Susan LaRue Fiori obituary photo
In Memory of

Susan LaRue Fiori

November 25, 1947 - April 24, 2017


Susan LaRue Fiori passed away on April 24, 2017 in Mesa, AZ. Susan was born on November 25, 1947 in Fairbanks, Alaska to Virgil and Dorothy Newcom.
At a young age she moved to Perry, IA where she later graduated High School from Perry High School. She worked for Forklift of Des Moines which led to an opportunity to work for a Clark Forklift dealership in Phoenix, AZ. She excelled in her career and eventually became the rental fleet manager overseeing the entire rental fleet for all of Arizona. She enjoyed trips with her family...

Susan LaRue Fiori passed away on April 24, 2017 in Mesa, AZ. Susan was born on November 25, 1947 in Fairbanks, Alaska to Virgil and Dorothy Newcom.
At a young age she moved to Perry, IA where she later graduated High School from Perry High School. She worked for Forklift of Des Moines which led to an opportunity to work for a Clark Forklift dealership in Phoenix, AZ. She excelled in her career and eventually became the rental fleet manager overseeing the entire rental fleet for all of Arizona. She enjoyed trips with her family and most will remember all those great parties, especially her Halloween parties. I am thankful for all the friends and family that had the most divine experience of having such a delightful, loving and kind spirit of a lady in our lives. For those that got to know her assertive and sometimes stubborn side know that it was with that same determination she met head on with her battle against Alzheimer's and although it was a long and often mentally painful battle, it ended peacefully.

Susan is preceded in death by her father Virgil Newcom, mother Dorothy Newcom, and her brother Lowell (Bill) Welker.

Susan is survived her sister Charlene King, two sons, Tony Fiori and his wife Tanya, Nick Fiori and his wife Michelle and four grandkids Jared, Madisson, Nathan, and Lily.

Memorial Services will be held on Friday, May 12, 2017 at 6:00 pm at Lakeshore Mortuary. Reception will follow the service in the Reception Room at Lakeshore Mortuary. In Lieu of Flowers please donate to the institute that discovered that my mom was afflicted with this disease. _

Arrangements under the direction of Lakeshore Mortuary, Mesa, AZ.

Service for Susan LaRue Fiori, Friday, May 12, 2017
***1st Song How Do You Mend a Broken Heart- Bee Gee's_**
There is a frequently used quote describing women of strong character.
"Well behaved women seldom make history"
Susan LaRue Fiori - assertive, determined, up front, no pretense, hardworking, dedicated, and sometimes stubborn- this was Susan, and she made history!
Good evening and welcome! My name is Ronda Berkey and I am honored to be with you this evening as we have gathered to acknowledge the death of Susan LaRue Fiori. We have come together as a community of strength to pay tribute to her memory and celebrate her life with words of comfort and encouragement to her grieving family.

