Alice Susan George
July 23, 1934 ~ July 20, 2023
Ellsworth County, KS
Resided in: Durham, NC
Alice Susan (Leslie) George passed away peacefully at Our Promise House in North Carolina on July 20th, 2023 after a multi-year struggle with Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
Alice Susan, “Susie,” was born in 1934 in rural Ellsworth County, Kansas, to Robert Alvin and Lola Angy (Rickard) Leslie. Tragically, her father and eldest sister, Thelma Louise, died in a home accident when she was just two years old, leaving Lola a single mother in a challenging era. Early lessons in steadfastness, resourcefulness, and courage from Lola imprinted in the fiber of Susan’s character. When Lola remarried Glen Huff, Susie became big sister to brother Norman Ross and sister Judith Kathaleen Huff. Susan was set up on a blind date with R.A. Ben George, an active-duty Airman posted in Wichita. They married just three months later, September 5th, 1953, when she was 19 years old. The rest is a beautiful story of time and place.
Susan and R.A. got Air Force orders to Nevada where they lived during Manhattan Project testing, and then on to California in 1956 where their lives were changed in major ways. Susan had two children with R.A. – Douglas Ray and Terry Lyne – bringing her great joy. It was also in California that she found her faith and was baptized into the Seventh-Day Adventist church, which would have an impact on the rest of her life. With her mother’s problem solving skills and example of courage in the face of uncertainty, Susan and R.A. carried their family onward to Brazil as medical missionaries in 1967. She learned to speak Portuguese fluently and taught her children how to navigate the streets of Salvador and to subsistence farm the jungles of the interior near Itaquera, Brazil, where they lived for 7 years. Susan was a proficient missionary partner to R.A. And together they supported the church’s spiritual and medical mission in South America to take the gospel “unto all nations.” Susan and R.A. lived in faith and commitment to the Great Commission for the remainder of their days.
After mission service in Brazil, they moved back stateside in 1974, to Collegedale, Tennessee, where R.A. started an airplane mechanics business. Four years later, the family moved to Andrew’s University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where R.A began a position teaching airframe and powerplant. Susan served in many positions at Andrews as manager of the Flower Loft, administrative assistant in the nursing and human resources departments, until formal retirement in 1999. During their time in Michigan, Susan welcomed Randy Rutkowske to the family as son-in-law and relished in being “Grandmama” to Amy and Jason Rutkowske. After retirement, they relocated to Colorado, closer to their son Doug, and remained active with the Pagosa Springs church and community, even volunteering with county Search and Rescue. September 11, 2001, with the attack on the Twin Towers, brought Susan and R.A. back into active service for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) conducting cleanup and support operations at the World Trade Center site in New York City for more than six months following the attack. Susan and R.A., together, lived a life of faith-guided selfless service.
Sadly, while living in Colorado, Susan’s son Doug passed away in a terrible motor vehicle accident in the mountains. In 2015 Susan and R.A. relocated to Virginia, to be closer to their daughter, Terry, and her family, in North Carolina. They remained active in the Smith Mountain Lake church until R.A. passed away from lymphoma in 2019. Susan then moved in with Terry and Randy in Apex, NC where she lived until experiencing increasingly severe cognitive symptoms. The disease in her brain progressed slowly over five years. She was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Her worsening symptoms resulted in her admission to Our Promise House, a private medical home for women with memory care needs.
Susan was preceded in death by: her parents, Robert Leslie, Lola Leslie Huff, and Glen Huff; her sister Louise; her brother Norman Huff; her son Doug George; her husband R.A.; and her infant great-grandson Henry Scott Coon.
She is survived by: her sister Judy Huff Martinsky; her daughter and son-in-law, Terry & Randy Rutkowske; her grandchildren, with their spouses, Amy & David Coon; Jason & Stephanie Rutkowske.
Susan’s cremains will be placed with Doug and R.A.’s ashes outside Pagosa Springs, Colorado, where they will rest together until that great day at the Resurrection in Christ.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation, in Susan’s memory, to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. www.