Thursday, December 15, 2016
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM EST
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Rosary will be recited starting at 8:30 PM, followed by a time of sharing.
Friday, December 16, 2016
11:00 AM EST
Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
156 Valley SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
St. Ann's Home Benevolent Fund
2161 Leonard Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
In everything she did, Susan M. Orlowski put others before herself. She was the sort of person who gave to others and then gave some more, always content to do so without recognition. Susan was a devoted wife and mother who made caring for her family her mission, and when that mission grew to include grandchildren and great-grandchildren she couldn’t have been happier. Guided by her unwavering faith, she loved blessing others by preparing meals, baked goods, or special treats of all kinds. Life was not without times of trial for Susan, but she found such strength and joy in her faith. A lifelong resident of the community she loved, she was warm and welcoming, which drew others near with ease. Deeply loved, Susan will be forever missed.
It was during the 1930s that America experienced some of the most trying days we have ever faced as a nation as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. With jobs that were hard to find the unemployment rate soared, and nearly every American felt the strain. Despite the trials around them, Edward and Eleanor (Lusczyk) Jasinski were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their lives as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Susan Marie on October 31, 1932, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was the oldest child to be raised in the family home on Gunnison, SW, as she had two brothers who died in infancy. Over about a 20 year span, Susan also had two brothers and two sisters. As a young girl her parents divorced, and as the oldest she had several responsibilities, especially when her mother worked second shift.
In many ways Susan was a young girl of her generation. Because many extended family members lived nearby, large family gatherings were frequent. Susan was a lifelong member of Sacred Heart, and she attended both church and school there. Her high school years found her at Catholic Central High School where she made many lifelong friends. Susan later graduated from high school.
Not to be forgotten during her years in high school was Susan’s formal introduction to the man who would forever hold the key to her heart. His name was Ronald Orlowski, and he lived across the street and had returned home from the service. They began dating and soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Susan and Ron were married on June 21, 1953. The newlyweds initially settled into a home on Fulton, which is where they started their family. Together they were blessed with seven children including RoseMarie, Eleanor, Larry, Bill, Mary Ellen, Jim, and Geralyn. As the family grew, Susan and Ron moved to their longtime home on Richards Avenue, SW.
There was never anything of greater significance to Susan than her family. Her life revolved around her husband and children, and later around her grandchildren as well. Susan believed in spending time with her family, and she had a way of making the ordinary things extraordinary. She was an amazing cook who made several Polish meals as well as plenty of chicken soup for Ron. Every child in the family was important to her, and she genuinely knew each of them including all their likes and dislikes. As a family they enjoyed several camping trips. It was something Ron really liked, and she learned to enjoy it over time, especially since it was a time when the family was together. They also traveled to railroad conventions with some of the kids. Eventually the family bought a place on Little Whitefish Lake, and this became the backdrop for some of their most amazing family memories to be made. With a birthday on Halloween, there was always a big celebration for Susan’s birthday with a Halloween theme. The night always ended at her house.
For many years, Susan was very involved at her church. She assisted the church when they supported refugee families, and she regularly cooked and baked for various church events. Susan cleaned the church as well. She served on the altar society, delivered flowers to shut-ins, and was very active in the Right to Life movement including traveling to Washington, D.C. to take part in marches. As her family and friends can attest, Susan was a giver who gave without end, never expecting anything in return. She sought out opportunities to help rather than waiting for people to ask. In addition to making food for people through her church, Susan also made meals for people in the neighborhood and even sent the kids to the park with sandwiches or muffins to leave for the homeless. Susan loved animals and also made sure they were well fed. She volunteered for recess while her children were in school and even after they were no longer there.
Always one to be busy, Susan was a woman of many interests. She had the most beautiful soprano voice and was always singing, humming, or whistling. Susan was rarely on time, and although she never drove she always had advice for the one driving. She was very well read, especially when it came to non-fiction, and as a night owl she enjoyed her alone time when things settled down as her kids were growing up.
Later in life Susan continued to embrace the days she was given. She was thrilled to become a grandmother, and she was very involved in the lives of her grandchildren. Susan was there to babysit when needed, and she knew every little thing about each of them. Although she was deeply saddened with the death of her husband in 2011, Susan found strength in her faith and the love of her family. She continued spending time with her family and looked forward to having lunch with her siblings at Putt-Putt’s every Wednesday. Susan remained in her home until about a year ago when she moved to St. Ann’s Home. She greatly appreciated the religious community there and really enjoyed their musical presentations. Over the past year she had been reflective of her death and looked forward to seeing her husband again.
Truly beautiful on the inside and out, Susan Orlowski was a blessing to everyone she met. Someone who was content in all things, her faith was her constant companion. Susan loved others without condition, and her family was her greatest source of pride and joy. She will never be forgotten.
Susan M. Orlowski, age 84 of Grand Rapids, passed away December 10, 2016. She is survived by her children Larry (Cindy) Orlowski, Bill Orlowski, Mary Ellen (Dale) Carlson, Jim (Kim) Orlowski, and Geralyn (Jim) Campbell; grandchildren, Erin (Aaron) Brown, Jeff (Jennifer) Orlowski, Kyle Orlowski, Chris Carlson, Tony (Kate) Carlson, Sarah and Elizabeth Carlson, Nicholas and Joe Campos, Dan (Brandi) Campos, Tyler, Faith, Samantha and Cameron Campbell; great-grandchildren, Gavin, Christian, Ashlynn, Alton and Leon; sisters Shirley Yeo, Betsy Jasinski; brother, Butch (Nancy) Jasinski; sisters-in-law, Ann Jasinski, Clarice (David) Kozak; brother-in-law, Ken (Barb) Grzeszak; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald; daughters RoseMarie Campos and Eleanor Orlowski; and great-grandson, Liam. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 AM on Friday, December 16 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 156 Valley SW. Friends may visit with her family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW on Thursday from 2-4 and 7-9, with a Rosary at 8:30 PM followed by a time of sharing. Susie's family suggest memorial donations to St. Ann's Home Benevolent Fund. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to archive a memory, photo, or sign the guestbook prior to arriving at the funeral home