KALAMAZOO, MI – Susan Ann La Faive, 68, of Kalamazoo, and former Marquette resident, entered eternal life on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at Bronson Lakeside Hospital, Paw Paw under the loving and comforting care of his family.
Susan was born on October 23, 1953 in Van Nuys, California, the daughter of Clarence Alford and Dolores Henrietta (Glaser) La Faive. She grew up in Milwaukee, where she enjoyed an often adventurous and fearless childhood. She was known to do her own thing and was often the leader of the pack with her younger siblings following her. Along the way, she developed a strong work ethic that would serve her well for the rest of her life.
In 1970, the family moved to Negaunee before Sue’s senior year in high school. She graduated from Negaunee High School, class of 1971. She enrolled at Northern Michigan University majoring in fine arts and received her Bachelor of Arts degree with a teaching certificate in 1975. In 1978, Sue married Tom Adams, and together the couple made their first home in Marquette, later residing off the grid off County Road 510, and eventually settling in Skandia. In Skandia, Sue was able to pursue some of her favorite hobbies: gardening, caring for animals and using her interest in conservation to work as a reforestation contractor by planting trees. She has also worked on construction projects, including volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.
In the mid-1990s a move was made to Lansing where Susan did postgraduate work. It was there that she met and later married John Alashar Waltz. On November 25, 1996, the couple welcomed their son, Matoska Waci Waltz. Susan was a very focused, dedicated and proud mother. Being a mom was the joy of her life! While in Kalamazoo, she used her classroom teaching skills to teach in various positions. Over the years, she has also held various jobs related to holistic wellness and public school care. Susan was a talented artist making amazing charcoal and pencil drawings, graphic art and more. She used her graphic design skills to help establish the Hiawatha Music Festival through her posters and art. She was also instrumental in the beginnings of the Marquette Food Co-op. She believed in healthy eating. Susan was a visionary.
In addition to her artistic talent, Susan was a talented musician. She could play by ear any instrument she learned. She played piano, flute, piccolo, violin and accordion. She was in the marching band throughout high school, playing the flute. She also played the accordion at religious festivals. Susan was an avid gardener, loved walking and hiking, usually 2-3 miles a day, had a huge love for animals, especially cats, and had been a vegetarian since she was 20 before it became popular. She was a hard worker, who always seemed to have a job or task in her busy schedule.
Sue is survived by her son, Matoska Waci (fiancé, Helen He) Waltz of Seattle, WA; his sisters, Lucy J. (Richard P. Smith) La Faive and Fran (Michael A.) French, both of Marquette; one brother, Al La Faive of Menasha, WI; nieces, Melissa (Philip) Baker and Monica La Faive; one nephew, Nick La Faive; cousins, Judy Taylor, Darlene Horn, Debbie Shaver, Guy Averill and Melody Renne.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John Alashar Waltz and a sister-in-law, Sharyl La Faive.
The family will receive relatives and friends at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Marquette on Wednesday, June 15 starting at 1:00 p.m. A Christian burial mass will be celebrated at 3:00 p.m. with Rev. Greg Heikkala, pastor, officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to your local animal shelter (i.e. UPAWS) (https://upaws.org) or the Michigan Chapter of The Nature Conservancy for their work in the UP (https://preserve.org/page/81523/donate/1).
Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services serves the family, where condolences can be expressed online at fassbenderswansonhansen.com.