Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Obituary Archives

July 4, 2013

Dr. Benjamin L. Susman, III

TAZEWELL, Va. —  He was born May 28, 1927 at Durham, NC and was a son of the late Benjamin Louis Susman, Jr. and Ann Land Susman. He was of the Jewish faith.

Dr. Susman attended Duke University and the Southern College of Optometry. He began his practice in 1951 in Bluefield, WV. From 1953 until 2007 when he had his first stroke, he practiced optometry in Tazewell, VA where you not only received excellent eye care, but you got his famous lollipops, recipes, enjoyed his wonderful sense of humor with his jokes, and relaxed in the rocking chairs. Dr. Susman was an active member of the American Optometric Association, the Virginia Optometric Association, and the Lonesome Pine Optometric Association. He thought Tazewell, VA was the greatest and most beautiful place in the United States. He loved his community and his state and served them well. His true love was for the children of Tazewell County. Because he wanted to insure that all the students in Tazewell County would have the best education possible, he served on the Tazewell County Board of Education a total of 17 years. He worked to get grant funding for a fully equipped Health Clinic in the schools. He was Past Chairman of the Virginia State Mandated School Health Advisory Board. Some of the other ways he helped his community and state were by serving on the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, the Tazewell Town Council, the Tazewell Planning Commission, the Governor’s Advisory Council, the Virginia Commission for Local Government, and the Commission for the Economic Development of Southwest Virginia. For 58 years he was a member of the Tazewell Lion’s Club. He was Past President of the Tazewell Lion’s Club, Tazewell Jaycees, and the Tazewell Area Chamber of Commerce.  He served in the Navy during World War, II and was a member of the American Legion Post #133 in Tazewell, VA.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his only brother, Alan Susman. He was the last surviving member of his immediate family.

He leaves to cherish his memories, his loving wife, Shirley Godbey Susman, who was so blessed to have him in her life; three sons, David Susman and wife, Kathy of Lexington, KY, Jayson Susman of Clearwater, FL, and Shannon Susman of Savannah, GA; his wonderful granddaughter, Allison Susman of Lexington, KY; sister-in-law, Sally Susman of Beckley, WV; niece, Robin Wartella of Beckley, WV; two nephews, Tom Susman of Charleston, WV and Ben Susman of Beckley, WV; special cousins, Emily Land Young of Wilmington, NC; Margie Land Murray of Denver CO. He is also survived by his Godbey family who loved him dearly; sisters-in-law, Nancy Wallace of North Tazewell, VA, Bertha Hancock of Wytheville, VA, Juanita Lowe of Hollywood, FL, and Doris Godbey of Daytona Beach, FL; brother-in-law, George Godbey and wife, Marilyn of Richlands, VA. Many loving nieces, nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews. His special girls from Heartland Therapy, Beth Matthews of Bluefield, WV, Bethany Ray of Cedar Bluff, VA, Billie Carol Keene of North Tazewell, VA, Kelli Orr of Richlands, VA, Liz Martin of Chilhowie, VA, Shellie Stout of Rosedale, VA, and Wendy Dillon of Tazewell, VA; his special kids, William and Abby Matthews, Peyton and Madyson Dillon, and Grayson Orr.

Funeral services for Dr. Benjamin L. Susman, III will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. Friday, July 5, 2013 at the Hurst-Scott Funeral Home Chapel in Tazewell, VA with Rabbi Stanley Funston officiating. Burial will follow at Grandview Memory Gardens in Bluefield, VA. Relatives and Friends will serve as pallbearers.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home after 12:00 p.m. (noon), Friday, July 5, 2013.

Donations in his memory may be made to: The Tazewell High School Hall of Fame Scholarship Fund; PO Box 255, Tazewell, VA  24651.

Hurst-Scott Funeral Home of Tazewell, VA will be serving the family of Dr. Susman and those wishing to express sympathy online may do so at


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