ForeverMissed

Welcome to Suzy's celebration page!
Please browse around this memorial site, read about Suzy using the Life tab above, look at the Gallery, leave a Tribute message below, or share a story about Suzy including video or photos if you wish using the Stories tab.

Watch Suzy's Memorial Celebration 
A celebration of Suzy's life was held on July 10, 2021. To watch the entire 90-minute memorial service, click on the Gallery tab above, then Video and then the Memorial Service video.

To watch only the 12-minute video that was shown during the service, click on the Gallery tab above, then Video and then the Celebrating Suzy video. 

In lieu of flowers...
Please send contributions to:
• Y-Malawi
• Outdoor Outreach
• San Diego Chapter of the ALS Association
Posted by Erika Reynolds on September 3, 2021
Some individuals "light up" the moods and spirits of those around them. They may do so by bringing energy, enthusiasm, or a cheerful and persuasive communicative style to their interactions. Suzy had all that, and then more. She had the sparkly eyes and mischievous smile too, and the passionate beliefs in what was "right and just" in her world, which is our world. What a gem, and what a loss. I know Randy and her family know her special light, and will honor it. Thank you, ELR
Posted by Jennifer Sims on July 11, 2021
So many beautiful memories Auntie Suzy. I can remember how excited I was to be at your wedding. I loved seeing you act in Godspell and played the record over and over again. Near the end of your life “Prepare Ye” song played over and over in my mind. It made me cry but I knew your faith made you strong and brave and that helped me.

I remember waiting in the hospital waiting room for Mathew’s arrival. We all enjoyed so many big family dinners and birthdays and Christmas. So many Easters in the desert too.

We’ve loved sharing the desert with you and our extended family growing up. And as an adult, my family always looked forward to coming by your campsite and hanging out in your amazing set-up when our desert trips overlapped. We think of the fun times you had when we are enjoying your pop-up trailer. I am sure that you helped me pop that pesky door into place more than a few times this last season. We promise we will continue to chase Randy around the desert exploring and enjoy the flora and fauna and we’ll hopefully keep his four wheels on the ground; you know this will be quite a task but one we will look forward to October through May each Borrego season.

I am forever grateful for your love and support for my endeavours and those of my family. I remember you coming to ride horses with me in Sorrento Valley. When I began teaching you came to my school with the rattlesnakes and presented to our students at Knox Elementary; some of whom had never seen a rattlesnake. They loved it!

You bestowed Dusty with his Wilbur In Law Protection Society hat and welcomed him into the WIPS when we got married. You welcomed my grandparents into your home. You brought the Walton amd Wilbur families together at the reunion in Alaska and kept the relationships strong. When Dusty, Angie and I became a family, you developed a special bond. Angie adored you and your undivided attention when you were together.

