It is with great sadness that the family of Susan Suek (Harrison) announce her passing on July 20th, 2019. She died peacefully, supported by family, which was her great hope.
Susan was born in the midst of harvest season on September 7th, 1955 in Moosomin, Saskatchewan. She completed the family of sister Carol (’42), brother Sinclair (‘44), and Joan (‘54) 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 in 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. In 1977, Susan married John MacDonald and they built a house on the Co-operative Farm north of Loon Lake, Saskatchewan. During this time Susan worked as a bank teller, waitress, park attendant and teacher’s assistant as well as doing some traveling.
Susan returned to the University of Saskatchewan in 1984, and completed her Bachelor of Education in 1987 with a special emphasis in Native Studies. She and John were formally divorced in 1986. After graduation, Susan returned to Loon Lake and soon began her teaching career with the Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation (MSFN). Susan and Alden Suek formalized their relationship by marrying in 1987. Their twin sons, Logan and Spencer, were born in 1992. Susan 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, which has been their home since 2002. Susan and Alden cooked many great meals together and regularly 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. Fun at the beach and camping trips were an important part of summer as the boys grew up.
Susan returned to teaching at the MSFN school in 2001, initially as the Grade 3 teacher, and then as the Home Ec/commercial cooking instructor for many years. Her last teaching assignment was as a teacher-librarian, a role that 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 Celebration of Life service will be held on September 7, 2019, at 11 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.
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