September 7, 1955 – July 20, 2019
It is with great sadness that the family of Susan Suek (Harrison) announce her passing on July 20, 2019. She died peacefully, supported by family, which was her great hope.
Susan was born in the midst of harvest season on September 7, 1955 in Moosomin, SK. She completed the family of sister Carol (1942), brother Sinclair (1944), and Joan (1954) born to Lillian (Ireton) and Joseph Harrison. Susan spent her first 18 years living on the family farm north of Moosomin. Her childhood was shaped by the family’s involvement with farming, co-operatives, the United Church, family gatherings and local community events. By her early teens Susan was already actively pursuing her lifelong interests in art, music, gardening, reading, cooking and sewing. During her Moosomin school years, Susan excelled as a student and made life long friends. Her interest in First Nations culture and history began when two young teachers of Cree heritage, Andrew and William George, taught her in junior high school.
After graduating from High School in Moosomin, she attended the University of Saskatchewan for one year and then decided to enter the workforce. She moved to the Loon Lake, SK. area and was a founding member of Quanta Co-operative Farm. During this time Susan worked as a bank teller, waitress, park attendant and teacher’s assistant as well as doing some traveling.
In 1984, Susan returned to the University of Saskatchewan to complete her Bachelor of Education in 1987 with a special emphasis in Native Studies. After graduation, Susan returned to Loon Lake and soon began her teaching career with the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation (MSFN).
Susan and Alden Suek were married in 1987. Their twin sons, Logan and Spencer, were born in 1992 and Susan then spent several years focusing her time and energy on being a parent and assisting with community projects, particularly with a group called Communities Hand in Hand which sought to foster communication and activities between all people living in the Loon Lake area.
Susan and Alden’s home was a multigenerational one for many years, with Al’s mother Betty being a welcome and cherished part of the household until her death. One of the major projects Alden and Susan undertook together was the design and construction of a house on an acreage near Loon Lake where they have made their home since 2002. Susan and Alden cooked many great meals together and invited others to join them. There were often additional ‘sons’ spending time at their house.
Reading was a passion shared by all in the household. Susan, Al and the twins spent many happy weekends camping and canoeing as a family and with friends. Spencer and Logan gained wilderness experience from these trips which prepared them for work, study and travel opportunities that came their way. Logan is now a geologist; Spencer has extensive training and work experience as a diver.
Susan returned to teaching at the MSFN school in 2001, initially to teach Grade 3, then many years as the Home Ec/commercial cooking instructor. Her last teaching assignment was as a teacher librarian, a role which she truly loved despite some interesting computer challenges.
Susan dealt with cancer intermittently from 2012 until her death. She faced this with an inspiring mix of courage, determination, faith and good humour. Susan was very grateful to all who provided practical and prayer support for her throughout this time. She and other family members deeply appreciated the medical help she received in the last months of her life from hospital staff in Saskatoon and Meadow Lake and local palliative and home care nurses.
She will be deeply missed by her husband: Alden; sons: Spencer and Logan; sisters: Carol Halvorson (Ken) and Joan Harrison; brother: Sinclair Harrison (Gail);, sisters-in law: Linda (Doug) Martens, Sandy Suek (Charlie), Dolores Suek; and numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.
Susan was predeceased by her parents: Joseph and Lillian Harrison; father-in-law: John Suek; mother-in-law: Elizabeth Suek; and brothers-in-law: Mike Wilson (Joan) and Pat Henderson (Dolores).
A service to Remember Susan will be held on September 7, 2019 at 11:00 am at the Makwa Sahgaiehcan Community Hall with lunch to follow. In lieu of flowers, people are invited to make donations to Meadow Lake Hospital, World Vision, Calvary United Church (Loon Lake), Loon Lake Public Library or the charity of their choice.