24 May Always See the Good
A never-ending smile, straight-forward way of speaking, and a knack for finding the positive – that was our Suzette!
Suzette Keyser was Pulaski County CASA’s longest serving volunteer Advocate with more than 18 years of being the voice for abused and neglected children in foster care. At the time of her passing, she was still active carrying a CASA case and speaking up for the best interest of the children she served. Over her 18 years as a CASA Advocate, Suzette relentlessly advocated for the children she served and because of her those children’s lives were changed for the better.
Not only did Suzette advocate for children, but she became an integral staff member filling the role of Data Technician at Pulaski County CASA for over three years. She helped the CASA program transition to an online, paperless system and trained staff and advocates on the system. She offered endless support to the CASA team over the years. Beyond those duties, Suzette was at all our events and worked hard to make them a success.
Prior to her retirement, Suzette had worked for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She was also a military spouse. She didn’t slow down after “retirement”. In addition to her work with our CASA program, Suzette was an avid golfer. She was part of a bowling league and participated in National Bowling Tournaments. She enjoyed knitting, listening to audio books, and playing bunko. She volunteered to complete tax returns every year for the elderly. She had more energy than many half her age.
Suzette passed away on March 1, 2020 at the age of 76 at her home in Jacksonville, Arkansas. She was born July 23, 1943 in Spokane, Washington to the late Timothy Joseph and Betty Piper Bourell. Suzette was proceeded in death by her husband, BobKeyser, and survived by her children, Joseph L. (Glenda) Keyser and Judith A. (Frank) Gautier; and siblings, Christine (Gary) Brugman and Timi Anne (Jeff) Bourell; and six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and many friends.
Her life was celebrated on March 6, 2020 at Moore’s Jacksonville Funeral Home with friends and family dressed in a sea of red which was Suzette’s favorite color. Many stories and laughs were shared as part of the celebration. Suzette remained positive until her passing and encouraged others not to be sad for her.
Described as being a kind person with a generous heart and soul, she is often remembered for her positivity. Darryl Capps, Executive Director, recalls, “If anyone said anything negative, she was quick to correct the negativity and bring out the positive.” Celeste Davis, Advocate Supervisor and co-worker, shared, “She asked about my kids often, and especially my youngest since she knew he was interested in joining the military. If I ever told her we were anxious about something through the college admissions process, she would correct me to say, ‘You are eager!’ Even the word ‘anxious’ had a negative ring to it to her. She was a light in her own way and I miss her dearly!”
Being missed dearly is a sentiment shared by all those at CASA! Suzette touched many lives through CASA – staff, advocates, children, families, and the other professionals she worked with. She literally never met a stranger. We will always remember her for her love and care for others. We know her impact will be present in the lives of the children she served – a ripple of positivity and care felt through many families. And at the CASA office, her positivity, willingness to help others, and smile are greatly missed!
Suzette’s email signature line was “Always See the Good”. So, with fond memories, we will close out by reminding you to follow Suzette’s example and Always See the Good!