The world lost a bright light and beautiful woman when Susan Elizabeth Stephens passed away suddenly on October 9, 2022, while visiting family in Eugene, Oregon.
Susan was born Susan Elizabeth Gayman on March 13, 1958, at Emmanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon to Danny and Jane Gayman the youngest of three children.
The family moved to Des Moines, Washington in 1963 where she attended school and made lifelong friends—“Great Friends” Tina, Diana, Jan, Terri, and Kathy. Susan developed a love of the outdoors during these years, and she often recounted Girl Scout campouts and family trips to the Oregon coast. She was a Girl Scout for ten years and often joyfully sang Girl Scout songs.
Susan was a foreign exchange student in Trinidad, Bolivia her junior year where she became fluent in Spanish a skill that served her well the rest of her life. She was baptized into the Catholic Church at Vicariato Apostolico Del Beni in Trinidad on May 18, 1975. She was a 1976 graduate of Mount Rainier High School where her English teacher Robert E. Kelly influenced her enormously. She always wrote well and spoke fondly of Mr. Kelly.
She married Allan Amende August 1, 1980, in South Seattle. This marriage lasted twenty-two years and resulted in three amazing children: Maureen, Jared, and Alex. The family moved to the Ephrata area in 1991 where Maureen and Jared graduated from high school.
She meets Dan Stephens in 2006 while working at Wenatchee Valley College. They are married on November 23, 2007, in Leavenworth. They spent many joyous years together camping, fishing, traveling, gardening, and dancing.
She is survived by her husband Dan Stephens, daughter Maureen Morrison (Mike), son Jared Amende (Sarah), beloved father Danny Gayman, sister Cynthia Gayman (Michael), brother John Gayman (Lori), cousin Kim Scheel (Chris) and her uncle Russel Bunch; as well as her grandchildren Clayton McNinch, David McNinch, Audrey McNinch, and Violet Amende.
She was preceded in death by her son Alex Amende, mother Jane Gayman, and Aunt Jo Bunch.
She was loved by many and will be greatly missed.
A Memorial Mass will be held November 18 at 11:00 at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 323 D Street SW, Ephrata, WA 98832, followed by a short processional and graveside service. Following the services everyone is invited to a memorial reception at the Ephrata Recreation Center at 112 Basin Street SW to enjoy memories of Susan and to celebrate her life. A more detailed memoriam can be found in the Wenatchee World and the Grant County Journal.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the American Federation for Suicide Prevention and use PO Box 1412 Orting, WA 98360 for the address asked for in the donation.