Thank you, Susie – your bright spirit impacted the world

My mother Susie Duncan Sexton made me who I am. There will never be another like her: brilliant, beautiful, deep-feeling, passionate, inclusive, impish, kind. My heart is so full of you.

Susie Elizabeth Duncan Sexton, 75, of Columbia City, IN, passed away unexpectedly Friday, August 6, 2021, at her home. Born on May 14, 1946, in Fort Wayne, she was the daughter of Roy and Edna (Lewis) Duncan.

She grew up in Columbia City and graduated from Columbia City Joint High School with the Class of 1964. Susie went on to attend Ball State University in Education and was very active with campus life. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi, President of Panhellenic, Secretary of the Student Body and participated in Theatre projects. She graduated 12th in her class in 1968 as an honor student and was awarded the John R. Emens Outstanding Senior Award. On December 28, 1968, she married Donald Sexton in Columbia City.

Professional roles included actor at Wagon Wheel, First Pres and Arena Theatres; original faculty member at McMillen Health Center; English instructor at International Business College; PTA President at Indian Village Elementary; curator at the Whitley County Historical Museum; columnist and feature writer for Talk of the Town and the Columbia City Post and Mail; author of two books – Secrets of an Old Typewriter and More Secrets of an Old Typewriter: Misunderstood Gargoyles and Overrated Angels; and contributor to several published anthologies including Dearborn Public Library “Big Read” series. She was a staunch advocate for animal rights issues. http://www.susieduncansexton.com

Susie is survived by her husband, Don Sexton; son, Roy (John Mola) Sexton; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her sisters, Shirley Jagger and Sarah McBride; and brothers-in-law, Eldon “Guy” Jagger and Charles “Mac” McBride.

Friends may call on Tuesday August 10, 2021, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Susie’s family requests that guests attending services wear a mask during their visit.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am on Wednesday August 11, 2021, at the funeral home. The funeral service may also be watched live on Facebook through DeMoney Grimes Live. Burial will follow in Greenhill Cemetery, Columbia City.

Memorial donations may be given in memory to Whitley County Humane Society.

Visit http://www.demoneygrimes.com to send Susie’s family online condolences or sign the online guest book.

Susie Duncan Sexton’s remarks at Blue Bell Lofts grand opening: https://youtu.be/RmX26S5o3vs

Rob Kates gave my mother such a feeling of self and visibility and love this terrible past year. I’m so grateful for that. View his tribute here: https://fb.watch/7eVL4-IKIk/

Rob writes, “For all our LMCT fans, one of the best parts of having Roy Sexton host was our regular calls to his Mom, Susie Sexton. Sadly, Susie passed away unexpectedly in her home on this past Thursday. We will miss her wit, passion and the love she had for Roy and all of us. Mostly we’ll miss seeing the love Roy had for her, all of which you can share with us in this short visit we had from her during our recent Pride Month show.”

AND his “director’s cut” here: https://youtu.be/gNulgyTNiHM

One of the highlights of my mother Susie Sexton’s life was seeing her beloved Blue Bell factory, which my grandfather Roy Duncan managed for decades, reimagined for loft living. She was instrumental in the research that led to its historic designation, and she provided the keynote at the grand re-opening.

Enjoy her here in her element and at her finest: https://youtu.be/RmX26S5o3vs

From Patty: “Our tribute to Susie Sexton on the Patty’s Page TV Show, with co-hosts Terry Doran and Patty Hunter …”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ePAtbFQh5A&t=85s&ab_channel=abitibibob
“part one of two parts interview with Don and Susie Sexton and co-host Terry Doran”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2uENaQ32rw&t=245s&ab_channel=abitibibob
“part two of two parts interview with Don and Susie Sexton, and co-host Terry Doran”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA_zB6ZQL3s&t=35s&ab_channel=abitibibob
“with Susie Sexton”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odbivWmG6J8&t=919s&ab_channel=abitibibob
“finally, an interview with Susie Sexton and her son, Roy Sexton… with Terry Doran as co-host…. Don Sexton was also there in the background”