Thank you Suzy for your love, your smile, the sparkle in your eyes and for bringing Matt and Katy into our world. Thank you also for your love and devotion to my uncle Randy, to my mom Mary and my dad David, and to the bonds reforged between the Wilbur and Walton families. I love you and miss you.
Posted by Cara Hansen on July 10, 2021
I am fortunate to have a lifetime of memories of my Aunt Suzy, and I will cherish them forever. Summer trips to stay with the Wilbur’s were always full of adventure, such as zoo and seaworld outings, movies, bedtime stories, hikes, and breakfasts on the patio (Suzy’s Dutch babies will always top my list of favorite foods). More recently, Katy’s wedding and my own provided fantastic memories that I would not trade for anything. I will miss you and love you forever.
Posted by Pat Weill on July 8, 2021
Suzy was always so sweet to me in the praise band at LJ Presbyterian. She was so smart, and kind. A real joy. She was family for me for a few years, at a time when I really needed it. A blessing in my life.
Posted by Mariko Hayakawa on July 7, 2021
We first met 35 years ago. Randy and Sue had me over for a month in summer in 1986. We have been in touch since then.
Sue was such a kind, generous, supportive person that I, who came to San Diego from Japan to study English, easily spoke to her and soon fully enjoyed talking with her. The second time I visited the Wilburs, we drove to Yosemite, San Francisco, Los Gatos. All
through the trip, how caring and gentle she was! It was the most fun trip that I have ever had. In December, 2019, my daughters and I had a great time with Sue. She was very beautiful, sensible and strong. I know very few people have the privilege of having such a wonderful person like her. I cannot express enough how thankful I am to her. Sue, I miss you and love you forever.
Posted by Bryce Delbridge on July 6, 2021
Suzy, I will always remember your sweet smile, your joyous presence & relentless optimism. Through & through, your courageous love & faith in the divine inspires me. No matter the obstacle, you seem so accepting & patient while navigating your path. When times got rough, you still showed up with absolute grace. I Love You Aunt Suzy, thank you for being you, for allowing me to be me & for celebrating my gifts. It’s with bittersweet tears that I write these simple words, because I’m so grateful you’re not suffering anymore. You fought hard & you fought tough, all along, you were enough. While I mourn your physical absence & for all your loved ones left behind, I give thanks knowing that you lived a fulfilling life, surrounded with impeccable people & the Love that people dream of.
Posted by Hinako Hayakawa on July 1, 2021
I met Suzy and her family for the first time at the end of the 2019. I stayed her house for 2, 3 days with my mom and sis. That was my first visit to USA but, as my mom always talks me about her exchange student life in her university days at San Diego with Suzy and her family, I have been knowing them very much for a long time. That’s why, I was excited like I finally can see Suzy and Randy, and their family!!!
During our days in San Diego, we visited a lot of places and spent great times. In each places, Suzy explained many topics to us writing on her board such as animals, flowers, ecosystem, and more. My sis and I also searched unknown English words to understand what she said and made many questions to her. So, talks between Suzy and us never stopped. Although I never talked much with American people before, I enjoyed listening her explanation and talked many things!!
Thank you Suzy for giving us a wonderful experience. I’m so happy to meet you and will never forget our memories forever ❤️
Posted by Ellen Vance on June 27, 2021
Suzy. Laughter, light, talent, accents, stories, caring, faith, compassion, adventure, wife, mom, friend. So much to be missed. I met Suzy at REI and began going on adventures with Suzy and 2 other wonderful women, Toni and Joey. Suzy named us MAWU (middle aged women unite) but Randy named us SOTTS (sisters of the traveling sausage) Sisters we became, we bared our souls to each other, camped together in Yosemite, Red Meadows, skied, capsized in the rapids of the American river, sang together and laughed ALOT. I have never known a tighter bond than I’ve had with these sisters and losing Suzy has left a huge hole in our hearts. We will miss you forever and remember you always dear Suzy
Posted by Laura Quintanilla on June 4, 2021
My first time meeting Suzy was 18 years ago and my only regret is not having had more time with her. Despite having only seen eachother on few occasions, the time I spent with her allowed me to get to know her warm and sensibility. Suzy was a wonderful woman and mother. A beautiful human being. I feel blessed to have known her !
Posted by Peter Nordland on June 3, 2021
I had the distinct pleasure to know Suzie for many years through the La Jolla Community Church Choir and the Worship team. Suzie was very giving and always was the first to volunteer to lead the prayers for those in need. One choir practice, Suzie mentioned that she connected with the Lord more through music than any other form of prayer. That resonated for me in in a big way and we both commiserated how we could get emotional through our Worship songs. I miss you Suzie!!!
Posted by Nicole DiVito on June 2, 2021
Today is #LouGehrigDay. The ALS Association recently announced a goal of making ALS a livable disease by 2030.

A man at my company with ALS and many others fought to create this special day. You can read more or donate here: https://www.als.org/lougehrigday

I was lucky enough to somehow get into the same Bible Study group YEARS ago with Suzy and several other incredible women. I recently learned about Suzy and have wonderful memories of her smile, laugh, stories about her family, crazy stories of nature and REI. She was a beautiful person and her spirit refreshes my soul when I think of her.

Here is some background info on #LouGehrigDay in case you would like to learn more. In 2019, Larry Falivena (who works at my company) and others joined a group that had the idea that Major League Baseball should have an official Lou Gehrig Day. After a year's work, that idea became a reality. Most teams will honor Gehrig on June 2nd-the day he started his historic consecutive games streak, and the day he passed away from ALS in 1941. The teams that don't have home games will honor him today/June 3rd.

