Mary Suzanne Freeman Updegraff

mary  updegraff

January 4, 1944 ~ August 3, 2022

Born in: Ada, Oklahoma
Resided in: Arlington, Texas

Mary Suzanne Freeman Updegraff made her final journey on August 3rd at 1457, at the young age of 78. Suzanne, as she was always known, was a vivacious woman always quick to laugh and show her affection to her loved ones by scratching our backs. She had an infectious laugh and a quick wit. She often would mix metaphors which became known as Suzie-isms. An example of this is “In one ear and out the window.”

She was an Okie through and through and grew up on Sooner Football. Every year during the OU/Texas game she would retell the stories of her youth with her Father, WO Freeman, when they would come to Dallas for the weekend and she would get her Winter coat. She was born and grew up in Ada, OK. She lived in Norman and Oklahoma City until 1971 when she moved to Arlington, TX, with her first Husband, Billy Ples Updegraff, and their three children David, Branon, and Cortne Lee. They returned to Ada in 1977 and remained there until 1985 when she and Cortne Lee returned to Arlington.

Suzanne was a diverse woman which is seen from the many types of jobs she had. From working at KOCO-TV while in the Oklahoma City to Southwest Airlines in Arlington. She finally settled into high end fashion and here is where she shined. She produced several Fashion Shows in Ada and eventually with a life long friend opened a woman’s designer boutique in Ada bringing fashion to the area. They were the talk of the town.

Upon returning to Texas Suzanne earned her wings as a Flight Attendant for American Airlines in 1989 and it was there that she found her calling. She loved being a Flight Attendant! On January 25th, 1991, on a blind date she found her love for the rest of her life, Stewart J Stopak, a former (because you’re never Retired as a Marine) Marine Aviator and American Airlines Captain. They had a relationship that very few have, laughing and playing 24/7. Stu’s term of affection for Suzanne was either “Suzie” or “She Who Must Be Obeyed.” It was funny to watch this 5’3″ woman wrap this tough Marine around her finger. However, when needed Stu would defend, and always cared for, her fiercely.

In 1995 she and Stu bought a beautiful home in a secluded area of Flower Mound, TX, and Suzanne got to work on it. Suzanne was inherently artistic and a creative woman to her core. She was always bringing things back from Mexico while she was on a layover, things that most people would disregard, and present them in a way that they would become a work of artistic genius. Their home was her canvas. People would come in and literally just stand and look around. Suzanne made their home a warm welcoming place and always wanted their Grandkids (Dixon, Alexandria, Alanna, Cortlyn, Jaxon, and Asher) to come stay with them. She showered her Grandkids with love, affection, encouragement, and support.

Suzanne is survived by her Husband Stewart Stopak, sons David and Branon Updegraff, her Daughter Cortne Lee Kent, her Grandsons Dixon Kent and Jaxon and Asher Smith, and Grandaughters Alexandria Damian, Alanna Updegraff, and Cortlyn Jones, and her Sister Tammy Janik. Her final journey was preceded by her Father William Oscar “WO” Freeman, her biological Mother Virginia Creswell Vukovich, her Mother that raised her and influenced her faith Kitty Helen Freeman, her first husband Billy, her Sister Mary Helen Ferguson, her Brother John Vukovich, as well as many other family members. Her welcoming committee must have been fabulous, a word Suzie used often.

This fabulous Woman, Friend, Sister, Mother, Grandmother, Wife, this Rare Bird will be missed. Until we meet again!

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  1. A long time friend. Suzanne was one of a kind. She lived her life to the fullest. Always welcoming, giving and funny. RIP 🥰

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