Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Susan A. Pay, age 62

It is with much love that we mourn the passing of Susan A. Pay of Cabot, Arkansas on September 6, 2023.  She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Bill; daughter Melissa Pay (Michelle), grandchildren Emma, Michael, and Madeline, brothers Stacy (April) Key and Scott (Liz) Key, sister Angie (Doug) TenNapel, mother Virginia Singleton, mother-in-law Dorothy Pay, lifelong friend Mary (Ray) Sweat, and many sisters- and brothers- in law, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by many family members including her grandparents Hubert and Viva Haynes, father Jack Key, and beloved adopted father Bill Singleton.

Susan understood the transformative power of education in breaking the cycle of poverty, and she believed that engaging students with books was the key to achieving this.  She shared her love of reading with everyone she met. She constantly gave away books or funded book donations to schools, students, and families throughout and beyond her teaching career.

Susan also loved the United States National Parks.  She often could not be reached because she and Bill (and sometimes a friend or two) were off the grid at a National Park.  Susan and Bill had many hiking adventures together in the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Mount Rainier, Rocky Mountain National Park, Denali, the Outer Banks, the Badlands, Mount St. Helens, and countless trips to the Grand Canyon (including to and from Phantom Ranch). Her favorite times were on a trail, with Bill by her side, exploring the beauty of nature across the country.

More than anything, Susan loved spending time with the people she loved.  Bill was her best friend, and the two of them were a team through the good times and the hard ones. She was an amazing mother to Melissa.  She loved being a grammy to Emma, Michael, and Maddie. From reading stories on repeat to trips to the pool to state park hikes, Susan loved every minute spent with her grandchildren. She loved her brothers and was so proud to be their big sister. Susan was also blessed with a host of friends that loved her.  She created cherished memories with her travel buddies, Liz Beal, and Larry and Della Badders.  Some of Susan’s favorite times were spent with Carolyn, Beverly, Jen, Michele, Linda, Kim, and Laura, who were the source of much joy, laughter, and fellowship over the years.

While Susan’s family is heartbroken at her passing, they are thankful that her battle with the cruelties of Alzheimer’s Disease has ended.

The family wishes to send a special thank you to Dr. Bo Shurley and staff, Pam Bowen with ATM, Dr. Charity Hertzog, Dr. Brent Larsen and Melinda Pack, Dr. Beverly Beadle, and Dr. Christopher Wright for their care for Susan over the years. Thanks also to Elite Hospice, including Amanda and Joy, for their care and support in Susan’s final days.

The family will hold a private graveside memorial service. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Lonoke County Libraries in her memory.

Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at



  • Danny Yancey Posted September 8, 2023 3:23 PM

    She will be missed by all who knew her,she has seen the face of Jesus praise the Lord for her and her love for all the children she touched.

  • Vicky Townsend Posted September 8, 2023 5:55 PM

    May God bless this family. I know this has been a hard battle . Susan had a beautiful voice and I loved to hear her sing. I bet she is singing now and rejoicing with heavens choir..

  • Shelly Westmoreland Posted September 12, 2023 12:48 AM

    So sad to see this, I haven’t seen Susan in years.. she was always such an upbeat, happy person. I knew her from school… then years later I happen to work with her at school… she loved her family and Jesus, my prayers are for her family.

  • Teresa Craig Posted September 12, 2023 7:19 AM

    Susan was a wonderful teacher and person. Glad she is no longer suffering. Praying for you family.

  • Helen Teffer Posted September 12, 2023 1:34 PM

    Susan was a great teacher and co-worker. I am thankful for the times we shared at work and church. She was in my thoughts often. Condolences to the family.

  • Stacy and April Key Posted September 12, 2023 8:12 PM

    We’re gonna miss you, sister…love you

  • Bo & Carmen Shurley Posted September 13, 2023 8:19 AM

    We were blessed to first meet Susan years ago, because our son had her for a teacher. She touched so many children and adults with her sweet smile and spirit! May the comfort and peace that only the Lord can give, be with her husband, family and friends!

  • Sherri Harper Posted September 15, 2023 12:23 PM

    Susan (Cabot Middle School) organized & led the annual 5th graders trip to Washington DC that I went with each of my 2 children. She created memories to last a lifetime. She single-handedly did those trips & she was so fun & nice. ❤️

  • Tami Autry Smith Posted October 13, 2023 8:02 PM

    Susan will definitely be missed. Touched so many lives. She is in no more pain. We will all see you one day. Love you Sweetie! Tell my Jimmy I love & miss him.🙏💜

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