On April 2, 2022, Susan (Sue) Gruel died peacefully at home with her family. Born in Adrian, Michigan, on October 11, 1944, her parents were William and M. Sue (Big Sue) King. Her Father died in the battle of Saipan four months before Sue was born. After World War II, her mother married Leonard Schober, who was her Dad. Sue’s grandparents, Robert and Vera King, remained a key part of the Schober family.
Sue grew up in Adrian and was a graduate of Adrian High School and of Eastern Michigan University. Her husband, John Gruel, and Sue started their lifelong love and friendship in high school. It lasted 61 years, the last 57 married. In 1968, they moved to Jackson where she worked as a middle school librarian until their family started. Sue was an avid reader all her life.
In addition to her husband, Sue is survived by her daughter, Kristin (Larry) Smith of Charlotte, NC; son Tom (Carrie Barley) Gruel and their twins, Audrey and Ben, of St. Charles, IL; and her sister, Peggy (Steve) Gorsage of Broomfield CO. Kristin was born in Jackson and Tom at the Detroit Zoo. Sue loved being a grandmother. A special family of friends also survive.
During summers in her and her children’s childhoods, much time was spent at Schober’s family cottage at Round Lake. During the rest of the year, she was active in Kristin’s and Tom’s various schools. As a family, the Gruels travelled throughout the U.S. After Kristin and Tom graduated from Jackson High and from Michigan State, Sue travelled extensively with John and friends at home and abroad. She was a Master Gardener and member of Diggers Garden Club, Friday Club, and Jackson and Lenawee country clubs. Sue was a synchronized swimmer, a certified scuba diver, and a licensed motorcyclist. Sue preferred the gas pedal to the brake. Blessed with good taste, she loved colors whether in her clothes, in her home, or growing in her yard.
After a private family service, Sue’s cremains will be interred in Oakwood Cemetery in Adrian. A celebration of her life is planned for June 4th in the early afternoon at the Country Club of Jackson. Memorial contributions may be made to Jackson Community Foundation, Lenawee Community Foundation, or the charity of your choice. Please visit https://www.watson-funeral-chapels.com to sign the guest book and/or send a condolence. The family is grateful for all that the caregivers Kim, Stephanie, and Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice did to make Sue comfortable.
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