On behalf of the family, let me thank you for being here this evening. It is always a significant moment when we stop to acknowledge the importance of a life and the ways she touched her world. Your presence here means that Susan made a difference in your life and you took the time to honor her special place on this earth.
You have come here out of respect, and your presence here shows the family that they are not alone in their grief. The loss is yours as well, as you have lost a true friend. Possibly you have brought a card, you took the time to write something down to share your thoughts about Susan. Maybe you got on the funeral homes website and wrote a condolence message. Words and actions are powerful and they are a true representations of who you are. Susan knew that. Susan was a kind spirit, a talker, a teacher and a mentor with that robust attitude of "what you see is what you get". Susan had a very outgoing personality, you knew her as the "friend who threw great parties- and the life of the party".
She was a no holds barred woman, who always spoke her mind. Maybe you were one who was endearingly called a "Pickle Head" or you heard her many sayings . "Can't squeeze the piss out of a Buffalo Nickle" or "Don't Start Me Lying." Even the term GIZZYWHOPPER. Tony said she used to say that one all the time.
A gizzy whopper is something that you can't describe, like a forklift part, or the metal part of a light bulb, or a handful of screws,."Why don't you hand me that gizzy whopper over there"
Her personality was dynamite. It's Hard to believe all that dynamite came from a small town girl who was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, then at 8 years old came to Perry, Iowa. But you know what they say.dynamite comes in small packages. That characteristic coupled with a good old fashion mid-western work ethic - I call it "the key for success".
Charlene, Susan's older sister- as Susan would delightfully remind her so often, said Susan was very intelligent as a young girl. Charlene proudly told me Susan graduated at the top 2% of all those who graduated from Iowa that year. Charlene recalls that Susan watched her and was attentive to what not to do- as Charlene paved the way as the older sister. She also remembered that Susan was kind of a snitch.she'd catch wind of something that was going to happen or what had been done and report it to mom and dad- she like many little sisters they were called "the informer". Susan could be threatened to keep silent. She was deathly scared of needles. Charlene had a collection of them from when the doctors came to the house to give shots or vaccines to the family- that was back in the day when they did make house calls! They always left the needles behind. Charlene would use them to get even. Susan the informer, did have a nose for news. After school she worked for the hometown newspaper. The Perry News- as their junior editor- their tag line is "We Tell It All". Perfect!
Susan met and married her high school sweetheart- Tony. He was attracted to her feistiness.
He said she had a bigger imagination than her group of friends. Susan was interested in going places. They'd hit the typical hangouts together, the A & W, Dog & Suds, and I did mean hit, they would go around stealing the toilet paper. They'd load up a car and go out to TP houses for entertainment. It was all in good fun, nothing malicious. Now for some of you. this next reveling could be listed as a high crime. Disco had come to Iowa to steal Susan's soul. Yes- she feel head over heels for the Bee Gees- Barry, Robin and Maurice. Tony said they took disco dance lessons one winter and they would take the floor to show off their moves graduation night. That love of Disco would remain in her heart forever. Tony and Nick were amazed at their moms taste in music and her particular attention to the meaning of lyrics. She also appreciated the Beatles and Paul McCartney and his venture into Wings.
We have to listen to one of her favorites.they said she had the moves down.if you feel compelled to dance.bring it on.she would have loved that..
*** Play 2nd song.You Should Be Dancing..****
Tony would join the armed forces after graduation and attended basic training in San Antonio, Texas. The newspaper that Susan worked for always picked a community girl to be featured as the June Bride. That featured bride was showered by gifts from the local businesses. Guess who they picked for the June bride? The June Bride actually got married on July 9th. The young newlywed couple would be stationed and make their 1st home in Long Island, New York. They assimilated well living in the one bedroom basement apartment of the Gunther's house. Encouragement would come from miles away as Sue's Grandma would send letters and recipes. One letter came with a very detailed plan for their 1st Thanksgiving dinner. The shopping list and recipes were there and also an additional note that if Susan did not have everything on the list- she should go right on upstairs and ask to borrow from Mrs. Gunther. Steve and Sue purchasing a car so they could frequently travel the 60 miles to New York City. Their first born, Anthony, also known as Tony was born there. Dad Tony mentioned he was a bargain baby- it only cost them $25 dollars for his delivery at the hospital.
