Susan Howard Reed
Published 5:00 am Friday, November 17, 2023
Susan Howard Reed, affectionately known as the ‘Little Silver Haired Lady’ around Lake Charles, died after an extended illness on Nov. 10, 2023.
On June 27, 1045, Susan Elizabeth Howard was born in Austin, Texas to George Jefferson Howard and Mary Elizabeth Utsey Howard. She graduated from Lamar High School in Houston, Texas in 1964. She attended Gulf Park by the Sea in Gulfport, Miss., later transferring to Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. In 1977 she moved to Lake Charles, La. with her husband, the Rev. James F. Reed, and their son, Ben. Reed spent her time in Lake Charles working as a volunteer, political activist, and cultural champion while building her professional career as a manager and marketer in the private and non-profit sectors.
Professionally, she worked as Director of Development at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital, Director of Special Projects for United Way, Executive Director of the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and Marketing Manager at CARC. During her 15-year tenure at the museum, Reed led efforts to grow the institution’s footprint – amid challenges – through tireless fundraising, programming, and networking. She used to tell those close to her, “I am trying to keep the doors open and let the region know how important this museum is to our culture.” Reed was especially proud of exhibits she produced like: Tibetan Monks who produced a mandala on the museum grounds; Hurry On Down: The Life of Jazz Singer Nellie Lutcher; Modernists Master of the New Orleans Museum of Art: Miro, Matisse and Picasso; and Java: The History of Louisiana’s Coffee Roasters.
Email newsletter signup
Reed’s noted for knitting, of which many people were given her creations as gifts. She was also known for sharing journals and scrapbooks. Regarded as an independent spirit by those who know her best, Reed had a quick wit and approached life with passion and humor. Her dedication to the southwest Louisiana region was steadfast and she was a tireless fundraiser for a myriad of community projects and non-profits. She loved volunteering in political campaigns, even once running for a seat on the Lake Charles City Council.
Reed was a member of the Junior League. She was also a regular lay reader at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church.
Reed is preceded in death by her parents and husband.
She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Wendy and Ben Reed; grandson, Quentin Reed; and brother and sister-in-law, Laura and Charles Howard.
A memorial service will be held Friday, Nov. 17, 2023 at 3 p.m. inside Good Shepherd Episcopal Church located at 715 Kirkman St. in Lake Charles under the direction of Johnson Funeral Home
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Words of comfort to the family may be expressed at www.johnsonfuneralhome.net.