MPW.71 / 2019 Susie Embraces Life by Rosem Morton
Photographer
Story Summary

“The little purple store with lots of personality and a big heart. You never know when it’s going to be open. She is always downtown but you never know where she is going to be,” said Matt Billings, a radio announcer at KWRT 1370 AM in Boonville, Mo.

Susan “Susie” Childs, 61, has lived in Boonville with her husband, Ronald “Ron” Childs, 58, for seven years. Despite being Florida transplants to this small Missouri town, they have become active members in the community. Susie is in constant motion around town as a one woman owner of Tullee’s Treasures, a co-founder of the Boonville Merchants Association and a board member of the local Chamber of Commerce. “When you do what you love, you never work a day in your life,” Childs said.

For the past few years, Susie has been quietly battling a serious liver disease. “I am a fighter,” she said. “I will fight this until I can’t fight no more.” She was recently told to get her affairs in order as her disease worsens. Despite this news, Susie continues to live vibrantly as she and her family process her prognosis. “Don’t pity me. Don’t feel sorry for me. For me, it’s the living part I want to be part of.”