LaVerne "Sue" Loihl
Aug 24, 1928 – Mar 13, 2017
Style, intellect, compassionate, independent, and well-read are a few descriptors of LaVerne “Sue” Loihl, who passed away peacefully in her sleep March 13. Sue was born in Tacoma, Washington on August 24, 1928. Her father was a logger, however due to the slowing of the logging industry, they moved in with her mother’s parents on a farm in Toppinish. Sue’s mother was a teacher which her family was proud of. When Sue was five years old, her mother died from a complication of surgery. Her father then left to work on the Columbia River Dams leaving Sue with her grandparents.
At age thirteen, Sue’s dad returned for her, and they moved to Belfair where she attended Kitsap High School. During this time she fostered friendships that lasted through the years as they met annually to reconnect. Sue has stories to share about having electricity but no running water. She was thrilled to eventually move to Pullman with modern conveniences and pursue a major in interior design at WSU. Sue met her wonderful husband Frank here, and they were both true blue Cougars forever. Their friends from college remained a special part of Sue and Frank’s life throughout the years.
Sue and Frank moved to Spokane after graduation where Sue obtained her second bachelor’s degree in education and taught at Linwood Elementary. Spokane was a great place to start a family and three daughters were born during that happy time: Lark, Lynn and Lori. Eventually, with children ages 5-10 they moved to Seattle after Frank began work with Boeing. This included a transfer to New Orleans for three years during the Saturn booster construction and the family experienced first hand the turmoil of the mid 60’s before moving back to Seattle. Boy, did we all miss the cozy friendly city of Spokane-- especially Sue and the other young mothers she had become close to. We continue to enjoy these lasting friendships from those early years.
Being continually interested in learning and instituting new skill sets, Sue obtained her Librarianship Certification while teaching at White Center Heights Elementary which was a diversified population. She applied for, and received, federal grant money which she used to research and buy books about the countries that the students represented. A reception to display these resources was held at the library after the project was completed. Sue continued through life to support people in all walks of life and worked to promote their well-being. These are examples of Sue’s incredible ability to honor diversity, striving to understand others, and her love of learning. She worked tirelessly to create opportunities for her students and demonstrate love for them. Passion and perseverance, ‘grit,’ was the indomitable spirit within Sue.
When traveling with Sue, one could count on her research of the best places to eat, the best chocolate, museums, and remarkable sites. To her credit - she was exactly right 90% of the time! Sue was happy and vibrant when traveling. During the 70’s Sue traveled with Frank for business and they took their first Europe trip. After that, there was usually one or two trips in the works each year.
The family joined John Knox Presbyterian Church, and the spiritual growth of all members flourished under Pastor John Kopp. Daughters were married here, and bible studies were a part of Sue and Frank’s life as they solidified their close ties with other church members. Life was full and led largely by Sue’s love of being with people in church activities, bridge parties, at the theater, or in as many as 3 book clubs at one time!
After retirement, they moved to a beautiful condo on Alki Beach where they continued to entertain, enjoying visits from their three daughters and growing families. Even with increasing back pain at this time due to worsening scoliosis, Sue persevered with her activities with John Knox being involved in small groups and book clubs forging many close bonds with friends. Some of these dear people moved to Judson Park Retirement Home about the same time Sue did, after Frank passed on. There, in her new retirement apt, Sue continued to enjoy these loving friendships. They were a great comfort to Sue in a stressful time.
From Sue’s computer, even at age 88, she continued to reach out to all friends and families with emails filled with advice, God’s blessings, and gestures of love as a way of keeping in touch with her dear ones. It was her intense desire to be involved with all of their lives and provide help and reassurance where she could. She will be deeply missed by all.
This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.