Susan K. Petit, 55, of Virgil, passed away peacefully, surrounded by the prayers of her family, on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, following a tragic change in diagnosis from a treatable form of multiple myeloma to one of the most tragic and rare forms of untreatable cancer: plasma cell leukemia. Although Susan was only one of 50 cases in the United States, she now claims the promise of everlasting life, free from the chains of cancer, and is finally at peace alongside her Savior, Jesus Christ.
She was born April 17, 1957, in Elgin, Ill., the daughter of Frank and Rita (Zurek) Szewczyk.
Sue grew up in Burlington, and attended local schools, graduating from Burlington Central High School in 1975.
Her senior year would change her life as she met Terry Petit through his sister at a church “fashion show.” Angels were in attendance and took notice, making sure Terry and Susan saw each other again on a local hay ride a few weeks later. What God brings together, let no man put asunder, and no one did as the two were united in marriage a year later on Sept. 11, 1976, at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church.
They began their new life together on the Berens Farm in Virgil for nine years before moving again in the spring of 1984 to run the family farm in Virgil.
Sue and Terry were blessed with three children, and as they grew, Sue worked for a short time in the kitchen of Kaneland High School. Recently, with the help of her famous “green thumb,” Sue became a master gardener and was often heard sharing her mantra, “God made the trees and bees and I’ll take care of seeds and weeds.”
Sue was a faithful member of S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, where she taught religious education for a time.
Sue had a heart made of gold and was beautiful both inside and out. Her hands were gifted in many areas, including ceramics, but made a work of art of her garden. There was nothing she couldn’t grow, but her favorite was her beloved Hasta, of which she had over 100 different kinds.
Her hands not only got dirty in the garden, but also while doing chores alongside Terry, tending to the livestock with care and dedication. Sue was always coming up with ideas for different crafts and projects that brimmed with her unique touches that always seemed perfect. She had a quilter’s heart, too, making family heirlooms with love in every stitch.
Sue was also in charge of making her house a home whose decor changed not only with the seasons, but also her ever-changing tastes. No matter what she changed, it always reflected a “homey” feeling that felt welcoming to anyone and everyone. She passed on to her sons her culinary expertise, making mouthwatering concoctions that made you run to the table in anticipation.
The library was a favorite stop on her runs into town, picking up several books at a time for the rare moments of idle time. So many memories have been made, each one treasured, but none will be forgotten.
She is survived by her loving husband; three children, Jonathan (Heather) Petit and their children, Kelli and Brody of Sycamore, Adam (Kelly) Petit of Genoa and Zachary Petit of Virgil; mother, Rita Steward, and Bud Beeson of Apache Junction, Ariz.; father-in-law, Peter Petit of Virgil; three siblings, Claudia (Dale) Lake of Burlington, Dan Szewczyk of Arroyo Grande, Calif. and Steve (Tammy) Szewczyk of Hampshire, Ill.; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and a family of friends.
She is preceded in death by her father, Frank Szewczyk; one step-father, Sam Stewart; mother-in-law, Earlene Petit; and one nephew, Scott Petit.
Visitation was held Friday at S.S. Peter & Paul Catholic Hall, Meredith Road, Virgil, and concluded with a recitation of the Rosary. A brief visitation was held on Saturday at the church sanctuary. A Mass to celebrate her faith followed visitation. Fr. Ray Diesburg, M.S.C., officiated. Private family interment and cremation were scheduled for a later date.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Susan’s name to benefit her favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Susan Petit Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com, where you can find Susan’s full life story.