I made a donation today to support the fight and in honor of our Suzy. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and dear friends.
Posted by Faith McClelland on June 1, 2021
Suzy- My first bestest friend and “seester”. We were stand partners playing cello and you accepted me even though I was a grade behind you. Our friendship in high school grew to include Randy, Joel and Terri. And eventually grew to include others (Barbara and Terry). But first it was you. Our group did everything together and I drew such strength and love from all of you. It made me feel so special when I heard you yell out “That’s my seester” at my college graduation. You were my maid of honor and though we were physically miles apart, whenever we were together we were as close as ever. In these later years when I would visit I was honored that you would share your fears and worries with me. But your reliance on our Lord, I knew, would give you strength and made me proud. I prayed for Randy and knew he too would gather strength from your convictions. Our email connection I hope was helpful to you, I know it was for me. You have touched many lives and will be missed. I can’t wait to sing duets with you again. All my love, Faith

Randy- I pray for your strength during these times of remembrance. You will be busy. But there will come other times (and I’m sure have already been) when some small thing will remind you of her and the pain will be sharp. It will not be forever. Cherish the memories. Her love is yours… always.
Posted by Leida Bickham on June 1, 2021
Love you, Aunt Suzy. I will not be able to attend your service but will be camping in your memory. Love to you!
Posted by WILLIAM Snyder on May 30, 2021
I met Randy and Suzy when I was in Jr. High through my sister Faith. LJPC was a touchpoint for all of us. Godspell tour, backpack trips then Image Dynamics where our creative grist was ground together. Suzy was always open, forgiving, understanding, loyal, jovial, sincere, serving and encouraging to a fault. Her dedication to family was unparalleled in my opinion. Her ability to surpass in hospitality inspired me to do likewise. Seems to me, as she grew older she grew more like the Savior she loved. She sensed need, when I was dull to others, to come alongside with just the right word, touch, compassion and empathy. Yes, we all meet our time to pass on from this life, and in that test we either grow bitter or sweeter. Sweeter is better and Suzy has taught us to pursue that path by the beautiful example of her life.
Posted by Franci Marshall on May 30, 2021
I met Suzy in the fall of 2016 in Brain Head, Utah. I am a long time friend of her adventure buddy Elly Vance. It was such a delight to have spent some time with her. She was funny, kind and a loving person. She shined brightly from within. Her love for Jesus spilled over to others. I am looking forward to someday reuniting with her in heaven. 
Posted by Tricia Hedman on May 29, 2021
I had the pleasure of knowing Suzy since the fall of 2000. We met in a women's life group while both attending JLPC. She was a wonderful friend and sister in Christ. I learned so much from her sense of humor, courage, and faithfulness. I am blessed to have known her.
Posted by Jeffrey Javelet on May 29, 2021
I met Suzy probably around 2010 as we were both members of La Jolla Community Church worship choir. For 10 years we met on Thursday nights and rehearsed and then sang on Sundays, usually multiple services. Our church choir was a family. I came to know Suzy fondly and always appreciated the caring and gentle way about her. And she helped me several times with things I needed or thought I needed from REI. Always made herself available. My life was blessed by Suzy's spirit!
Posted by Christy Zatkin on May 25, 2021
My memories of Susie are from her La Jolla Pres days when we worked on the church's first contemporary service. Her input on the music helped make the service a true worship experience. As I think about those times together, so many sweet memories come flooding back. She had a high level of intuition. When my son was was about a year old, (now 47!) she showed up at the house when I was in a mental meltdown and took over childcare for a couple of hours giving me a break I desperately needed. In later years, I'm one of the ones she helped outfit for the outdoors with great hiking boots.