Tony, Susan and Little Tony made their way back to Iowa to be close to family again. Charlene and Susan would find themselves together again and working at a bank. Susan worked in the credit division operating in the Master Card department. Charlene commented on Susan's affinity to numbers and detail to projects. The family would find their love for their community and volunteer with organizations such as the Jaycees. Each year Susan's favorite activity was building and operating the haunted house. She really used her imagination to come up with the most frightening things, even the headless horseman would make an appearance.
Tony and Sue would also become involved with their church, which was basically in their backyard. They would plan and attend many a party at the Catholic Church, at least it was a quick walk/or should I say stagger home, except when it snowed. Tony remembers loosing Susan in a snow drift after one party; he didn't know if he should keep searching or leave her till the spring.
Susan was not a complacent person, as many of you know. It didn't surprise Charlene at all when her sister wanted to pursue new opportunities. Susan decided it was her time to move on from banking to work at Forklift in Des Moines. She was a fast learner and astute at grasping detailed product information. The managers took notice of this- she excelled in her career and she would be offered further opportunities and promotions with Clark Forklift and finally a fleet manager position that would lead her to head rental operations in Phoenix for Naumann. A friend named Jim Carol would be a welcoming factor in the Phoenix area.
He became a mentor to Susan in work and also became a part of the family. Nick credits Jim for bringing him to Arizona.
There are many of you here who value Susan for her work. Ted shared with me that she was indeed a much respected female who worked in a male dominated field. She ran a multimillion dollar company, working with a wide variety of people and managing 20 to 40 employees. He was amazed at her precise figuring and recall of 7 to 8 digit prices for specific machine products. Ted mentioned a gentleman named Frank Rudolph who was mentored by Susan. She took a great deal of pride helping others achieve and find success in the business. She expected a lot out of you, as she expected a lot out of herself. She was the total lady as she would walk around machinery and worksites in high heels and hose.
The opportunity for work in Phoenix was also a blessing to the family for health reasons as they had already been contemplating a move south to a warmer climate.
Second son Nick had a horrible time with his childhood pneumonia and the doctors thought it best he get out of the cold and wet of Iowa. Tony had already drawn a line across a map of the US and started thinking about friends or family members who lived in potential destinations for a home down south.
The boys said once everything was settled, their parents knew they made the right decision to come to Arizona. The family made the move to a wonderful community where they would befriend neighbors, John and Charlotte, who provided that mid-west home feel, as they were from Nebraska. Their son Danny would become a permanent friend of Tony. Nick was in heaven - he got a pool!
I am sure that each and every one of you has a special memory to share about your time with Susan. Remembering with love, rather than pain lifts the burden of loss and helps us feel joy again. Eulogies should bring forward thoughts of love, loyalty, kindness, courage, and laughter- these are the core of our being.
At this time I would like to invite any of you to please come up- or if you are more comfortable right where you are- just stand and share something to honor Susan.. Remember.good friends know your stories.great friends where there when it happened.
**speakers *** (Added second sheet w/ separate stories)
From Jeremiah, Chapter 31 verse 13: I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
That is what Susan would have wished for all of her memories you will find peace
How do we let a mother go? How do we say."I'm ready now to go on without you? How can we ever have a clue of what that really means? And suddenly that moment is upon us, and there is no turning back. And then we know what grief is, and guilt and love and things undone. Try to prepare and we will fail in some way, be it sudden or looming.But there is a peace too. Peace and acceptance and overwhelming love that we maybe weren't aware of.
Waves and waves of conflicting emotion, and laughter too and memories we hadn't bothered lately to recall come flooding back in shared company.and it's all about you mom. There's much of that, we had you; such a wonderful mother, bright, shinning, nobody's fool, independent, but humble, smart, kind and adventurous. A part of you has passed away, but much is carried everyday within us, and will as long as we are here. This may be a final tribute, a day to celebrate your life and say goodbyes; but it is not final. Every day I celebrate in some way, just by virtue of how you shaped my life, the absolute and incredible fortune that I knew you. As a mother, a friend and a woman.

