, 2024

Suellen Furlow died Friday, March 29, at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg. She was 62.
A graduate of Brookhaven High School and Mississippi State University, Suellen began her teaching career in Pineville, LA, in 1985. A few years later, she joined the Jones County School District as a special education teacher, remaining there for the rest of her career. She became a psychometrist, a professional who tests students, and retired as Director of Special Education. She received graduate degrees from MSU, the University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi College. After her public school retirement, she worked for the Mississippi Department of Education, the DuBard School for Language Disorders, and she taught at William Carey University.
Suellen had a reputation as the most generous person anyone ever knew. She loved; she gave; she reveled in her relationships. A Laurel friend once said it would be impossible to drive from Biloxi to Memphis with Suellen because of all the people she’d have to stop and talk with along the way. She once attended a wedding in Alabama and connected with a man she’d known only as friends in Texas – when they were 5 years old.
She had a special affinity for young families and children. She was the godmother of all time to Blake Pryor and later to Hollis, Henry, and Webster Blake. For several years at Christmastime, she took Hollis to the Teddy Bear Tea at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, and on their final trip the twin boys went, too.
Christmas was special to Suellen. Her four Christmas trees were thoughtfully left to specific friends. Throughout her travels, she collected ornaments to later disburse with delight during the holidays to her flock of dozens of children. Her practice was to give each child an ornament every year until age 18, when she would give an angel Christmas tree topper.
Suellen grew up in the United Methodist Church in Brookhaven, and the church remained an important part of her life, as was the Cursillo Movement. She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Laurel for more than 30 years. Among her many church activities, she sang in the choir, taught Sunday school and – as only she could say it – for a time was part of the “bayel kwire.”
Another passion was MSU sports, especially football and women’s basketball. And, she would travel to Starkville several times a season for baseball games.
Suellen was born to William L. and Nelda S. Furlow in Brookhaven in 1962. A memorial service will be held at noon on Monday, April 8 at Laurel First Methodist Church with a visitation at the church beginning at 10 a.m. Interment of ashes will take place in Rose Hill Cemetery in Brookhaven at 4 p.m. Survivors include her brothers, Bill Furlow, of Greensboro, NC; Shaw Furlow, of Brookhaven; and Brown Furlow, of New York City; nephews Bennett Furlow, of Mesa, AZ, and Cole Furlow, of Jackson; and several cousins. The family suggests memorials be made to The Glory House in Laurel.
Since her death, two words and phrases have been heard repeatedly to describe Suellen, “sweet” and “the best of us.” Friends have said they aspired to be like her. She touched the lives of an incalculable number of people in ways obvious and subtle. On Good Friday, her light was extinguished, and in its place 10,000 candles glow brightly.

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