Susan Gail Oja died peacefully in the early morning of July 11, 2019 of complications from cancer which she courageously battled for 5 years.
Susan was born in Hibbing, Minnesota to Norman and Marcia Oja. She moved with her family to St. Augustine, Florida at the age of four. After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in speech pathology, Susan moved to Washington state as a Vista volunteer where she made deep and lasting friendships. She went back to school at Western Washington University and received an additional degree in education.
Teaching was Susan’s passion. She began her 39 years teaching elementary students in Stevenson, WA, moved on to teach on Bainbridge Island and then finally taught in Marysville. She had an amazing talent for connecting with her students and instilling in them a love of learning.
When she wasn’t preparing lesson plans for her classes she loved to garden, kayak, hike, take photographs of nature and participate in triathlons and book clubs, always with a faithful canine companion by her side to share her adventures.
Susan was predeceased by her father, Norman. She is survived by her mother, Marcia; brothers, Leslie and Greg; sister, Sandra; brother in law, Don; and nephews, Micah and Martin; all of Florida; as well as a number of aunts, uncles and cousins. She also left behind many cherished friends here in Washington.