ShareThis Page

Devout Christian Susan Smith excelled with horses, sales

| Monday, Aug. 29, 2011

From the time Susan Smith was a young girl, she nurtured lifelong devotions to horses, her religious faith and her family.

The Murrysville resident even fit in a successful 20-year-long career in residential real estate.

Susan L. Smith died in her home on Friday, Aug. 26, 2011, after a four-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 68.

"She was a great competitor, whether it was horses or real estate," said daughter Michelle Smith Schulenberg of Murrysville. "She gave everything her all and was hard-working."

Until a few years ago, Mrs. Smith sold homes for Northwood Realty from its Murrysville office, rising to become a multimillion-dollar producer.

Mrs. Smith was an award-winning horsewoman whose honors included a Top-Ten finish in her class at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, the largest single-breed horse show in the world whose events attract more than 8,500 horses.

"All three generations of the family went there for that," Schulenberg said. "The horse shows were a lot of fun, and it kept our family close."

Mrs. Smith found her love for horses as a girl. She often stopped at horse barns and asked the owners if she could walk their horses, said her daughter.

"The first guy she approached said to her, 'You won't get far. The horse has arthritis,'" she said. "But within weeks, she was walking that horse around."

Pat Fuchs, show secretary of the Western Pennsylvania Quarter Horse Association, said Mrs. Smith won several awards and rarely missed one of the group's 26 shows a year.

"She helped everybody, and everybody loved her," Fuchs said. "She was always a light to the rest of us and an inspiration."

Born in Wilkinsburg, Mrs. Smith met her future husband, John, at an Assemblies of God church when both were 16. The couple were married 49 years and eight months.

"God is really important in our family, and she was quite a spirit-filled Christian," said Schulenberg, adding that her mother's great-grandfather was one of the church's founding members.

In addition to her husband and daughter, Mrs. Smith is survived by son Darin Smith of Clinton and four grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 7 to 9 p.m. today and 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in Hart Funeral Home Inc., 3103 Lillian Ave., Murrysville.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the funeral home. Entombment will follow in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Penn Hills.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.