Susan Lee Houtby Lawrence, a native of Reedley, California, died in Olympia, Washington, on June 26, 2012. She was a special education teacher for the Montesano School District in Washington for the past thirty one years.
Susan was born in Reedley on May 27, 1950, to Kenneth R. and Virginia Milton Houtby and attended Reedley schools, including some Reedley College classes during her senior year at Reedley High School. After graduating from the University of California, Davis and graduate work from Fresno Pacific University, she taught in the Reedley and Selma school districts prior to her marriage in December of 1980 to Arthur S. Lawrence, a professional chef.
Art and Sue moved from California to Washington where they lived along the coast in the Grayland/Westport area near Aberdeen. In 1981, they opened their restaurant, “Arthur’s”, in Westport and Sue taught as well as made the desserts for the restaurant. They sold “Arthur’s “in the early 1990’s and Sue remained a special education teacher at Montesano Junior and Senior High School. Arthur died in 2010 and Sue continued teaching until her illness developed in April 2012. She died in June following coronary surgery. Her family is extremely grateful for the care she received from the medical and nursing staff at Providence St. Peter’s Hospital in Olympia.
Susan is survived by her mother, Virginia Houtby of Reedley; her sister, Cheryl Redgate (Patrick) of Long Beach, Calif.; her brother, Kenneth M. Houtby (Julie) of Fortuna, Calif.; as well as her beloved nieces and nephews, Brittany Redgate Borcherdt (Ryan), Christopher Redgate, John Houtby, Andrew Houtby (fiancé Alyssa Nichols) and Ryan Houtby (Marci). In addition, Sue and Art were devoted to, and leave behind, their loyal dogs, Jemyma and Tuffy. Susan is also survived by several cherished aunts, uncles and cousins and felt blessed to have many treasured friends in Washington, considering them to be a part of her extended family. She was preceded by her husband of 30 years, Arthur who passed away on December 31, 2010; and her father, Kenneth R. Houtby.
Susan had a deep commitment to her students and made a difference in the lives of so many throughout her teaching career. Her sense of humor was wonderful and her capacity to love limitless. She will be missed dearly.
An informal memorial service honoring Sue and Art will be held on the beach in Grayland, Washington at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 4, 2012, at the end of Grayland Beach Road. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made for the Susan Lawrence Memorial Scholarship, c/o Lori Benedict, Montesano High School, 303 N. Church, Montesano, Washington, 98563.
To sign the online book of memories please visit www.harrisonfamilymortuary.com