Family and friends, Chehalis, the WSU Cougars and the Seattle Mariners had a great champion in Margaret Sue “Suzi” Vander Stoep. At the age of 97, Suzi passed away peacefully on May 8, 2022, after a perfect Mother’s Day.
Born in Seattle on April 17, 1925 to Effie McVicar and George Roy Hayne, Suzi was raised in Aberdeen. Suzi’s brother, Jack Hayne was an adored role model preceding her as a WSU student and teaching her how to track the stats of baseball games on the radio. Her grandfather John Hayne fought for the Union in the Civil War.
Suzi graduated from Aberdeen’s Weatherwax High School as World War II began. Suzi went to Pullman, joined the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, and studied history (a little bit). There she fell in love with James Andrew “Jim” Vander Stoep. The two were married in Longview on June 20, 1948. They moved to Eugene, Oregon where Suzi taught history to junior high school students, and Jim attended law school. With parents living in Longview and Lynden, Suzi and Jim hoped to settle along the Highway 99 (I-5) corridor. They chose Chehalis, where they happily lived the rest of their lives. In Chehalis, Westminster Presbyterian Church beckoned, and they committed their time and love to all aspects of life within the church community.
Arriving in Chehalis, Suzi went to work for the Chehalis Advocate, a weekly newspaper where she wrote the society column. Even before she had school-aged daughters, Suzi began 35-years of service as a Girl Scout leader. For 40 years, Suzi led a women’s Bible study group and gained inspiration from the women who were members of the St. Helen’s Club.
Suzi was an avid reader. She had a voracious appetite for books. She especially enjoyed non-fiction, history and social issues. Suzi loved being outdoors, digging clams, fishing, gardening and mushrooming. Her favorite place to read was on Orcas Island where she and Jim honeymooned and vacationed every summer thereafter. On the north beach of Orcas, Suzi taught her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to take long beach walks, dig clams and, most importantly, search for beach glass.
Suzi is survived by her children Ann Vander Stoep of Seattle, Johanna Vander Stoep (Eric Cederwall) of Bainbridge Island and J. Vander Stoep (E. Ann Vander Stoep) of Chehalis; six grandchildren Brook, Roxie, Jack, Bryn, Beth and Isabel; great-grandchildren Marley Mae, Selah, Sebastian, Thea, Angus, Juniper and Leo; and by nieces and nephews Mary, John, Alice and Nancy, Becky, Greg, Grant, and Corey. Suzi was preceded in death by her husband Jim and her brother Jack. Suzi’s caregivers, Lovejoy Schell and Barb Colombo, have been like family.
A celebration of Suzi’s life will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Monday, May 16 at 11 a.m.
flIn lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Westminster Presbyterian Church (P.O. Box 710, Chehalis, WA 98532), University of Livingstonia Foundation (P.O. Box 9276, Silver Springs, MD 20916), or the Chehalis Foundation (P.O. Box 1608, Chehalis, WA 98532).