Raising boys is not easy but Susan was tough. Tony told me he was raised with that work hard play hard attitude. Even later on when he would work with her she never cut him any slack. She was a devoted mother to Tony and Nick.
They both recognized her ability to reach out to so many people. She always had time to talk with them, and even their friends. Nick told of how when approached, she would stop, turn her face towards you to listen and talk, her eyes looking directly at you paying full attention.
Nick I know you got the full attention when you asked her about the birds and the bees. This was a pure teaching moment for Sue. Nick had heard rumors but he wanted to go straight to a well informed source. He said she pulled him aside, got out a book and began the lesson of life.
Tony said she enlightened them on many things, she said if they were old enough to ask, they were old enough to know. They laughed as they remembered she'd say "Who the heck did you hear that from?"
She also paid attention to who they hung out with. She always told them she didn't want them turning into a Derrick Moore- this was a kid from her home town who she always said was the worst influence and was either in jail or dead. (Sorry Derrick)
Susan tolerated many things being a mother of two boys. "I can't have anything nice"- the boys said they heard that over and over- but with good reason- her sons did a fine job of wreaking things.
The confessed that if she did have something nice- it didn't stay nice for long. They broke the coach when they both launched up and came crashing down at the same time to celebrate a winning goal in the 94 Stanley Cup. During a move of a big piece of furniture they accidently swiped the kitchen table and broke a cherished napkin holder that was a wedding gift.
"The boys" reenacted stunt moves they saw on the TV show "The Fall Guy". They wanted to test the limits of the so called "Death Chair" which was a tufted velvet orange rocking chair that was passed down from Grandma. It swiveled and it rocked. a double dare of danger- to sit in it and be hit by a running tackle- they had the cushions stacked and ready to catch you as you took flight.
No matter what trouble they caused, Susan stilled loved her boys deeply. She wanted to have fun with them. She took Tony to his first concert, Madonna and loved taking them to hockey games and the Suns Games, especially when they could sit in the suites. She really liked her music and would accompany Tony and Tanya to a U2 concert. Nick could not believe what interested his mother when he was growing up. He thought she was pretty cool when she tried skate boarding - although she didn't quite pay attention to the full lesson of where she had to place her back foot. Nick was amazed at the knowledge of music. He said "how many thirteen year olds can talk about music and lyrics with their mom! She liked Guns & Roses- Sweet Child of Mine. To this day, every time he hears this he thinks of her. Sue's favorite things were Mexican food, Bud Lite, Diet Coke, and her shopping.she loved her Saturday's, announcing "I'm Targeting!" and she was out the door. But nothing surpassed the joy she had in fun family gatherings and parties with friends and fellow workers. Halloween was BIG for Susan.her parties were iconic.
The crazy costumes, the laughter. The whole holiday season started from Halloween on to New Years. You recognized Susan's touch; her flair for hosting gatherings and organizing was unmatched. Tanya is proud that she learned the art of entertaining from Susan and is honored to take on the tradition of hosting the holiday parties and continue on the practice of making sure all the details are just right- even down to the napkins used.
Psalm 30 verse 5 tells us: Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning
The true celebration of Susan's life will continue on with her four grandkids; Jared, Madisson, Nathan and Lily. They were adored by their grandmother and special times were shared watching movies, cooking s'mores and baking those little cookies. Madisson remembered her good times getting to go to Disney on Ice and playing dress up with grandma's jewelry, doing the "girl things"- putting on makeup, getting the nails done and playing dolls.
.we will cherish the fleeting signs of knowing in your eyes, your soft smile tells us, you have not yet gone. When you try to tell us something is wrong, we will listen with our hearts and try to help you reach your thought.and when you no longer understand what you see or hear or read, we will discover the ways to build bridges to your new reality. (taken from: Take Me Home Before Dark)
The attack of Alzheimer's is cruel and unrelenting. It slowly erodes the beauty of a memory. Susan would shake her head as she could recall all the words of old songs, but couldn't remember yesterday. She slowly lost that lively spirit that she found among her friends, family and lovely collection of angels. I'm sure she grieved of her own loss of comprehension of her books on researching God and spiritual peace.

You will grieve her companionship but she still resides in your heart. Take your lovely memories of Sue and replay them to bring you comfort. Be thankful to God that he provided you with the most divine experience of having such a delightful, loving and kind spirit of a lady in your life.
After our service in the chapel, the family has asked that you join them in the hospitality center, just right down the hall for a time of food and fellowship.
Our final tribute to Susan is celebrated in a gift for you. It's a Halloween Mask- to remember the joy and special celebrations she would create.
Let us conclude our time here and remember Susan in a final prayer: May these ancient words of comfort stay with you as you leave today and may you go out into the world, a better person because Susan was a part of your life. You may bow your heads.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing, He makes me lie down in green pastures, He Leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right path for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely Your goodness and love follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen
Have a good evening and thank you!
*** Play 3rd - final song: Somewhere over the Rainbow *****