Susan Catherine Mingee

Published 4:42 pm Friday, December 1, 2023

Miss Susan Catherine Mingee passed away at Sentara Careplex Hospital on November 11, 2023, due to irreversible heart and lung complications.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Raymond Ellis Mingee, Jr. and June Clark Mingee.  She is survived by her sister, Amelia Ann Dick (Amy) and her husband, George Edwin Dick of Smithfield, and her beloved aunt, Mrs. Ruth Morris (Mingee) of Williamsburg, Va.  She was born on April 22, 1954, at the Dixie Hospital, and lived her entire life in Hampton.

Miss Mingee was born to be a teacher.  During the Summer months of the 1960’s, she would become “THE” teacher and would hold classes in her playhouse for three neighborhood friends as students.  Every evening she would prepare the next day math, spelling, and reading lessons.  One of her favorite teaching tools were “flash cards” and she always kept them nearby.  The students reported to the upcoming “school” class when they heard the ringing of a very large brass bell her Daddy had placed near the playhouse.  Thus, began her lifelong journey into the marvelous profession of teaching.

Miss Mingee attended Francis Asbury Elementary School in Fox Hill; Buckroe Junior High School; and Kecoughtan High School, where she received her diploma in 1972.  She became a full-time student at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education in 1976.  She received her Master of Arts Degree in Education from the College of William and Mary on December 19, 1986.

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Miss Mingee began her teaching career with the Hampton City School System.  In 1979, she began teaching for the Isle of Wight County School System at Hardy Elementary School in Smithfield, Virginia.  She was a Title One Reading Intervention teacher.  In 1986, she became an Educational Diagnostician serving all schools in Isle of Wight County and tested pupils who were struggling with their reading skills.  After her assessment, she made recommendations based on the individual needs of each student.  Miss Mingee excelled in her profession and was a catalyst in improving a student’s ability to develop good reading skills and habits.  She received numerous handwritten letters and notes from grateful parents stating how much better their child was doing because of her.   Over the decades of her teaching career, she made a difference in the lives of many children.  During her tenure at Hardy Elementary, Miss Mingee received many awards and certificates of accomplishments and served as President of the Isle of Wight Reading Council for many years.  Although there were many rewarding achievements, she was most proud to be voted “Teacher of the Year” at Hardy Elementary in 2009.  She retired on June 14, 2011, and was a tireless caregiver to her mother until her death in 2015.

Miss Mingee fulfilled other passions in her lifetime.  She was an overwhelmingly fabulous cook and baker.  She sifted flour for her highly prized and popular lemon pound cakes at least seven times and was a skilled cake and cookie decorator.  She would prepare lavish brunches, luncheon, and dinner parties serving as many as twenty-two guests at her dining room tables.  She was proud of the countless cookbooks in her library and tested the validity of a new recipe by relying on her guests “WOW” response after the first bite was taken which was music to her ears.   Miss Mingee also possessed a flair for decorating her home with numerous fun and cheery, delightful and elegant seasonal displays.  Her favorite time-of-the-year was Christmas, and she has been known to have as many as thirteen fully lighted and decorated Christmas trees which turned her home into an enchanted wonderland.  Susan showered the ones she loved by planning, preparing, celebrating and sharing the beautiful times and moments of her life personally with them.  She was a gift, and quite honestly, to know her was to love her.

Miss Mingee also catered special occasions and events for others.  Her license plate “KTER4U” said it all.  Among her many catering jobs was a wedding reception for one hundred thirty guests. She also catered an evening event for The Smithfield Museum, Smithfield, Virginia.  Her sister and a few friends were greeters and runners, making sure all the platters and trays were constantly refilled with her delicious goodies from the kitchen which was where you would find her – behind the scenes.

Miss Mingee deeply adored and loved animals – ALL animals.  This love and adoration was passed down through her mother, June, who was an avid animal rights advocate and defender of those “who have no voice.”  June devoted a great deal of her life to the concerns, protection, and welfare of animals.  As children, Susan and her sister had many pets.  Once, they both had the sweet joy of caring for a litter of kittens whose mother had died.  Under June’s directions and watchful eyes, both girls helped raise the kittens and filled baby doll bottles with milk to sustain them. This passion was instilled in Susan and permeated through the core of her belief system and existence.  Susan always stepped up to the plate and did everything within her power to be that voice for the voiceless to alleviate animal pain and suffering.  Miss Mingee’s devotion to animals did not stop at the moment of her untimely death.  Rather, she will continue to make beneficial impacts in the lives of countless animals through her many generous estate donations to numerous local animal welfare charities.  By following her heart of hearts, her mission and lifelong goal to help prevent cruelty to animals will be sustained well into the future.

Miss Susan Catherine Mingee was a priceless gift to her many friends and family.  She was genuinely sincere, thoughtful, faithfully devoted, down-to-earth, honest and above all, selfless – she always put everyone’s needs above her own.  We are now heartbroken and grieving, however, we will be sustained and comforted by the countless unselfish and generous memories she gave away freely to those she loved.  We will all miss her sweet smile, beautiful eyes, the sound of her commanding “school teacher” voice, her sense of humor, and contagious laughter.  No one will ever be her equal.  A “Celebration of Life” Ceremony will be held to honor her on January 11, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. at Berceuse Funeral and Cremation Traditions, 2609 Cunningham Drive, Hampton, Virginia.