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Susan Jean Radford

November 12, 1949 — September 19, 2022

Susan Jean Radford, age 72, died at South Georgia Medical Center on September 19, 2022, from complications of COVID-19.

Susan was fond of telling people that she was a miracle and that she never should have made it this far in life. She was born on November 12, 1949 – a full three months early after her mother fell down the back steps at Lee & Pickels Drugs. Her parents - William E. “Will” Radford, II and the former Dorothy Jean Sheffield – were told that she would probably be deaf, blind, and have severe delays. But Susan proved them wrong. That fighting spirit would carry her through many challenges in her life – the sudden loss of her father, two forms of cancer, and since July, her struggle with the aftermath of COVID. She had an unfailingly cheerful outlook and a keen sense of humor right up until the end.

Susan loved nothing in this world as much as her family (with the Georgia Bulldogs as a close second). She and her brother A.J. were the fourth generation to grow up on the Radford family farm in Nankin, Georgia. She would explain to people that, while she “didn’t birth them,” she helped raise her nieces. If you knew her (and even if you didn’t), you probably got to hear her brag about them and eventually about their children. When she returned home after her retirement, she delighted in spending lots of time with and spoiling their kids whom she affectionately called “my grands.” Ice cream for dinner was a regular occurrence when you spent the night at Susan’s.

Susan was a graduate of Brooks County High School. She attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College where she earned an Associate of Business Administration and was the editor of the college’s yearbook, the TABAC. From there, she went on to the University of Georgia where she gained a degree in Business Education and a lifelong passion for Bulldog football. She also earned both her Master and Education Specialist degrees from Valdosta State College. She spent her whole career in education – working as a business education teacher in Lamar and Bleckley County schools and as an administrator in Laurens County. During that time, she had an incredible impact on the lives of thousands of students in Middle Georgia as an educator, FBLA sponsor, and as a principal.

Once back in South Georgia, she channeled that energy into Brooks County. She was an ardent supporter and advocate for this place she called home. She could be found rolling up her sleeves for many different organizations and causes including Boys & Girls Club, Quitman United Methodist Church, Garden Club, Museum & Cultural Center, Beautify Brooks, and DAR.

Susan is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, A.J. and Molly Radford; nieces and their husbands, Eliza and John “Mac” McCall, Lauren Radford and John Futch, and Erin and Joe Ed Holt; her “grands,” Will McCall, Kelly McCall, Sam McCall, Dodie Basford, Lucy Basford, Ethan Futch, Connor Holt, and RJ Holt; and a large extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents.

One of her grands said that “life will be different now that Susan is gone,” and he is right. Our lives and her community are richer for her presence in them. But while she would want to be remembered, she wouldn’t want us to be downcast and mournful because “nobody likes to be around grumpy folks.”

A private burial will be held at the Radford-Denson cemetery. A memorial service will be held at Quitman United Methodist Church at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, 2022, with Rev. Craig Rikard officiating. Visitation to follow immediately in the church’s fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to QUMC. Condolences to the family may be conveyed online at www.mclanecares.com.

Carson McLane Funeral Home.


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Saturday, September 24, 2022

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Quitman United Methodist Church


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