December 2, 1938 - June 21, 2022
Susanne Louise Nordquist
December 2, 1935 – June 21, 2022
Susanne Louise Nordquist, 83, of Portland, Oregon passed away on June 21, 2022 in her home following complications from a broken hip in early December 2021.
Susanne was born on December 2, 1938 in Forest Grove, Oregon, daughter of Kenneth and Verna Ing. She grew up in Gaston, Oregon with her older brother George. At Gaston Grade School, thanks to her brother’s teaching, she went to three days of 1st grade and then moved up to 2nd grade. Starting at the age of seven and every summer after in Gaston, she picked berries, onions, weeds, beans, and stripped hops in Newberg. For the rest of her life she loved working in her yard.
The family moved to Portland where she attended Lincoln High School from 10th to 12th grade. In 1956 she attended Portland State University to study Secretarial Science but attended less than one year because of her mom’s failing health.
Starting in the summer of 1956 she worked as a secretary/typist for Bardsley & Haslacher, a newspaper/political opinion research firm. In 1957 she helped set up a new branch of B & H in Palo Alto, CA.
In December of 1955, she met Wayne Oscar Nordquist who taught her how to play pinochle, a game she enjoyed for the rest of her life. They were engaged in November 1957 and got married on May 2, 1958 at Advent Christian Church in Portland. A few weeks after the wedding, her mother Verna passed away. Wayne’s job took them to Salem, Oregon for a year where she was a secretary/administrative assistant at the State of Oregon Motor Vehicle Department. A year later they moved back to Portland where she worked as a secretary for White Stag, a clothing manufacturer.
Susanne became a full-time mom in 1962 when daughter Korina was born. In December of 1963 they moved into their home on Siskiyou St., where she lived for 49 years. Daughter Katrina was born in 1964, and then son Eric in 1969. In 1970, when her children were ages 8, 6 and 8 months old, Wayne died in a car accident. Susanne never remarried.
In 1971, she went back to work part-time at Bardsley’s as a statistical typist for 6 years and then Moss Adams Accounting Firm as a secretary for another 6 years. From 1983 to 1990 she was an administrative assistant and then a Licensed Funeral Director at Corinthian Funeral Home. From 1990 to 2006 she worked at Holman’s Funeral Home. For several years she worked as a caregiver and companion for a few elderly women. She also volunteered at elementary schools as a reading tutor.
Grace Presbyterian Church was her church home for over 60 years. She served as an Elder for several terms and Clerk of Session for 12 years. Her dear friends in the congregation supported her through all her life. Annual women’s retreats at Camp Adams and summer camping trips to Cape Lookout were always a highlight.
Travel was one of her favorite things to do, especially with her children and grandchildren. Susanne was a wonderful traveling companion and she made a new friend everywhere she went, especially on planes, trains and buses. Her favorite place to go was the Oregon Coast. Her other adventures included: Disneyland (honeymoon), England (father’s birthplace), South Dakota (Wayne’s birthplace), Calgary (cousins), Hawaii, the Oregon Trail, cruises to Alaska/Caribbean/Panama Canal, Moab, Yellowstone, Boston, New York, Washington DC, Disney World, San Diego, San Francisco, Idaho, Vancouver B.C., Wenatchee, Crater Lake, Sunriver, Lake Chelan, Crescent City, Columbia River Gorge and many more.
Gaston was a small community and over the years she enjoyed attending many school reunions with her classmates. She always considered herself a country girl, even after living in Portland for most of her life.
Connecting with people was her true love and she was a very good listener. Some of her favorite things included: playing pinochle and other games for hours with friends and at the Hollywood Senior Center, always keeping her fingernails painted pink, being at the ocean, enjoying the view on car rides, reading the Oregonian (or any newspaper), and eating chocolate with almonds. She always managed to find the good in difficult situations and was always delighted with the simple things.
Susanne was preceded in death by her parents, her brother and her husband. Survivors are her children Korina (Robert), Katrina (Brad), and Eric (Heather); grandchildren Rebecca (Matthew), Kristina (Clay), Benjamin and Christopher; greatgrandchildren Oliver, Elliott and one more due in October. Lots of people outside of her immediate family knew and loved her as Grandma Susanne.
There will be a private burial at Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon. Memorial donations may be made to Grace Presbyterian Church.