Keith & Keith Funeral Home
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our mother, wife, Grammy winner, sister, aunt and dear friend Susan Lee Putman, 71, on April 12, 2022.
Susan was born on October 16, 1950 to Beverly St. George and Paul Arnold in Yakima WA at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. She was the eldest of 5 children – her brother Greg, her twin sisters Merry and Terry and her younger brother Kirk.
As many already know, when you met Susan there was something different and special about her. At age 4, she contracted the polio virus before the vaccine was developed. She was a survivor and persevered through the many physical challenges she faced in the years to come with post-polio. But that didn’t stop her as polio was just the start of her journey – a roadmap that would define her life and, against all medical odds, make her the strong woman and mother that she is. become.
Susan grew up in Sunnyside, WA. She attended K-12 schools where she met her best friends Judy, Linda, and her first husband. In September 1973, she welcomed her first daughter, Jennifer. In 1975 she met her second husband Craig Putman and married on June 19, 1976. Together they raised Jennifer and Craig’s oldest daughters, Julie and Shannon, in Wapato, WA. In June 1979, Susan and Craig welcomed their first wild child together, Travis (Rachel.) In February 1983, their surprise youngest daughter Jessica (Ryan) was born.
Over the past 46 years of marriage to Craig, Susan has had a “fruitful” life. She was caretaker/accountant for her grandparents, Nellie and Norman Byrd for many years, living next door to them and the orchards. In 1996, Susan took a leap of faith and decided to take over the formerly owned Norman company, Inland Fruit. There, Susan flourished and loved every second of being a businesswoman. She touched many lives during her tenure as President until it was time for her to retire this season of her life. Susan has also been very active in the community with Wapato Presbyterian Church, Logos Program and Turkey Dinner, Wapato Swim Team, Wapato Schools, Blue Birds, and various charitable and scholarship programs.
In retirement, Susan was able to enjoy family, friendships, being a grandmother, volunteering for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, traveling, art, meetings, dating, Christmas, shopping at TJ Maxx, cooking /baking, his favorite shows, Fambam texts, Mexican train nights and being a Grammy to his youngest grandchild, Ewan. Even though the world was in the midst of a pandemic, she was able to spend the last 2 years of her life spending time at home to protect and play with her new grandson who moved in next door. He was her ray of sunshine and kept her alive every day, even when she was sick and in bed with a broken leg.
Susan is survived by her husband Craig, her daughter Jennifer Putman, her daughter Jessica Gormley (Ryan), her stepdaughter Rachel Putman-Macias (Shane), her grandson Ewan Gormley, her stepdaughters Julie Cardenas and Shannon Leonardson , her sister Terry Fischer (Tom), her sister Merry Donahue (Pat), her sister-in-law Sue Montgomery (Kirk), several special nieces and nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom she loved very much.
Susan is predeceased by her grandparents, her mother Beverly Montgomery and her stepfather, Donald Montgomery, her father Paul Arnold, her brothers Greg Arnold and Kirk Montgomery and her son Travis Putman.
There are so many things to say about Suzanne. If you were lucky enough to know her, you would know immediately that she was a fighter, a survivor, and someone who loved fiercely. She was an advocate for her children and protected them against any obstacles they would face. She loved and cared for many people in her life, including all the friends and pets her children would bring home. Mom lived her life so full of grace, daring, stubbornness, quick wit and wisdom. We are heartbroken and will miss her terribly because the world has lost such a beautiful light.
We would like to thank the first responders, Yakima Memorial Hospital, and their special caregivers Maggie and Tina who were a wonderful gift to our family.
A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, June 19, 2022 at 2 p.m. at the Putman House in Wapato, WA.
A private interment will be held near the grave of immediate family and close friends at Tahoma Cemetery. Please donate to the Make-A-Wish AK&WA Foundation in his honor. To leave a memory for the family, visit keithandkeith.com.