Suzanne Marie Mason Harlan passed away the morning of what would have been her mother’s 105th birthday, June 9, 2017, at the Hospice Care Center in Longview, WA.
Suzanne was born to Everett Dale Mason, and Helen Frances Parton Blackburn on April 7, 1934, in Albany, OR. Her father was born in Iowa, raised in Peoria, OR, and her mother was born and raised in Albany. ‘Suzie’ and her mother left Albany together and moved to Raymond, WA, when Suzanne was very young. Her mother Helen married again in 1938 to William Bennos, and Suzie was blessed with a brother, Paul William in 1939, and a sister, Frances Georgia in 1941.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Marion Lewis Harlan (2013); her mother, Helen Frances Parton Blackburn Simmons (1986); her father, Everett Dale Mason (1949); the father who raised her, William Paul Bennos (1970); her brother, Paul William Bennos (1995); and a nephew, Danny Lee Johannes (1999).
She leaves her sister, Frances Georgia Bennos Torres (Miguel); her widowed sister-in-law, Marjorie Ann Walker Bennos of Mesa, AZ; four children, Mary Frances Harlan, Deborah Ann Burns (Boyd), Suzanne “Marie” Job, and Marilyn Louise Brock (Bruce); seven grandchildren, Melisa, Crystal in Florida, Bruce, Christopher, Sarah, Seth, and Marshall; six great-grandchildren, Jackson, Grayson, Brooke, Jordenn, Mason, and Jayden; seven nieces and nephews, Miguel, Carmen, Karla, Georgia, Victoria, Randy, and Jimmy; and many nieces and nephews from her husband Marion Harlan’s family.
Suzie knew no strangers, and taught her children compassionate service through example. She was a switchboard operator when she met Marion Harlan. Marion didn’t remember meeting Suzie until he saw her scrubbing floors. He said to himself, “I’m going to marry that girl.” They married March 6, 1953, in Aberdeen, spent their honeymoon in Kelso, WA, and remained there to raise their children.
Suzie did a great deal of volunteer work throughout her life, including volunteering for FISH. Sometimes Suzie and Marion invited strangers from the Kelso Greyhound bus station home for Sunday dinner, returning them in time to catch the next bus.
She was blessed to be a stay at home mom until Marion had a heart attack in 1977, and Suzie went to work cleaning homes, creating her own business called Suzie Sweeper. Even after her debilitating stroke in 2008, she lovingly cared for Marion to some extent before he passed away in 2013. Since her stroke she could not talk, but remained clear-minded and was quick to always praise God for her blessings. Suzie had a pure vocal tune. She couldn’t speak the words, but still hummed the church hymns beautifully. She taught her daughters the pure love of Christ by her example.