I'm so sorry I can't come to the memorial. I'll be in Atascadero at a nephew's wedding.
Posted by Mary Helmic on May 23, 2021
Because we lived so far apart (I'm in Michigan), I really got to know my cousin Suzy through our emails and Facebook posts. It was such a privilege to share our thoughts, photos, challenges, and joys with each other. My life is better for our contact these past few years!
Posted by Randy Wilbur on May 15, 2021
Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch - a fearful thing to love, to hope, to dream, to be - to be and, oh, to lose - a thing for fools, this, and a holy thing - a holy thing to love, for your life has lived in me. Your laugh once lifted me. Your word was a gift to me. To remember this brings painful joy. Tis a human thing, love - a holy thing to love what death has touched.
Yehuda Halevi (around 1120 CE)

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Erika Reynolds on September 3, 2021
Some individuals "light up" the moods and spirits of those around them. They may do so by bringing energy, enthusiasm, or a cheerful and persuasive communicative style to their interactions. Suzy had all that, and then more. She had the sparkly eyes and mischievous smile too, and the passionate beliefs in what was "right and just" in her world, which is our world. What a gem, and what a loss. I know Randy and her family know her special light, and will honor it. Thank you, ELR
Posted by Jennifer Sims on July 11, 2021
So many beautiful memories Auntie Suzy. I can remember how excited I was to be at your wedding. I loved seeing you act in Godspell and played the record over and over again. Near the end of your life “Prepare Ye” song played over and over in my mind. It made me cry but I knew your faith made you strong and brave and that helped me.

I remember waiting in the hospital waiting room for Mathew’s arrival. We all enjoyed so many big family dinners and birthdays and Christmas. So many Easters in the desert too.

We’ve loved sharing the desert with you and our extended family growing up. And as an adult, my family always looked forward to coming by your campsite and hanging out in your amazing set-up when our desert trips overlapped. We think of the fun times you had when we are enjoying your pop-up trailer. I am sure that you helped me pop that pesky door into place more than a few times this last season. We promise we will continue to chase Randy around the desert exploring and enjoy the flora and fauna and we’ll hopefully keep his four wheels on the ground; you know this will be quite a task but one we will look forward to October through May each Borrego season.

I am forever grateful for your love and support for my endeavours and those of my family. I remember you coming to ride horses with me in Sorrento Valley. When I began teaching you came to my school with the rattlesnakes and presented to our students at Knox Elementary; some of whom had never seen a rattlesnake. They loved it!

You bestowed Dusty with his Wilbur In Law Protection Society hat and welcomed him into the WIPS when we got married. You welcomed my grandparents into your home. You brought the Walton amd Wilbur families together at the reunion in Alaska and kept the relationships strong. When Dusty, Angie and I became a family, you developed a special bond. Angie adored you and your undivided attention when you were together.

Thank you Suzy for your love, your smile, the sparkle in your eyes and for bringing Matt and Katy into our world. Thank you also for your love and devotion to my uncle Randy, to my mom Mary and my dad David, and to the bonds reforged between the Wilbur and Walton families. I love you and miss you.
Posted by Cara Hansen on July 10, 2021
I am fortunate to have a lifetime of memories of my Aunt Suzy, and I will cherish them forever. Summer trips to stay with the Wilbur’s were always full of adventure, such as zoo and seaworld outings, movies, bedtime stories, hikes, and breakfasts on the patio (Suzy’s Dutch babies will always top my list of favorite foods). More recently, Katy’s wedding and my own provided fantastic memories that I would not trade for anything. I will miss you and love you forever.
her Life

Suzy's Obituary

Suzanne LeClair Wilbur passed away on October 5th, 2020, from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Suzy was born July 11, 1954, in Rochester, New York to Richard and Marian LeClair, and moved to North Hollywood, California shortly thereafter. Another move saw her growing up in Los Altos, California. In her High School years, she moved with her family to La Jolla, California where she graduated from La Jolla High in 1972. Suzy was active in the Sun House youth program of the La Jolla Presbyterian Church, and United Youth Ministries, and participated in the very first pilot program of Summit Expedition, a 21-day backpacking wilderness program with a Christian emphasis. She completed the challenging program, developing a lifelong love of outdoor adventure, including backpacking, rock climbing, and cross-country skiing. She even celebrated her 60th birthday by skydiving. When her parents decided to move back to the Bay Area, Suzy resolved to stay in La Jolla on her own, having developed close ties with friends and her church. 

