LONGVIEW, Texas — **EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from Aug. 2018 where Suzanne Bardwell spoke at the "Use Your Teacher Voice" rally in Longview which addressed concerns like adequate and fair health care, teacher retirement benefits and more.
A beloved former teacher and owner of a local newspaper has passed away following a Friday afternoon crash.
According to her husband, Jim, Suzanne Bardwell died after being involved in a wreck in Longview.
"We are all in shock and looking for the next step to take without her steady hand to guide us," her husband Jim wrote on the Gladewater Mirror Facebook page. "Suzanne was so full of life and she loved everyone. Her passion for life was seen everyday and through all the people she touched. I will never know how many people she touched as a teacher, but I do know she touched my heart when we first met at age 13 and I have been in love with her ever since."
According to CBS19's newspaper partners, the Longview News-Journal, Suzanne previously worked at area school districts, including Gilmer ISD (four years), Spring Hill ISD (10 years) and White Oak ISD, where she shared her wealth of knowledge with so many. During her time in White Oak, she served as a journalism teacher, as well as the adviser for the yearbook and newspaper staff.
The Longview News-Journal reports in 2013, she retired with a bang after 18 years from White Oak when she was named the Max R. Haddick Teacher of the Year by the University Interscholastic League (UIL). The award is presented annually to the best high school journalism instructor in Texas.
She was also a U.S. History adjunct professor at Kilgore College.
Since 2012, she and her husband have owned the Gladewater Mirror, which services Gregg, Smith and Upshur counties.
In 2017, Suzanne was named "Woman of the Year" during the 86th Annual Gladewater Chamber of Commerce banquet.
Bardwell was also a strong advocate for teachers' rights.
In Aug. 2018, Bardwell spoke at the "Use Your Teacher Voice" rally in Longview which addressed concerns like adequate and fair health care, teacher retirement benefits and more.
"This is not about party,” said Suzanne. “It is not about politics. It's about policies and policy issues. Most of the people up there have been in the trenches fighting hard -- hard for public education."
Perhaps Suzanne's Facebook page said it best, she was:
"A lover of books, nature, animals, people, laughter and life."
Funeral arrangements are pending.