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Sue Smith Windows

February 15, 1918 - February 9, 2002

From the Akron Beacon Journal, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2002

Sue Smith Windows, 83, passed away Saturday, Feb. 9, 2002 after an extended illness. She passed away at home with her family at her side. She is the daughter of Dr. Bob and Anne Smith, the co-founder of AA. She has been active with AA for most of her life on a national and local level. Mrs. Windows was an avid flower gardener and birdwatcher.

Preceded in death by parents, Dr. Bob and Anne Smith; husband, Raymond Windows; and daughter, Bonna; she is survived by sons and daughters-in-law, Michael and Janice Galbraith of Knoxville, Tenn., and Ernest and Ginny Galbraith of Bath, Ohio; grandchildren, Amylynn, Mandy and Jay Galbraith all of Florida, Robert Galbraith of Kalamazoo, Mich. and Knute Galbraith of Bath; eight great-grandchildren; she will be especially missed by her brother, Robert Smith of Nacona, Texas.

The family would like to thank the visiting nurses and other health
care professionals from Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital that assisted her. Calling hours and funeral services to be announced later. Friends who wish may make contributions in her name to Dr. Bob's Home, 855 Ardmore Ave., Akron, 44302.

From the Akron Beacon Journal, Monday, Feb. 11, 2002

Daughter of AA founder dies at 83
Sue Smith Windows was a link to the past for recovering alcoholics
By Jim Carney, Beacon Journal staff writer

When Sue Smith Windows attended an Alcoholics Anonymous function anywhere in the country, people wanted to touch her hand. "She was loved around the world," Gail L., the Akron AA archivist, said of Mrs. Windows, 83, who was the daughter of AA co-founder Dr. Bob Smith and his wife, Anne. Mrs. Windows died Saturday after a lengthy illness.

Because of her parents, Mrs. Windows was invited to attend AA functions around the world, Gail L. said. (The Beacon Journal honors requests for anonymity by AA members.) "I once accompanied her to a women's international meeting in Cleveland, and when it came time to say the Lord's Prayer, I was almost knocked down by people who were trying to grab her hand to hold it during the prayer."

In a 1998 Beacon Journal story, Mrs. Windows said she did not know her father was an alcoholic until she was 17. She was born Feb. 15, 1918. AA was founded in Akron on June 10, 1935, by Bob Smith and Bill Wilson. Every year thousands of recovering alcoholics from around the world converge on Akron to remember the founding of the organization, which now has 2.1 million members worldwide.

Mrs. Windows and her brother, Robert R. Smith of Texas, were eyewitnesses to history. According to Gail L., as a young girl Mrs. Windows gave up her bedroom to drunks who came to stay in the family house at 855 Ardmore Ave., now a national historic site owned by Dr. Bob's Home, a nonprofit group that operates the Smith home.

"She called herself the first Alateen," Gail L. said. "Both she and her brother would give up their bedrooms when they would get a new man, and they would bring him into the house." The Smiths always welcomed strangers into the home to care for them, Gail L. said.

"Generations later they were loved with gratitude for the sacrifices they made in the early days of the program," she said. The two children of Dr. Bob Smith wrote a book called Children of the Healer.

Her son, Michael "Mick" Galbraith, 57, of Knoxville, Tenn., called his mother "a wonderful lady." He said his mother has been seen "as a link to the past. She was there."

Keith M., treasurer of Dr. Bob's Home, said people came to Akron from around the world for Founders Day and always wanted to have their picture taken with Mrs. Windows. People wanted to touch someone who was there from the beginning, he said. "She was a tiny lady with a big heart," he said.

Along with Michael Galbraith, she leaves son Ernie Galbraith. Daughter Bonna Erickson died in 1969. She also is survived by her brother, five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Her husband, Raymond Windows, preceded her in death.

Calling hours are 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at Billow funeral home at 1907 23rd St. in Cuyahoga Falls. A memorial service will be at 8 p.m. tomorrow at the funeral home. Contributions can be made in her name to Dr. Bob's Home, 855 Ardmore Ave., Akron, OH 44302.

I had the delightful pleasure a day or so after Founders Day, 1997 of meeting with Sue, spending an afternoon going through the family photo albums dating from before the beginning of A.A. with photos of most of the oldtimers, holding Dr. Bob's Big Book, and afterwards taking her to dinner . . A truly delightfully alive and vibrant lady who loved A.A.

Love and Peace, Barefoot

Index of AA History Pages on Barefoot's Domain

As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of AA with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In AA and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!

ABC Page 60 from the Big Book



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