Being interested in Christian ministry and the arts, Suzy joined the Lamb’s Players, a Christian theater group. She raised her own financial support so she could tour full-time with the Lamb’s players mime troupe, “Hands and Feet.” Suzy remained active in the performing arts throughout her life continuing with the music ministry of the La Jolla Presbyterian Church, and later, the La Jolla Community Church. She toured with a memorable production of “Godspell” and performed in community theater, including Lamb’s Players Theater, Scripps Community Theater, and Octad One Productions. She also did voiceover and acted for numerous industrial videos.

After a 3-year friendship and engagement, Suzy married Bertrand (Randy) Wilbur on December 7th, 1975, and being lovers of the Sierra, they honeymooned in a wintry Yosemite Valley. They were best friends and loving partners for nearly 45 years, raising two wonderful children, Matthew, born in 1981 and Kathryn in 1988. Suzy was an involved mom, always active in the kids’ schools through PTA, special events, and in particular, using her performing and voice talents to read stories to various classrooms including Matt’s and Katy’s. She shared many school outings with her kids including hikes, field trips and extended adventures to Jamestown, and even the Amazon.

Suzy’s working career restarted when she volunteered as a Docent with the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve in Poway. She quickly developed special relationships with staff, donors, and other Docents as she helped with nature walks, special events and educating the public. Attendees to Blue Sky’s Halloween “Hoot, Howl & Prowl” walks will remember her performances as the Black Widow Spider. And who could forget her hilarious mop-headed character, Roadkill Ruthie that would appear during Blue Sky campfire programs? Suzy went on to work full-time at Blue Sky as an assistant interpreter. While at Blue Sky, she developed “Snake Sense,” a popular educational program about the indigenous snakes of San Diego. At one point Suzy had eighteen snakes caged in her family room—including three rattlesnakes—that she used for her presentations.

Suzy then moved on to Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) where she worked in the Camp/Climb Department. She used her own outdoor experiences to help fellow adventurers outfit themselves for their next trip. Suzy continued working and earning both peer and customer recognition until her then-undiagnosed symptoms made it impossible to do so. Over the fourteen years she worked at REI, she developed close friendships with a number of other REI employees, forming what became MAWU (Middle-Aged Women Unite). This small group of amazing women hiked, skied, rafted, and pampered together for many years, and formed lifelong bonds of shared adventure and sisterhood.

Suzy and her husband, Randy were fortunate to be able to have special adventures with extended family, friends and as a couple. She enjoyed many flower hunting trips to the Anza Borrego desert, backpacking, camping and skiing in the High Sierra, touring Alaska, Ireland, England and more. Because of a generation’s old Wilbur connection to the Walton family in Southeast Alaska, Suzy was adopted by the Eagle Wolf Clan and given the Tlingit name, Kaax'achtuk'aax (phonetically it's “kak ash tu gock” with a throaty guttural sound on the last syllable). Of course, Suzy pronounced it beautifully!

Although Suzy was limited by ALS, she and Randy spent two months on the road, taking a 7,000 mile RV trip through the mountains and National Parks of the west, all the way to Jasper National Park in Canada. In true Suzy fashion, she was not going to let her ALS breathing problems keep her from attending niece Cara’s high-altitude wedding in Colorado, nor from topping out at over 13,000 feet on the Imogene Pass Jeep Trail. The highlight of Suzy’s final years was Katy’s marriage to Armin Quintanilla in June of 2019. Suzy was determined to be able to walk down the aisle on Matt’s arm—a feat made possible by Suzy’s resolve and Katy and Armin’s efforts to accelerate their wedding plans.

Anyone that had the joy of knowing Suzy knew that her Christian faith was at the center of her being. To her, Jesus was far more than a Sunday morning thought—Jesus was a living presence in her life. She lived her faith through love and action, whether it be rebuilding houses in Biloxi after Hurricane Katrina, supporting third-world children, weaving sleeping mats for the homeless, or opening her heart to those in need through the military ministry at the La Jolla Community Church. She was thankful for supportive relationships in her Bible study group and church small group. Much of Suzy’s worship centered around song. She had a beautiful voice and she loved to sing praises in the church’s choir and worship band. Tragically, it was in her voice that ALS symptoms first appeared, eventually stealing her gift of song entirely. Though she could no longer talk, walk, or eat, she continued to inspire others with her remarkable faith and courage.

