Reverend Suellen G. Wood

March 4, 1944 – May 29, 2018

TOPEA — Reverend Suellen G. Wood died Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at Brewster Place, Topeka. She was 74.

Suellen Georgann Hoffmeister was born March 4, 1944, at Barrington, Ill., the daughter of Helen Euson Hoffmeister and Walter William Hoffmeister.

Her parents divorced in 1949. She and her mother went to live with Helen’s mother Kathleen. Her mom found love again in Robert Nixon Gray and they were married Dec. 23, 1955.

She graduated from Senn High School in Chicago in 1962. She met John F. Wood in church and they were married in1967. Soon after getting married John was transferred to Kansas City, Mo., to take a chemist position at Cook Paint and Varnish Company.

Their first daughter was born September 1969, their second in December 1972. John was transferred to Detroit in 1972 and the family settled in Troy, Mich. The family stayed in Troy until 1983, when John and Suellen parted ways.

She moved with the girls to Kansas City and started a job as executive administrative assistant at a stock brokerage. She later changed positions to work at DST as an client service representative and worked there until the early 90’s.

In 1991, she went back to school at Avila College to complete a degree in social work, which she finished in 1995. It was during her final year at Avila she heard the call and decided to move on to Central Baptist Seminary where she completed a Masters in Divinity in 1999. She graduated from Central and was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. In 2000, she was awarded a position in Osage City, where she served as pastor for several years. She retired in 2015 and became a part-time minister at the Second Presbyterian Church of Topeka. There she stayed until she suffered a stroke in 2016 and had to go into a nursing home.

She will live on in the hearts of her daughters, Laurie K. Ashley and husband, Wilson (Pete) Jr., Kingsley, Mich., and Jennifer W. Brown and husband, LeRoy F. Brown III, Lawson, Mo.; two grandchildren, Janae L. Ashley and Miranda A. Ashley; a great-grandchild, Kamden Satterly; two stepbrothers, William Gray, Raytown, Mo., and Robert Nixon Gray, Jr., Oregon; a cousin, Thomas Euson, Laurel, Ind.

Memorial services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, June 2 at First Presbyterian Church, Osage City. Inurnment will take place at a later date at Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Chicago, Ill. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until service time on Saturday at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Great Lakes Hospice and sent in care of VanArsdale Funeral Chapel, 107 N. Sixth St., Osage City, KS 66523.

Condolences may be expressed at


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