Suzanne Rose, formerly of Okanogan, died in her sleep the morning of Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012 at her home in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. She was 73 years old.
Suzanne was born in Santa Monica, Calif., to parents, Simeon and Catherine Zane.
Her life was by no means easy. Both of her parents died by the time she reached her 30s. Her first marriage ended in divorce, leaving her to care for her young son, Jeffrey Pal, by herself. Her second marriage to Gerald VanderWeide was a happy one and they were blessed with a son, Gerald (Jay) VanderWeide, Jr. Unfortunately, Gerald VanderWeide died unexpectedly after 7 years of marriage, leaving her alone again, this time with two boys.
Suzanne married Howard Rose in 1974 and settled in Brewster, Wash. Suzanne worked for many years as the bookkeeper for the Quick E Marts of Okanogan, Brewster and Bridgeport and was nick-named “Sunshine Sue.” After she and Howard retired, they split their time between Lake Havasu and Washington State. They remained happily married for 38 years, and Howard cared for her until her death. Suzanne embraced Howard’s son, daughter, and grandchildren as family.
The hardships Suzanne experienced gave her a fighting spirit and a vibrant personality. She was spunky, feisty, and the definition of sarcastic. Her stubborness was as endearing as it was exasperating. She had a quick wit and a biting tongue, and yet she also had a soft side. She was a romantic, and cried during sappy movies or when saying goodbye to relatives.
Suzanne was a rebellious Catholic school girl who never lost her faith in God. When frustrated, she performed the Sigh of the Cross and said, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph” emphatically. She was also known to say: “Lord love a duck,” throwing her arms up in the air. She liked to amuse her family and had a flair for the dramatic.
Suzanne loved taking care of her husband, sons, and grandchildren. She also loved to golf and cook, and her apple pie and Thanksgiving feasts were legendary. When her sons or grandchildren had a sporting event, she was there, cheering them on. She always called her sons on their birthdays and teased them about getting older.
She was affectionately known as “Gammy” to her five grandchildren, Samantha, Kelsey, Jason, Justin and Vanessa. She was the type of grandmother who would give her grandchildren Twix bars and Mountain Dew, unbeknownst to their parents. She would buy them Skittles and give them rolls of quarters to spend on games and rides at the Apple Valley Inn. She spoiled them rotten, and they loved her for it. Gammy teased her grandchildren about the opposite sex, took them shopping for outfits their parents wouldn’t approve of, and taught them how to play complicated card games.
There are many things her family and friends will miss...how she walked quickly, with a purpose; her bright pink lipstick, which she applied in one quick swipe between her lips; her voice on the other end of the phone line; her warm chuckle; the flowery, powdery scent of her perfume; and her annual birthday cards, always early. But most of all, they will miss her.
Suzanne Rose is survived by her husband, Howard Rose of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; and her sons, Jeffrey Pal of Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Jay Vanderweide of Okanogan; stepson, Steven Rose of Phoenix, Ariz.; and stepdaughter, Susie Redman of Conroe, Texas; and her grandchildren, Samantha Pal Frazier, Kelsey Pal George, Jason VanderWeide, Justin VanderWeide, Vanessa VanderWeide, Brett Redman, Garrett Redman, Kevin Rose and Melissa Rose.
A private service for Suzanne Rose will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made in Suzanne’s name to a charity of your choice.