From BroadwayWorld: Hoosier Author Susie Duncan Sexton’s Works Published In Dearborn Public Library’s ‘Tree Anthology’ Book

From BroadwayWorld … https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwbooks/article/Hoosier-Author-Susie-Duncan-Sextons-Works-Published-In-Dearborn-Public-Librarys-Tree-Anthology-Book-20210305

Hoosier author Susie Sexton is featured in the Henry Ford Centennial Library “Big Read” Tree Anthology. The book is available for purchase on Amazon. Sexton’s work was published in the organization’s prior three “Big Read” collections Call of the Wild Dearborn: Animal Tales (also providing the photographic cover art), Dreaming Dreams No Mortal Ever Dared to Dream Before, and What’s In A Name? The program has been running since 2015, and Sexton has been included in each edition.

Sexton has three essays in the book: “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” a poignant and funny reflection on the healing effects of the sun and the relentless passage of time; “All We Know of Heaven,” assessing the divisive effects of modern political discourse; and “Compassion Does Contain the Word Passion,” reviewing the conflict of commerce and nature and the importance of attending to our planet’s needs.

“Writing heals my soul. It has offered me a safe harbor from which to reflect on a life fully lived, on the influences and history of living in Columbia City, Indiana for the bulk of my life, on my appreciation for my kind and gracious parents Roy and Edna Duncan, on my love of movies and theatre and animals, and on my interests in the environment and political life and the intersection of the two,” Sexton observes. 

“I’ve been fortunate over the past twenty years to have others take an interest in my thoughts, to be able to publish across a wide spectrum of outlets, and to have the support of my son Roy Sexton. I’ve dubbed him ‘Maxwell Perkins,’ the editor and sometimes muse of my beloved Thomas Wolfe. Thank you especially to Henry Fischer and the Dearborn Public Library for continuing to honor me by including my work.”

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. For a third time, Dearborn Public Library is one of 75 organizations nationwide that received this grant to host a Big Read program in their community. Tree Anthology focuses on nature and ecology as primary themes.

To help bring this massive project to life, Dearborn Public Library has partnered with many institutions and organizations, including DFCU Financial, AAUW-Dearborn, The Henry Ford, the Arab American National Museum, the Dearborn Community Fund, Dearborn Public Schools, the City of Dearborn Department of Public Information, Artspace, Dearborn Public Library Foundation, Dearborn Library Commission, Friends of the Library-Dearborn, University of Michigan-Dearborn (UM-D) Mardigian Library, Henry Ford College Eshleman Library, Beaumont Medical Library, East and West Dearborn Downtown Development Authorities, Dearborn Inn, Green Brain Comics, and Dearborn Heights Libraries.

Susie Duncan Sexton grew up in small town Columbia City, Indiana. After graduating twelfth in her class at Ball State University (winning the first ever John R. Emens award for “most outstanding senior”), she returned to her hometown where she has worked as a teacher, a publicist, a museum curator, and a health lecturer.

She is a prolific writer. She has written two columns: “Old Type Writer” for a popular local blog Talk of the Town and “Homeward Angle” for the Columbia City Post and Mail newspaper. She has been a frequent contributor to the literary journal Moronic Ox, and her poetry was selected by poet Charles Michael Madigan and by Wayne State professor M.L. Liebler to be featured in Poetic Resonance Imaging: Behind the Door. She also has been featured in Our USA, Writing Raw, Where Writers Write, and InD’tale magazines. Her books Secrets of an Old Typewriter and its sequel Misunderstood Gargoyles & Overrated Angels are currently available in paperback (as well as download formats) at www.amazon.com and www.susieduncansexton.com. Her son Roy Sexton published two books of film, theatre, music, and pop culture essays, Reel Roy Reviews, 1 & 2 (www.reelroyreviews.com).

