In 1956, Perry Como declared that Suellen Pinson was the most beautiful girl in the junior class at Collins High School, and in Larry Navicki’s eyes, during all their years together, that beauty never diminished. They never quit being sweethearts.
Suellen Pinson Navicki was born May 23, 1939, in Minden, W. Va., shortly after her mother finished reading Gone With the Wind. Her parents were the late Benjamin Hansford Pinson and Katie Agnes Blizzard Pinson, and she was reported to be the last child delivered by Dr. Walter Bundy. She died peacefully at the Bowers Hospice House in Beckley March 8, 2020.
Known throughout her childhood as “Sue Baby,” she was raised in Oak Hill where she attended Oak Hill Elementary School and graduated with the Collins High Class of 1957. During her sophomore year, she met Larry Navicki and her search for a lifetime mate ended. She and Larry were married April 27, 1959.
The following April, their first son, Lawrence Edward II, “Nick,” was born. He was followed by Allen in 1962 and John Kristin in 1970.
While the boys were growing up, she was active in the PTO at Ss. Peter and Paul School, working at many carnivals, spaghetti dinners and fundraisers.
As parents of athletes at Oak Hill High, she and Larry could always be counted on for team dinners or monetary support. The couple were the Grand Honorees of the Oak Hill High/Collins High Alumni Association in 2018. They were lifetime members of the Association.
Sue and Larry owned and operated the Three Gables Club and Restaurant, the longest continuously running family-owned club in the state, for 61 years. People drove from miles around for her succulent steaks, unparalleled bleu cheese dressing, and twice-baked potatoes.
Sue doted on their sons and was ¬¬devastated by the loss of Nicki in 1989 when he was on business in Poland, and John, who died in 2014 as a result of complications of diabetes. She was also preceded in death by sisters Virginia Allen, Rosemary Feazell, and Patricia Hinte, leaving her as the matriarch of the Pinson clan.
In addition to her husband, Larry, she is survived by her loving and devoted son Allen and his wife, Lee, and three grandchildren whom she loved fiercely: Julia Woodson and her husband Rodney, Alaina Rust and her husband Trent, and Jacob Navicki. She is also survived by a host of adoring nieces and nephews.
Sue wanted to give special thanks to her nieces Sherry, Vicki, Sally, and Toni for their kindness and support during her illness, to Tena for excellent caregiving, and to Gladys Smith for years of faithful friendship.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 14, by the Reverend S.A. Arokiadass (Father Das) at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Oak Hill. Visitation will be one hour before the service.