07/31/1959 - 02/21/2024
Service Date: 03/22/2024
Service Time: 11:00AM
Service Location: Gilbert Memorial Park

Susan Lanphere Watts, 64, passed away peacefully at home on February 21, 2024 in Gilbert, AZ. Susan lived a joyful life filled with family, special friends, spoiled dogs, as well as magical fun-filled travel adventures across the U.S. and Europe.

Susan was born on July 31, 1959 at Fort Hood, TX to Col. Robert F. and Donna Lanphere. After graduating from Baylor University she worked as a Merchandise Manager for J.C. Penney in Dallas. She married her husband, Chuck Watts in 1992, and they lived and worked in Springfield MO, Tulsa OK, and for the past 24 years, in Gilbert, AZ.

Susan had a passion for service to the communities in which she lived. She served on numerous volunteer organizations, political campaigns, and as a mentor for adult reading education. From 2006-2018 she was active with the Phoenix Art Museum Docents, serving in several leadership roles, eventually as President and as a member of the Docent Governing Board. After retirement in 2017 she returned to her childhood love of competitive swimming with the Mesa Aquatics Club Masters Program, where she remained active until her recent illness.

Susan is survived by her husband, Chuck; mother, Donna Lanphere; sister, Carol Whitley (Gary); sisters-in-law, Leslie Watts and Suzanne Martin (Jeff); step-daughter, Katie Hosier (Larry); nieces, Colby Whitley, Bailey Whitley, Haley Watts, Beth Roller (James) and Emily Martin; and, numerous step-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her father, Col. Robert F. Lanphere; and, step-son Jared Watts.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, March 22, 2024, at Gilbert Memorial Park, 2100 E. Queen Creek Road, Gilbert, AZ  85297. For more information, please visit www.gilbertmemorialpark.com.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.



  • I am so very sad for your family. She was such a right light and so energetic!
    I can’t imagine how much she will be missed and what a hole she will leave in your heart and all of ours.
    My sincere condolences.
    Romans 8:38 and 39

  • Prayers and condolences to the family for their loss and sorrows.

  • Susan was always a ray of sunshine. The world lost an incredible person💔🙏

  • My heart goes out to all her family, friends and loved ones who will dearly miss her beautiful smile. She was given a special grace to draw people together. Her leadership within the docent organization of the Phoenix Art Museum was outstanding and her enthusiasm unmatched. Susan has taken a little piece of each of our hearts, may she rest in peace.

  • Susan was energetic and enthusiastic about so many things that it seems especially sad to lose her so soon. We will miss the sunshine she brought into our lives. My deep sympathy to all who loved her.

  • Susan was always so upbeat and positive about everything and my very favorite cousin! I will miss meeting her for lunches in Arizona when I come to town but I know she is with her Dad and flying high! I will miss her dearly!

  • I am very saddened to hear of the passing of Susan to her next life. I was very fortunate to meet Susan when we joined the same Docent Class at Phoenix Art Museum. She had a special spark of life about her; her infectious smile, her intelligence, kindness and dedication to the Docent Program. I will always associate Susan with the artwork “Feeding the Dogs” by artist David Bates. It also reminded me how much she loved her pup – maybe that is one of the reasons she was so partial to this painting. It is one of my favorites as well. Susan will clearly be missed; those her knew and loved her will hold her close in their hearts. They will carry her forward with them everyday and cherish all the beautiful moments she shared with them. Go in peace, Susan.

  • Susan was our neighbor for fourteen years. She will be deeply missed. Our heartfelt condolences to Chuck & the entire family….

  • It was a privilege to have Susan in the docent training class of 2006. She was an energetic, conscientious and curious trainee, and her success in her docent career reflected all of those qualities and more. We were in touch in the past several months, and I was so
    impressed with the positive attitude she took to a very
    difficult diagnosis, never losing her sense of humor. I know that the entire class of 2006 will join her many other docent friends in sending deepest condolences to her family.

  • A warm heart, bright smile and someone who added a ray of sunshine if you crossed her path. I can only hope to bring her level of kindness in my life to others. ❤️

  • Linda Buchanan

    Susan was someone I waited too long to get to know. Seeing and experiencing her vivaciousness, enthusiasm, and passion, I know she will be missed by many, including me. Rest in Peace, Susan!

  • Ike & Tonya Tippetts

    Tonya and I want to express our sincere condolences to Chuck and the family. We’ll miss those near-daily exchanges of hellos during Susan’s dog walks past our home. Please know we’re thinking of you during this difficult time. We are here to support you.

  • Laura R Stewart

    Susan’s smile, her bubbly personality, her adorable doggie pictures and stories, and most of all her friendship will be sorely missed. Susans visits with me in the Salon were enjoyed by all, my colleague and the other clients,so enjoyed her company. I miss her already. My condolences to her Husband and family.

  • Brenda & Phil Schonig

    We send our condolences to Chuck and Susan’s family. Susan was our friend and neighbor for 20 years. We spent many minutes every day chatting when walking our dogs. Susan was always a kind person with the light of life in her eyes. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.

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