Susan’s parents were Glenn and Glenna Hauenstein. She had two brothers, Roger and Philip and a sister, Marjory.
When she was a few months old the family moved to Grandpa Hauenstein’s farm between Sedro-Woolley and Mount Vernon, where she got to know lots of chickens, turkeys and cows and Hauenstein cousins.
She attended Kindergarten at the small Clear Lake Elementary School. Then, in 1966, the family moved to Oroville, Washington where she completed the next 12 years.
She set goals for herself at an early age. She never let being deaf in her left ear slow her down. Always an excellent student, she graduated co-valedictorian of the class of 1978 and continued to be on the Honor Roll in college.
She attended Washington State University and graduated with a degree in Zoology in 1982. While there she especially enjoyed playing saxophone in the WSU Marching Band. Also, while attending WSU she met Robert Kelly, her future husband. On June 21, 1986, they were married at the United Methodist Church in Oroville.
They made their home in Spokane for a while, then Wilbur. She taught for a year in Othello and a year at Tohomish, finally making their permanent home in Stanwood, Washington where Susan taught mostly Biology and Chemistry. She was proud of having started an Honor Society group and was their advisor until a year ago.
On the Fourth of July, 1994, their son, Shawn, was born, followed by Alex on October 14, 1996. Between those years she was also working on a Master’s Degree in Biology, which she received from EWU.
Susan especially enjoyed flower gardening, and when she found time for it, she liked to do crafts. One was very unique. She cut beautiful paper snowflakes with a person’s name cut into the design. Many friends and coworkers received one of these personalized gifts.
Both of their boys were special needs children. Susan and Robert were very devoted to helping in their progress. They tried to make ordinary activities like baths and bedtimes, rides in the car and walks, fun and learning experiences. There were lots of watching Blue’s Clues and Veggie Tales and a favorite time was playing card and board games.
The “boys” have grown into fine young men. Shawn drives south to work at Home Depot near Marysville. Alex is a WSU grad and he also was in their Marching Band. He now works at the Lowe’s store in Mount Vernon. The boys arranged their work schedules so that they were able to spend time caring for their mom in her last weeks. She was so proud of the three men in her life.
Robert, Shawn, Alex and all of us will miss Susan very much. We are glad that she is now free of pain. We know that she is smiling and watching over us from her new home above.
A celebration of life for Susan will be held later in the spring.