Susan Kay Harris, age 71, died peacefully at home on May 23rd. She is survived by her children Sean (Courtney Harris-Campf), Colleen, Becky (RJ Masters), Marianne (Pat McGah), and CJ (Morgann Harris), six grandchildren, and her siblings Rita Meyers and Chuck Pepka. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Joseph, her parents Ruth and Ray Pepka, and her sister Rose Ann Hallett.
Sue was born in Kokomo, Indiana and moved with her family as an infant to Seattle. Raised in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, Sue attended St. Paul Catholic School, Forest Ridge, and Seattle University. Pepe, as she was known to her camp friends, loved her summers working at CYO camps and it was there that she met Joe.
After they were married in 1973 Sue and Joe moved to West Seattle to begin their family together. Sue remained a staple in the neighborhood, all the way until the end of her life. Sue loved that her house, “the big blue house,” was a place that everyone was welcomed, where people would gather together, and kids could often be heard playing on the third floor. Sue and her neighbor, long-time friend Teresa Brown, would always comment that between the two of them they collectively raised their nine kids.
Sue worked at Holy Rosary School for over 25 years as the school librarian. Sue loved Holy Rosary. She loved the people at Holy Rosary. She would always rave about the amazing teachers and staff she got to work with and how proud she was of all the school does. Everyone could count on Sue to have a good book recommendation and some M and M’s to share when they visited her in the library.
In the last three years, Sue was an absolute trooper as she dealt with stage 4 breast cancer and the intense pain that came with it. She was always someone who loved life, and she continued to love her life even through the chemo and treatments. During which, she took her whole family to Hawaii, traveled to Portugal for a cruise, continued to coach basketball at Holy Rosary, watched Survivor every week, and maintained a decades long love of the Mariners (especially Edgar!).
Sue was a constant caregiver and loved to be a host to whomever walked through her door even in her final days. She was happiest when talking to neighbors, students, life-long and new friends near and far, and above all spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.
The celebration of her life will be held at Holy Rosary Church at a later date once it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fr. Mallahan Endowment Fund at Holy Rosary School, a fund that Joe and Sue helped to create, or to Camp Gallagher or the Kaplan Cancer Research Fund.
Please share memories of Sue and condolences with her family on the Tribute Page located above.
Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services of West Seattle
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