Susan Clough

March 11, 1945 - January 1,2024

Susan Clough

March 11, 1945 - January 1,2024

Susan Sebesta Clough of Ellsworth, Kansas shed her earthly prison on Jan. 1, 2024 in Louisville, KY at the Norton’s Hosparus Inpatient Center with her daughter Carol by her side. She was 78 years old. 

Susan was born March 11, 1945 in Ft. Jackson, SC to LTC Arthur J. Sebesta and Mary Sebesta. She spent her formative years moving often due to her father’s military career. She noted 42 changes of address by the time she was 42 years old. (This may cause whiplash if you think about it too long).

Susan married at age 16 and had 2 children: Doug and Carol. Following her divorce, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she worked as a legal secretary for Jerry Cohen at Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan, LLP. She also worked at a hamburger joint in Underground Atlanta called The Bucket Shop to make ends meet. There were days when she only had lettuce for dinner so her children could eat tuna-fish casserole, a delicacy of the 60’s. Her children’s fondest memories of this time are not the casserole but watching cartoons on Saturday morning with her, eating cheese toast, day trips to Panama City Beach, FL and making fudge for Christmas. She did the normal things too like attending her son’s baseball games and her daughter’s violin concerts.

In 1971, Susan was hired by Jody Powell in the Georgia Governor’s Press Office as a news assistant. She worked for Gov. Jimmy Carter and the next Gov. George Busbee until she joined Carter’s Presidential campaign in 1976.

The highlight of Susan’s professional career was her service during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. She was President Carter’s personal assistant and secretary from 1976-1981. During these years in Washington, DC and Plains, GA,  Susan was dedicated to the administration, her children, and our country. She accompanied the President on all of his trips and worked long hours beginning before daylight and sometimes was gone from home for days, even weeks at a time. She was an integral part of the administration and contributed in many ways, apparent to those who read the Camp David Accords. Susan was keenly intelligent. She was humble, dedicated, and tireless. She valued everyone she met, from waiters, servers and secretaries to kings, prime ministers and ambassadors. She expected the same from all and gave the same to all—honesty and respect.

Susan went on to a distinguished career after her time in DC. She held administrative and directorial roles at Galller Automation Industries, Sears World Trade, Inc, Continental Grain Company, Kelso and Company and the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games before a back injury sidelined her for the rest of her life.

Susan’s hobbies included playing classical guitar and piano, tennis, and bridge. She was a feisty competitor. Susan was a member of Mensa and a fourth generation member of Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO), dedicated to helping women pursue a higher education.  

Susan was a beloved force of nature, resilient and determined. She however disliked New Year’s Eve, which made it all the more astounding that she lasted through the night into the first day of 2024. She no doubt wanted to see the New Year dawn. One of the most beautiful things about Susan was her belief in the ability of her family to accomplish great things regardless of their age and current circumstances. She will be deeply missed for her generous encouragement and fighting spirit. We will especially miss her advocacy for our lives.

Susan is survived by her son, Douglas M. Clough (Karen) of Gilbert, AZ; her daughter Carol Clough Borden, MD (Scott) of Floyds Knobs, IN; and her brother, Arthur J. Sebesta, II (Kathy) of Lexington, KY. She has several beloved grandchildren: Nicole Marshall (Justin),  Jordan Bennett (Adrienne), Jonathan Bennett; and Samuel Borden, Lucas Borden, Sarah Borden, Jackson Hamilton, and Carter Hamilton, and her nephews and niece, Geoff, Kenn and Alix Sebesta. Her  cat, Frankie, resides with his cousins at her daughter’s home in Floyd Knobs, IN. 

Although we miss her terribly, we are glad she is no longer suffering the pain that defined her later years and her COPD. Please don’t smoke—anything.  Your lungs are precious and hard to replace. We are forever grateful to her pulmonologist Dr. McConnnell and Dr. Kelsey Nestor and Dr. Andrew Lally of Hosparus of Louisville, KY for their compassionate care of Susan.

Susan’s memorial service will be held March 15, 2024 at the First Presbyterian Church of Ellsworth, KS. The graveside service will be held at 9:30 am at the Ellsworth Cemetery. The funeral service will begin at 10:30 at the First Presbyterian Church of Ellsworth with the reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her name to the Kentucky Humane Society or Hosparus Health.  

Condolences (2)

Cindy Miller

I met Susan in the 80s, but didn’t really get to know her until 2015. We met at a group, where we shared many memories and laughter of the ones that we love. My favorite memory will always be the trip to Arizona to see her son Doug. Standing at the corner of Winslow Arizona, along with the wonderful beautiful stay that we had there. I will miss Susan for the rest of my life, she taught me more than she will ever know. I will love you forever Susan Clough

Suzanne Brooke

I just read on Facebook of Susan’s passing and am heartbroken. We served together at the White House and were very close. I was her assistant and back up. I’ve always been extremely grateful for knowing Susan and for the trust and faith she had in me. I admired her immensely. We’ve kept in contact from time to time over the years and I’ve been thinking lately that I must get in touch again soon. I knew of her failing health and especially her back issues and have always been concerned.
Thank you Doug for posting this news. Thank God we’re ‘friends’! I would so much like to attend her service and if possible (I’m in Annapolis MD) will let you know. Bless you and Carol and your families.
Love, Suzanne