Describing her work, Susie says, “I willingly share nostalgic trips to the past as I have now achieved such an old age that no one remains who can question the authenticity of my memory of places, people and events that were very much never what they were cracked up to be.”

Always an observer of events and human traits, Susie Duncan Sexton offers without apology her thoughts and observations as they are and once were, and fitting her persona into pigeonholes is impossible. “I have searched for the ‘We of Me’ since toddler days and have always come up wanting,” she says, “though I trust that in my next life I shall finally have figured out how to make this world a better place full of tolerance and inclusiveness and understanding for all forms of life.” Find out more about Susie and read her latest columns at www.susieduncansexton.com.

My mom Susie Duncan Sexton to be featured 4th year in a row in #BigReadDearborn literary anthology

So proud of my mom Susie Sexton, whose writing will be featured – for the fourth year in a row! – in the Henry Ford Centennial Library / Dearborn Public Library “Big Read” collection. This ecologically inspired edition is entitled “Tree Anthology.” (Her photo was even featured as the cover on the library’s inaugural edition, inspired by “Call of the Wild.”)

From the library publishers: Congratulations ! Thank you for submitting to the Big Read call for nature stories, poems, or essays. Your work will be included in the forthcoming tree anthology. Please check this page for updates on the book: https://lnkd.in/eYXugVe … We hope you can attend the NEA Big Read Kick-off on Saturday, March 7, 11 a.m. at The Henry Ford, Anderson Theater, 20900 Oakwood Blvd: https://lnkd.in/eTNy-KN

From The Post & Mail/BroadwayWorld: author Susie Sexton will be featured in the upcoming Henry Ford Centennial Library “Big Read” Tree Anthology. The book will be available for purchase on Amazon. Sexton’s work was published in the organization’s prior three “Big Read” collections Call of the Wild Dearborn: Animal Tales (also providing the photographic cover art), Dreaming Dreams No Mortal Ever Dared to Dream Before, and What’s In A Name? The program has been running since 2014, yielding four collections in that time, and Sexton has been included in each edition.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. For a fourth time, Dearborn Public Library is one of 75 organizations nationwide that received this grant to host a Big Read program in their community. Tree Anthology focuses on nature and ecology as primary themes.

More: https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwbooks/article/Hoosier-Author-Susie-Duncan-Sexton-To-Be-Featured-In-Dearborn-Public-Librarys-Tree-Anthology-Book-20200220

My mom, cover girl!

Wow!!! So thrilled with this coverage from The Post and Mail of my mom Susie Duncan Sexton’s inclusion in Henry Ford Centennial Library’s next “Big Read” anthology

What’s In A Name?

Quote from Susie in the article: “I was fortunate to have loving parents who supported my intellectual curiosity and sense of fun. My father Roy moved here with my mother Edna from the Carolinas to run the Blue Bell plant, now a wonderful senior living facility. It is amazing how life comes full circle. Growing up in this small town in the 1950s was a very special time. I have written about it at length in my columns and books, but every memory of walking downtown and seeing movies and remembering the special families who helped build this community is treasured to me. I fancy myself a personal historian who uses the past to better understand the present, always remembering that things weren’t always as great nor as idyllic as we might remember them to be. It’s one zany ride to be this age and remember everything so clearly! I am grateful that my writing in this digital age has been able to reach a global audience. I would have never guessed that my stories about growing up in Columbia City would be of interest to people far and wide. I am grateful to this community and the people within it for the special moments they have provided which have shaped my life and point of view.”

And read BroadwayWorld‘s coverage here!

Reel Roy Reviews is now TWO books! You can purchase your copies by clicking here (print and digital).

In addition to online ordering at Amazon or from the publisher Open Books, the first book is currently is being carried by BookboundCommon Language Bookstore, and Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tea Room in Ann Arbor, Michigan and by Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, Michigan.

My mom Susie Duncan Sexton’s Secrets of an Old Typewriter series is also available on Amazon and at Bookbound and Common Language