Saturday, September 27, 2008

Remembering Susanne

Today is the two year anniversary of my dear friend Susanne's passing.

Susanne and I met as sophomore's in high school and our friendship continued through graduation, college, engagements, marriages, new jobs and new homes. She passed away when I was six months pregnant with Luke and my sadness today is not about where she is, but that we are without her. I know that she would have been an amazing "auntie" to Luke, as she prayed diligently for him and his heart after we got the news about his defect. Susanne was one of the most generous and thoughtful people I know and my heart clings today to the promise that we will see each other again in Heaven.

You are missed, loved and remembered, Susanne.


I wanted to post part of her obituary, that was beautifully written by her dad, Mike:


This is a story of faith — about a family who loves and serves God, and a story of Susanne Neil Scaringi: beloved Wife, Daughter, Sister, Niece, Cousin, Auntie and friend.

Many, many people called Susanne friend, but I prefer to just call her Nan. I am her father, the one who scolded her when she was bad, encouraged her, shaped her and molded her along with her mother with God's help into the bright and beautiful woman she had become until the Lord took her home on Wednesday morning last. I don't happen to believe in accidents because God is sovereign and if we don't serve a perfect God who knows the best way to bring about His perfect will, then this place on earth is more terrifying than any of us realized. But thank God that is not the case. God uses our suffering for good for those who know Him, and that my dear fiends gives me eternal peace.

Where do you start to explain to people about the love of a father and a daughter? At her wedding I described her as my Ferrari who I was always reluctant to have some kid ask to take for a spin. When she was one year old in 1980 she came down with meningitis and we thought we would lose her. That next year we did lose our third child, Ryan Neil, born Jan. 1, 1981 who lived six weeks. Having lost a little one and a big one, neither is easy: they are just different. You have the same hopes for them, but the memories of their life has a much different impact. We loved our daughter as we love our remaining son James and his wife Heather who will become much more than a daughter in-law to us now. When we got out of bed on Wednesday morning I had a son in-law, but on that day Tony became my son. I will be eternally grateful that God brought him to our family the way He did.

Susanne was an outdoor woman; I suppose she gets it from our family legacy passed on by her great-grandfathers. Susanne loved the mountains: she loved to trek, ski, run, swim, mountain climb, and cycle. She was an avid cyclist and bike-commuted to work most days. She climbed Mt. Rainier twice, summiting once, and she climbed Mt. Baker. She was a three year varsity runner at Rogers HS in Puyallup, a Heptathlete at CWU, did a triathlon with Team in Training in Maui 2003, and the Danskin in 2006, and ran numerous charity runs and half marathons. But her heart was in Christ and a ministry called YoungLife. She was a YoungLife leader in college and worked a summer at Beyond Malibu in 1998 where kids climb the 7,000 foot mountains from sea level for a mountain top experience.

Tony Scaringi came into her store to buy a jacket in the fall of 2001 and he had a Beyond Malibu hat on. She asked him if he had been there and his response was that he had been a guide for the last two years. They were married the following year.

Susanne had an incredible spirit and those who knew her will agree that they couldn't get enough of her infectious laugh, her caring manner, and bright eyes. I think everyone will remember her hair. She was the kind of girl who would do anything for a friend and making friends was her gift from God. She went to work for Outdoor Research in Seattle two years ago as a Customer Service Representative serving their international accounts. We know the kind of girl she was demonstrated by the 100 people in the waiting room at Harborview Hospital last Wednesday. We will miss her dearly but we have an assurance that we will be with her again in Paradise with Christ, and that, my friends, is our ultimate Joy.


  1. I just can't believe it has been 2 years. It still feels like it's not real.

  2. thanks for posting this, jess. i think about susanne all the time, and she frequently is in my dreams. i love you!