Suzy is survived by her son, Matthew, daughter Kathryn, son-in-law Armin, husband Randy, and her older siblings Bob, Becky, and Lynellyn. Her ashes will be scattered in her beloved High Sierra.

Recent stories

Memorial Speech from July 10, 2021

Shared by Matthew Wilbur on July 15, 2021
I wanted my earliest memory of my mom to be a heartwarming anecdote of Suzy’s little boy doing something to make her smile with pride, but recall is a funny thing, isn’t it? So here it is… I was two years old, standing at the foot of my crib at our old home in Claremont with my hands on the rails. Mom had momentarily stepped out of the room. Now, babies soil themselves all the time but are not really cognizant of the act or its consequences. At this moment however, I must have just reached that next tier of mental development because for the first time, I was consciously experiencing every step of the process. I was so focused and fascinated by it that I was willing to endure the imminent reaction from my poor mother. This was also the first time I remember understanding causality: Mom instructs me to alert her when it’s potty time. Instead I do the opposite by pooping my diaper and saying nothing. So Mom comes back all exasperated about having to change my diaper once again. How curious…new data stored!

Subsequent years brought many fine, albeit less pungent memories involving Mom that stay with me to this day. Family camping in Mammoth, Easter egg hunting in Borrego desert, watching her stellar performances in community theater, and story time reading to my elementary school classes in 3rd and 4th Grade. I also remember her gift for the performing arts and love for the natural world extending to her educational and entertaining Snake Sense presentations to my class. From backpacking in the Eastern Sierra Nevada to whitewater rafting the Great American and Merced rivers to ice climbing in Lee Vining Canyon (even after recovering from a badly broken wrist), it was a privilege to share many such adventures with her. All of these experiences and more will remind me of what I loved best about my ol’ mum.

In person she was one of the most genuine, generous, welcoming, warm, compassionate, empathetic, and trusting people one could ever know, and a gift for a son who often struggled to love himself. From her I learned that love does not mean a sustained level of intense liking or affection. She showed me that love is the willingness to sacrifice for the wellbeing of another regardless of the moods between. Love takes work, but it is the kind of work she was driven to do. She demonstrated this toward me countless times while I was growing up—perhaps more than I think I deserved. As I grew older and developed my own perspective of the world, we had our differences, often regarding faith. However, I respected her sincerity and true good will. In a world full of religious hypocrisy, she did not just preach about a gospel of love, charity, tolerance, and compassion, she lived every word of her faith and gave selflessly. She embraced and was generous with those who did not think or believe or look as she did. If there is indeed a prosperous afterlife that awaits, she has more than earned her place. 

With that in mind, it would seem an injustice that she would be stricken by one of the most mysterious of illnesses, but as we know, the universe does not play favorites. After her diagnosis with ALS almost three years ago, we all immediately knew that her time would be short. The worst part of it was to see her suffer as it slowly progressed throughout her body, taking her ability to walk, speak, and even hug. In spite of all of this, my dad exemplified himself as her champion, her steadfast caretaker, and her travel partner as they ticked off various locations on her bucket list. What impressed me the most throughout this whole ordeal was how the disease never took away her mind or her character. She was always herself, grateful for what and who she had, as warm and loving as ever. Even when she could no longer speak or leave her wheelchair, her intentions still shone through her smile and text emojis. When the time finally came for her, she was more than ready to go and it happened just as she wished—at home with my dad and sister and I around her, just the four of us together. As we held her hands and stroked her hair, she took her last breath and we said goodbye. I realize that it was a privilege to be there in that moment and have that closure because it is not an opportunity that everyone gets.

The only permanence in the universe is its impermanence. Our bodies and minds are destined to be fleeting. Literally made of stardust, we are the universe made conscious, and to stardust we must return. Our lasting legacy are the impact and memories we leave behind in others. We never stop missing those we have loved and lost, but that is natural and alright because out of that grief inevitably comes the important memories that help shape who we are; moments of sorrow and laughter, fear and security, disappointment and encouragement, wild adventures and hard lessons, failures and successes—even those seemingly bland day-to-day memories that simply remind us of being together. And yes, that includes dealing with two-year olds filling the diapers you just changed a minute ago…Thanks again, Mom. I love you and Godspeed.

