Mary Susan Steiner Conway claimed the promise of her baptism on January 6, 2021, following a 4-month battle with brain cancer. Her spirit and love for others remained strong until the end. Known to many as Sue or Aunt Sue, she will be remembered by the lives that she touched as a devoted and loving daughter, sister, wife, aunt, great aunt, niece, cousin, teacher, mentor, and friend.
Born on September 22, 1946, in Montgomery County, Maryland, Sue was the oldest of two daughters born to William George and Elizabeth Wills Steiner. Sue and her sister, Helen, grew-up in the Hyattsville home their parents purchased on Pearl Harbor Day in 1941, where they developed lifelong friendships with neighbors, enjoyed games and meals on the screened-in porch, and hosted family gatherings. Summers brought cherished family vacations to Nags Head, NC, and annual reunions with the Wills Family in Virginia. Through her life, Sue maintained her connection with extended family and as an adult she enjoyed trips with aunts and cousins to Williamsburg and New England.
In her teen years, Sue attended Northwestern High School and worked as a student accountant for Friend’s Tire Company, honing her mathematic and organizational skills. Sue was part of the National Honor Society, National Thespian Society, Tri-Hi-Y Chaplain, Compass staff and served as manager of the Northwestern Alumni Players, a summer theatrical group which performed musicals and plays under the direction of drama teacher Edward Justice. Sue graduated in 1964 from Northwestern High School and went on to attend the University of Maryland, graduating with honors in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and then a master’s degree in education in 1975.
After finishing her undergraduate degree, Sue was hired to teach Social Studies at Bladensburg High School and began a teaching career that spanned 35 years and touched the lives of countless students and fellow teachers. Sue went above and beyond her classroom obligations through her work sponsoring the Pom-Pom squad, the National Honor Society, chairing the Social Studies Department, sponsoring senior classes, and serving as the Advanced Placement Coordinator. She served twice as the Chairperson of the Middle States Evaluation Committee for Bladensburg, ensuring that the high school passed the necessary state evaluation process. In addition to her dedication to students, Sue is remembered by fellow faculty members for keeping the faculty room well stocked with home-made cookies and cakes and never forgetting birthdays, baby showers, wedding showers, and retirement parties.
On November 3, 2001, Sue married friend and fellow teacher, Richard Thomas Conway, at First United Methodist Church in Hyattsville, Maryland. Sue and Ric made their home in Bowie, Maryland, where they enjoyed hosting family gatherings, including an annual Christmas party, collecting antiques and treasures, traveling to visit family, cheering on the Maryland Terrapins, and spoiling their many nieces and nephews.
An active member of First United Methodist Church, Sue was the Chairperson of the church’s Administrative Council, the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, the Kitchen Committee as well as the church’s Wedding Coordinator and a Sunday School teacher. Sue also served many years at the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church as a lay member from her church, the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, and the Greater Washington District Committee on Ministry, helping to interview, evaluate and certify candidates for ministry. A proud University of Maryland alum, Sue was a Terrapin Club member and staunch supporter of student athletics, particularly the Women’s Basketball team on which her niece Elizabeth played in 2004-05. Throughout her life, Sue enjoyed and honed her skills as a cross stitcher, creating one-of-a-kind pieces of art she shared with family and friends and participating in a weekly Stitchers Group that met at Community United Methodist Church, which offered time to stitch and form close friendships.
Perhaps above all, Sue’s role in the life of her family members, especially her great-nephews, and great-nieces, was a joyful testament of her love. Known as “Aunt Sue” to those who range in age from 4 to 43, Sue was a constant presence at countless birthday celebrations, graduations, baptisms, sporting events and family gatherings. She was Godmother to niece Elizabeth, great-nephew Benjamin and great-niece Hannah. Sue delighted in giving her loved-one’s ample gifts, especially at Christmas, and she gave her family faithful love and encouragement that will endure their whole lives.
Sue was preceded in death by her parents, William and Elizabeth, and great-nephew Jack. Her love and faithfulness will continue in the hearts of those by whom she is survived: her husband Ric Conway, sister Helen Smith and brother-in-law David, nephew Christopher Smith and wife Michelle, nephew Jonathan Smith and wife Jennifer, nephew Timothy Smith, niece Elizabeth Gilchrest, great nieces and nephews Christian, Luis, Justin, Benjamin, Sarah, Samuel, Hannah, Emily, Matthew, Wyatt, and Miriam, as well as many cousins, extended family, and special friends.
The family will have a private interment service. A celebration of life service at First United Methodist Church will be held with extended family and friends when it is safe to do so. Memorial contributions to honor Sue’s life and legacy can be made to the Kitchen Fund, First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville, 6201 Belcrest Road, Hyattsville, MD. 20782.