A Legacy of Light


It is with strong emotion that we announce that Suzanne Aker, our founder and inspiration, passed away today peacefully in her home surrounded by love and family.

If asked, Suzanne would tell you she founded Ballet Lubbock because “it was necessary.” The South Plains needed dance and Suzanne needed to teach, feeling it was her true calling because of the light she found watching her students grow.
That light she found and fostered in a one-room studio sparked change in our community, our region, and continues on in generations of Ballet Lubbock families.

Her impact is immeasurable, and we remain faithful students of Suzanne. Suzanne was heartfelt, warm, and enhanced the meaning of every action.

She gave us humanity, gave us love, gave us beautiful art in its most authentic form.

Suzanne taught us what a full life can be.

In Ballet Lubbock, Suzanne instilled a legacy of creative and ambitious thinking. She gave us a culture where generosity and passion are tools to celebrate our unique gifts. Suzanne, in everything she did, showed us that our capacity to achieve what is great is, in fact, limitless.

The mission of Ballet Lubbock is to change lives. Suzanne has certainly changed ours. Suzanne bettered the world.

Her light and legacy live on.

Suzanne Aker

September 19, 1926 – February 19, 2022


Suzanne Aker passed away at the age of 95 surrounded by her loving family on February 19, 2022 in Lubbock, Texas. She was born in Kansas City, Mo. to Ernie and Claire (De Verse) Scruggs. After graduating high school a year early, Suzanne moved to Hollywood to begin her dance career. She received her bachelors degree in Art and English from the University of Tulsa. She was certified in ballet at the Royal Academy of Dance, England.
Suzanne was instrumental in the earliest days of the Department of Dance at Texas Tech University. She then went on to become the founder of Ballet Lubbock and served as its first artistic director and choreographer. A crowning moment of her life was attending the Nutcracker with her family at the new Buddy Holly Center. She was thrilled to see her dream of the new home for Ballet Lubbock come true.
Suzanne’s family was the highlight of her life. In earlier years she loved traveling to Tulsa, Phoenix, and Fort Worth to visit with children and grandchildren. For her 90th birthday she enjoyed a family reunion in one of her favorite cities, Santa Fe, NM.
Suzanne impacted her community in many ways. Her accomplishments include being honored as One of the Most Notable Women in Texas, the Chamber of Commerce Pathfinder Award, Who’s Who of America, Who’s Who of American Women, The National Dance Plaudit Award, and induction into the Buddy Holly Hall of Fame. She was also the first recipient of the Outstanding Service to Youth Award. Suzanne was an active member of St Christopher’s Episcopal Church.
Another one of Suzanne’s loves was iconology. She attended workshops on the subject around the country and made many friends along the way. One of the few Icon artists in the Southwest, Suzanne’s Icons can be found in churches in the US and abroad and in many local homes. She loved art and one of her joys was to create and hand paint angels, Santas, and nutcracker ornaments for her community and family. Christmas trees around the US will continue to showcase her beautiful artwork. Suzanne had many books and loved researching to make her ornaments, paper dolls, and icons as accurate and authentic as possible. She also wrote a children’s book that she was very proud of: What Comes In Ones, Twos, and Threes which is still being published.
Suzanne taught professionally for over 50 years. She continued art work and yoga throughout her life. This wonderful woman delicately touched the lives of many and served as an aspiring figure for her students and colleagues.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Earnie and Claire Scruggs, and her son David Morrow. She is survived by five children: Alan Morrow (Christy); Jan Ameen (Rusty), Jack Bettis, Liz Aker, and Laura Greer (Russell). Suzanne is also survived by six grandchildren: Aaron, Anthony, Trent, Sydney, Madelin and Reese, and six great-grandchildren.
Suzanne had many good friends and the family is grateful for all of the support, love, and friendship provided over the years.
A Memorial Service will be held at Saint Christopher Episcopal Church
2807 42nd Street Lubbock, Texas 79413  March 19 at 11 a.m. 
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Suzanne Aker Legacy Endowment.
Learn More About Her Life & Legacy