Remarks from Suzy's Memorial Service July 10, 2021

Shared by Randy Wilbur on July 15, 2021
My first memory of Suzy was early in 1973, at the contemporary worship service at the La Jolla Presbyterian Church. I was all of 19, she was 18. Suzy was part of a youth choir called “Celebration Company.” I didn’t know her at the time, but I’m pretty sure I noticed her from afar. I had dated a girl named Faith Snyder a few times who was also active in the church. We had planned to go to Disneyland, and I wanted to find dates for my two buddies so we could all go together. Faith suggested her best friend might be willing to go and she pointed her out at the church service. It was Suzy! Well, the Disneyland trip went off as planned, but not quite as I had expected. As the six of us cavorted around the magic kingdom, I began to fall for Suzy—big time. By the time we got home I was helplessly besotted. What an awkward situation! There was nothing for it, so I had to tell Faith. She was nice about it but warned me that Suzy would not be pleased that I was dumping her best friend. Being a socially inept klutz, I told Faith that I was going over to Suzy’s house the next day to declare my love. Little did I know that Faith immediately warned Suzy that “someone she knew” was going to lay out his heart to her the next day. Poor Suzy. Her stunning blue eyes grew wide as I confessed my love as she slowly realized that her mystery admirer was me. It didn’t go well, but I was in it for the long haul. Our friendship grew as we palled around in our group of church friends. When I’d get up the courage to say, “I love you,” she’d respond, “Thanks.” Apparently, when her father was asked by a friend how his daughter was doing, he replied, “Oh fine, she has a boy who asks her to marry him every other week.” When I got word that Suzy had been asked out on a date by someone else, I went into overdrive. I stayed up all night, created an elaborate slide show with music and everything declaring my love once again. I’d probably be arrested now, but I actually waited outside her little duplex on Draper Avenue shivering in the dark until she and her date came back. I was horrified when she invited him in! Finally, he left and as Suzy would tell it later, there was a knock at the door, and she opened it to see me standing there holding media equipment. I said, “Wait here,” and went back to my truck for another load. That show had to have been the corniest thing ever, but eventually I must have done something right because on July 6th we shared our first kiss.
Our original wedding date was to be July 6th, 1975, but Suzy wasn’t sure and postponed it. I was terrified, but our relationship handled the rough spot and we rescheduled for December 7th. As she’d tell it, she woke up that morning full of faith, convinced that the marriage was right. I woke up anxious and miserable, convinced I was making the worst mistake of my life. Standing there in front of pastor Gordy Hess and a church full of smiling people I remember thinking, “Say something encouraging Gordy!” I was anxious for days, even as we honeymooned in a wintry Yosemite Valley. Suzy, knew something was up and confronted me as we sat on a snow-covered stump in front of the visitor center. I fessed up to my worries, not knowing what she would do. We were alone, and it was so quiet—just the soft wind in the trees. Then with that quiet understanding of hers that would come to reassure me so many times over so many years, she said, “Oh, Randy, it’s okay. We’ll work on it together, and the Lord will be with us.” At that moment I knew we really were going to be okay, and indeed, we were.
That was so typical of Suzy. When the going got rough, her shining light carried us through all the trials and tribulations that life brings to couples. Even at the end, it was her love, her strength, her faith—her light—that carried us through. During her last weeks, we listened to books by C. S. Lewis, “A Grief Observed” being one. In it he writes that he liked to think that the loss of his precious love was a fork in the road; she took one path, he the other, but… they were both continuing the journey, nonetheless. 
I am so very grateful for Suzy and that we shared so much on our journey together for so many years. Godspeed on your new path my love.

Best Mother Ever

Shared by Juan Alvarez on July 10, 2021
Suzy was more than a friend/coworker. She adopted me into her family from day one. We met at REI and our bond became very strong. She shared with me the love of a mother I lost when I was 14. She always checked up on me, corrected me and simply showed me such love that is unmatched. Her last text we shared showed me how much she cares. Despite her circumstances, her text was simply..."what can I pray for you today?". Suzy I Love you, I miss you, but most importantly, Thank You for being such a positive example in my life. You are For ever in my heart.