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07/13/1940 — 04/28/2021
From Richland, WA
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Celebration of Life
Sue Heckard Giese, 80, of Richland, WA passed away peacefully April 28, 2021 at Richland’s Guardian Angel Homes. Sue was born July 13, 1940 in Longview, WA, the eldest of 4 children born to Ken and Aggie Heckard. In 1944 the family moved from Cathlamet, WA to Long Beach, WA. Sue cherished her childhood growing up on the Long Beach Peninsula.
After attending Long Beach Grade School, Sue graduated as salutatorian of Ilwaco High School’s class of 1958. Pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher, Sue enrolled at Seattle University. There she earned her AA degree and teaching certificate. In 1965 she began teaching first grade at Chinook Elementary in Auburn, WA.
Sue met Erich Giese of Seattle while attending a “Never on Fridays” singles dance. On March 21, 1970 they married at Holy Family Catholic Church in Auburn. The newlyweds made their first home in Tukwila. At the time, Erich was employed at Boeing Computer Services in Seattle. In 1975 Erich was transferred to Richland. It was here Sue & Erich were blessed to make the acquaintance of many new friends. The couple enjoyed a lifetime filled with activity and adventure. Summer hikes at Mt. Rainier and cross-country skiing at Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop were among the couple’s favorite pastimes. Sue and Erich especially treasured trips to Seattle to visit family, friends and attend various events. In retirement, travel highlights included trips to Alaska and Switzerland.
In Richland Sue worked for the Benton Franklin County Health District. Her duties included bookkeeping and payroll for the Chore Service. Later she worked several years as a dental assistant at Clearwater Dental in Richland. It was here Sue made lasting friendships of staff and clients.
Sue belonged to two churches, Christ The King and Central United Protestant Church. She was a long-standing member of a women’s Bible study. Participation in this group added great joy to her life. In later years Sue, with her dog Joey, served Holy Communion to elderly shut-ins throughout the Tri-Cities.
Sue loved her family, nature, animals, gardening, jogging and walking. Throughout her life she doted on pet cats, dogs and birds. When not caring for her pets, Sue could often be found tending the garden surrounding her home.
Friendly and compassionate, Sue possessed a warm smile and wonderful sense of humor. Loved by all who knew her, she is missed by her family and many friends.
Sue was preceded in death by her parents, Ken Heckard (1996), Aggie Heckard (1999), husband, Erich (2017). She is survived by brothers, Ed Heckard (Gale), Mill Creek, WA, Bill Heckard (Marcia), Montrose, CO, sister, Nancy Heckard Krause (Roger), Snohomish, WA, sisters-in-law, Marilyn Giese Sherman, Union, WA, Gretchen Giese Ramsdell (Steve), Bremerton, WA, brother-in-law, David Harrah, Studio City, CA, nephews, Will Heckard, Grand Junction, CO, Andrew Heckard, Montrose, CO, Dan Krause (Jessica), Lemoore, CA, Steve Krause (Kirsten), Petaluma, CA., Paul Rey, Alameda, CA.
In Sue’s memory a Mass will be performed Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021. The Mass is at 1 p.m. at Christ The King Catholic Church in Richland. At approximately 2:30 an Inurnment ceremony will be held at Einan’s Sunset Gardens in Richland. A Celebration of Life follows from 3 – 5 p.m. at Einan’s Event Center.
Sue was a kind and attentive neighbor. Our kids had a spare set of eyes on them whenever they were outside. I wish we could have kept them as neighbors after we moved.
Over the years I lost touch with Sue, but never forgot her.
I started teaching first grade at Chinook Elementary in 1966; a year after Sue.
We had such a great time being “next-door” classroom neighbors.
I moved away first, but remained in touch via phone calls, letters, and visits when we could.
However, as the years went on those stopped, but not my memories of Sue.
My condolences to Sue’s friends and family.
She will be greatly missed.