Susan Jo Cavanaugh
December 12, 1937 - December 8, 2016
“A Girl Named Sue”
SALEM, OREGON. Susan Jo Grier-Bouchard-Cavanaugh, daughter of Loring and June Grier, beloved wife of Don Cavanaugh, sister of William ‘Bill’ Grier (Cindy), mother of Lori Bouchard Konecki, (Walter), Debra Bouchard, Michael Bouchard, Julia Bouchard Nellis (Richard), Duffy Cavanaugh (Julie), step mother to Todd Cavanaugh (Lanel), and grandmother to thirteen grandchildren and ‘Auntie Sue’ to twelve, reluctantly passed on December 8th 2016 after a long and valiant fight against breast cancer. She was predeceased in death by her daughter, Debra Jo Bouchard (2013) and granddaughter Aimee Jo Green (1996).
Sue was born in Salem, Oregon, Dec 12, 1937. She attended West Salem Elementary, Walker Jr. High and subsequently graduated from South Salem High School (Go Saxons!) in 1956 as part of the first three classes to graduate from the then new South Salem High School, an ardent “Saxon” ever after. During her teens, she participated in many activities including dance teams, she was an active member of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls as well as several other school leadership clubs. Sue continued her studies at Oregon State University for two years (Go Beavs!) where she met and later married Michael Lora Bouchard. Mr. Bouchard was commissioned as a U.S. Navy Pilot, becoming MIA in 1968 during the Vietnam War and posthumously awarded Lt.Cdr.
Sue held a myriad of responsible positions as a young woman, including being the Officers’ Club Manager at Whidbey Island, WA, Naval Air Station, as well as an office manager at a local bank there. She and her four children later moved from Whidbey Island to Seattle, where she became a reservations agent for United Air Lines and later joined the staff of a regional concept of an accounting office where she met, and later married Don. United Airlines forbid nepotism relationships at the time, so out of necessity she became a “stay at home mom”, later adding another child making an even half dozen to their merged brood.
She and her family moved to Salem in 1971, where she became co-chair of the “South Salem 56ers” with Jean Frykberg, organizing class reunions as well as many interim events between the five-year cycle of class reunions, later establishing the “56er” monthly luncheons.
Sue was gainfully employed in Salem as a partner in a local retail business (Tres Amigas), worked many years with U.S. Bank, Union Title Company, the City of Salem’s Permit Application Center, Rich’s Sew and Vac, and Umpqua Bank; obtaining the reputation of being a “stem winder” in every organization she worked for, including volunteering for political campaigns for Diana Evans and State Senator, Jackie Winters. She was also instrumental in volunteering with the props committee in the “High Fever Follies” during two sequential bi-annual presentations. Sue’s reputation as a “can do” person was exemplified in her hobby of sewing, as well as the design and co-contracting of their family’s dream home.
A celebration of Sue’s life will be held at the Keizer Elks Lodge, 4250 Cherry Ave NE, Keizer, OR 97303, at 1:30 p.m., on Monday, January 16th. The family asks that those wishing to attend please RSVP by phone at 503.378.1214 so that adequate seating may be arranged. In lieu of flowers the family would like any donations made to the Linda L. Vladyka Breast Wellness Foundation, where Sue was an Honorary Breast Cancer Survivor Pitcher for the annual ‘Play for a Cure’ softball tournament fund raisers. Information will be available at the service on January 16th.
Appreciatively, the family of Susan Jo Grier-Bouchard-Cavanaugh