Suzy Amos, of Hiko, has always believed in giving back, and the amount she has contributed to the Pahranagat Valley has been invaluable.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Suzy (then Heaps) came to the Valley back in 1964. At the time, she was married to Ken Heaps and had two sons, Ken and Garth.
She frequently went hiking and camping with her family to places you had to backpack into; places which are quite popular and easily accessible now.
Amos exclaimed, “I love hiking, being outside and I love old stuff.”
Amos broke barriers with several jobs she held, becoming the first woman flagman working for the Industrial Construction Company, then mining tungsten in Tempiute Mine. Back then, it was believed to be bad luck for women to work in the mines. Nevertheless, Amos crawled through all of the tunnels, including Old Moody Shaft, for six years. She remained with the mine until 1981 when it closed down due to the price of tungsten.
Amos took first aid courses in high school. Her mom, a nurse, once told her, “You should only get into medicine if it’s your passion.”
In 1973, Pahranagat Valley received an ambulance through a grant and Amos, along with five other people, trained to become an EMT. The group spent 40 hours training with the Southern Nevada Hospital, along with 41 more hours training locally with a couple of doctors who traveled up to town to give classes.
Amos was one of the pioneers of the EMT service in the Valley, along with Glenn Lamb. She recounted, “We worked in two teams of three and took turns being on call for a full week. I had an interesting first run. Four guys had gotten into a wreck at the houses down at Coyote Springs. We loaded them up and drove towards Las Vegas. As soon as we got into Vegas, the electrical went out on the ambulance. We got our patients unloaded, and they all survived. It was five in the morning and I had blood all over me. All I could think was that my mom was looking down on me and laughing.”
After Amos’ divorce, she took up any job she could in order to be able to keep from moving back to the city. She went hunting with her two boys, which was a huge provider of food for them. In 1973, she married Jimmy Amos, who died in 1975.
Amos was the PTA secretary for some time and, with the help of a group of other women, started the booster club in Alamo.
Amos has always loved horses. On a camping trip to Beaver Dam, she and her then-husband decided to check out Alamo. Ken told her if they moved out here, she could ride a horse every day. She was sold on the notion immediately.
Amos taught the 4H club horsemanship and when her son Ken was in eighth grade, she was asked to be an advisor for the fledgling high school rodeo club. She was soon put in a director role and worked with the rodeo club for six years.
Amos’ youngest son, Garth, died in a plane wreck when he was 19 years old. She related, “That is one of the hardest things you ever have to do as a parent. It’s not supposed to happen, but it does. Thankfully, my older son, Ken, was a huge help through that time and a big reason I was able to move on. I visit him and his family a couple times a year in Alaska where we are never short on experiences as we continue to enjoy the outdoors together.”
Amos’ most recent contribution was her role as treasurer for the Pahranagat Valley Senior Center. Each month, she provided her treasurer’s report down to the penny. She resigned from her position in Dec. 2018, with Dodie Hewitt becoming the new treasurer.
Colleen Cottam, acting president of the senior center, expressed, “Suzy has been a very big asset to our center. She has helped keep the center going and has donated her time and help here. She was also helpful in getting different talent involved with the center. I think she is a very sweet lady and she needs to be recognized for her dedication and support in getting the Valley going and helping with the senior center for twenty years.”