By Jason A. Smith
Friends and co-workers of Suzette Rainer said she touched a lot of lives during her career in the Henry County School System.
Rainer, 60, of McDonough, died Tuesday. Her memorial service was held Friday, at McDonough Presbyterian Church, where she served as a deacon.
She worked as a media specialist for Henry County High School, and was employed in the county's school system for 27 years.
Henry County Schools Superintendent Michael Surma said Rainer will be remembered by educators and students. "She was a wonderful employee, who served our students to ensure their success," Surma said. "The loss of any employee affects our school system. She's also affected our entire community."
Rainer is the mother of Henry County Director of Technology Services Clark Rainer. Other survivors include her husband of 30 years, Ray Rainer, of McDonough; another son, Robby Rainer, of McDonough; grandchildren, Haylee and Bert Rainer; and her sister, Maxine Allegret, of Tucker, as well as Rainer's best friend, retired Henry Magistrate Court Criminal Clerk Kay Veasley.
Janet Wesley, of McDonough, works as a mentor coordinator at McDonough Elementary School, and has been friends with Rainer since 1974. Wesley battled tears as she talked about her bond with Rainer. "Our families did everything together," said Wesley. "She loved her boys, and my kids think of her like an aunt."
Rainer strived to pour her life into the students at Henry County High, according to Wesley. "Suzette was the leader of hospitality at Henry County High School," she said. "She just wanted to be there for the kids."
Henry County High School Principal Scott John said teachers and students were saddened Wednesday to hear about Rainer's death. The news, he added, came on a day when students were scheduled to take their graduation writing tests.
"We had a long Wednesday," John said. "The central-office community gave us a lot of aid and support, to make sure my teachers were able to grieve, and students had success in their testing experience."