Susan Pogue was born at St. Edwards Hospital in Fort Smith Arkansas July 16, 1939, to Earnest Ray Pogue and Sallie Effie Pogue, the second and last daughter of the couple. She attended public school in Fort Smith, graduating as class valedictorian in the Fort Smith Senior High Class of 1957. In the Senior Class play she played the role of Eileen in My Sister Eileen. As a high school student, she recognized that the Southern “Separate but equal” slogan was false in that the black high school students could not obtain the prerequisite courses for many selective colleges; she met with the Superintendent of Schools to plead for the right of the black students to obtain these courses at the white high school. She then attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, on a scholarship, majoring in English literature and writing her senior thesis on Melville’s Moby Dick, graduating in 1961. A semester at the University of Iowa convinced her that she was not interested in an academic career in English Literature- she returned to Fort Smith, taught a semester at the Fort Smith Junior college, and took the train in 1962 to San Francisco with a few hundred dollars, no job, and no hotel reservation. Within a week she had a job with Fireman’s Fund Insurance company and a place to live. She worked her way up the business ladder at Fireman’s Fund over 17 years, frequently encountering a glass ceiling. She then took a job with Specialty Brands as vice president in charge of Human Resources, her most professionally satisfying job. When Specialty Brands was broken up and sold, she worked for AAA of California and then for the Law firm of Wilson Sonsini in Palo Alto in the field of benefits management. She married William de la Fuente, acquiring 3 stepdaughters in the process. It says much about Susan that she became a close friend of the first wife of William de la Fuente and retained close friendship with all 3 stepdaughters to this day. After his death she married Curtis Krock in 2006, whom she had dated in 1959 and 1960 when he was in medical school, and she was in college. She then divided her time between San Francisco and Illinois and enjoyed participating in the lives of his two children.
Susan was predeceased by her parents, her first husband William de la Fuente, a nephew Tom Simmons, and two cousins Gordon Harkreader and Jerry Harkreader.
Susan is survived by her second husband, Curtis Krock, her sister Betty Simmons of Sioux Falls, S.D., her nephew Michael Simmons of Sioux Falls, S.D. her first cousins Melody Harmata of Bozeman, Montana and Carolyn Pickens of McLean, VA, Betsy Grillo of Greensboro, N.C.,Damon Harkreader of Springfield, Mo. and Bob Harkreader of Greenwood, Arkansas , her 3 stepdaughters: Kate de la Fuente of Monterey, Ca, Carol McKee of Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia, and Beth de la Fuente of Portland, Oregon
Susan loved classical music, the San Francisco Symphony, mystery novels, sudoku, crossword puzzles, travel, National Parks, Jeopardy, crab feasts, and exploring the Bay Area. She died from esophageal cancer 1.5 years after diagnosis. In lieu of flowers, any donations should go to the Susan Pogue Krock scholarship fund of Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts.
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