Suellen K. Exley of Lemont, Centre County and formerly of Knox, Milford, CT and Toledo, Ohio, passed onto heaven on Friday, June 26th, 2020, after a hard-fought battle with autoimmune idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Suellen departed at home with her husband and daughter by her side. Suellen was preceded in death by her mother, Anne P. Kiser, her father, Nelson D. Kiser, her sister, Constance A. Smith, and her daughter, Megan R. Exley, as well as multiple beloved pets. Suellen is survived by her husband, John T. (Ted) Exley, her daughter, Ellyn E. Exley Dvorkin (husband, Ronald S. Dvorkin), and granddaughter, Roselyn R. Dvorkin.
Named after a character in “Gone With the Wind,” Suellen was born in Oil City and resided in Elk City while attending Keystone schools in Knox. She was in the National Honor Society, played French horn, and graduated salutatorian of her class at Keystone High School. Suellen obtained her library science and education B.A. degree from the Clarion University of PA. After graduation Suellen was an English teacher and Librarian at Trumbull Elementary in Trumbull, CT, before raising her two daughters. Prior to retirement, Suellen later worked in retail, for a podiatrist, in a nursing home, in a Toledo law office, and as a volunteer librarian.
Suellen was an active volunteer in many activities, particularly regarding her daughters. Suellen was a longtime Girl Scout troop leader where she taught many young women, survived camping trips, and motivated her daughters to earn the highest awards in the organization. She was a regular school volunteer, serving as preschool treasurer and board member of the PTA. Suellen traveled near and far to support her daughters and their friends. She enjoyed traveling to France, England, Ireland, many family visits to Disneyworld, and west coast USA.
Suellen was an animal enthusiast and seemed to attract all creatures big and small. She volunteered with multiple animal shelters, nursed many four-footed friends back to health, and animatedly shared this passion with her daughters. She will be missed tremendously by her inherited grandkitty, Dot Dot Warner.
Suellen loved collecting her eloquent dishes and became an expert on fine China. In the Christmas season Suellen would annually put up seven separate trees, all with different themes. Suellen spent hours in her gardens and especially enjoyed her inherited aged plants from decades ago. She loved all things Anglophile, Nutella, crepes, Bailey’s Irish Crème, PBS, antiques, murder mysteries, books, rugs, scarves, all types of plaid, and traditional interior design. Suellen enjoyed sewing many items since her childhood. She had a talent for “Jeopardy” and could go toe-to-toe with any contender. She typed at more than 100 words per minute and often helped her daughter transcribe Hollywood film footage. She loved the smells of cinnamon, orange spice, and lavender. She made the world’s best fudge.
Suellen married her husband, John T. (Ted) Exley on Flag Day, June 14th, 1969 in Knox. They later started their family in Milford, CT; they spent thirty years in Toledo (Sylvania), OH; and eventually retired together in State College, PA (Penn State University). Suellen had crystal blue eyes and wore blue velvet to her prom with her high school sweetheart, who later became her husband. Ted said it was easy to fall in love with her intelligence and strikingly good looks. They were together for over 51 years.
Suellen will be put to rest on Friday, July 3rd, 2020. Family and friends will be received from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Friday at the William N. Rupert Mortuary, Inc., 430 Mendenhall Avenue, Knox.
A graveside service will follow at 12:00 p.m. at Knox Union Cemetery with Reverend Brian Hauser, pastor of the Edenburg Presbyterian Church in Knox, officiating.
Due to the current Covid-19 outbreaks and restrictions, the Exley family asks that all visitors are to please wear a face mask.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, Suellen wanted family and friends to donate to their local animal rescues or charity of their choice.
Online condolences may be sent to Suellen’s family at www.rupertfuneralhomes.com
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