Obituary: Susan Parkinson, 70, of Ludington. 

April 27, 2021

Sue Parkinson

Obituary: Susan Parkinson, 70, of Ludington. 

Susan Betty Parkinson (1950-2021). A child of God. . . First and foremost, this is what Sue would want you to know about her. And if she were writing this obituary, it would begin and end with that statement. Never one to use many words when four would suffice, those four would be it.

But she did not write this, so it is left to us, her siblings, to flesh out the details of her 70 years. 

Sue was born on December 19, 1950 in Midland, Michigan, the first daughter (after three sons) of Francis and Betty Parkinson. She earned the title of oldest of what would become four girls by arriving seven minutes before her twin sister. That may have been the beginning of “Sue time” – if you weren’t 10 minutes early you were late. 

 A transfer for our Dad within Dow Chemical brought our family to Ludington in 1958. Sue attended Ludington High School before the implementation of the Title IX amendment that gave women the right to equal opportunity in sports in educational institutions. That was a shame because Sue was a tremendous athlete – naturally gifted in so many ways. So instead of attending college on an athletic scholarship, Sue enlisted in the U.S. Army after her 1969 graduation. During her seven years of serving our country, she discovered an outlet for that athletic ability – fast pitch softball. And man, was she good at it. Fielding, hitting, you name it. 

Sue spent four years in Europe with the Army, with Heidelberg, Germany a favorite stop. She remained a proud veteran her entire life. 

Upon her honorable discharge in 1976, Sue returned home, enrolled in West Shore Community College, and brought her softball skills to the diamonds in Ludington and Scottville. She was a member of the 1982 state champion Scottville Scotties. She was a player/coach for Steve’s Bar, passing on her knowledge and passion for the game, eventually dropping the “player” part of that title.

 She was a constant presence for years at McPhail Field in Scottville, grooming diamonds and mowing. 

Sue took a job with West Michigan Electrical Co-op, now Great Lakes Energy, after graduating with a degree in accounting from West Shore. Her 32 years with the company were distinguished by hard work, dedication and professionalism. She was usually the first one to arrive in the morning and often volunteered to be on call on holidays so employees with families could spend that time at home. 

When power outages followed a storm, Sue was always in the office, coordinating the response and sending out the linemen for repairs. 

Sue never married and never had children of her own. She lavished her time and attention on her nieces and nephews, and then her great-nieces and great-nephews. She attended their athletic events, dance recitals, plays, and concerts. She never missed a graduation open house or family wedding. 

Being an athlete, she enjoyed following sports – all types at all levels, from family T-ball games to the pros. Every year she entered her guess in the “What will the Lions win/lose record be this year” family pool. And every year she was a tad too optimistic. She owned a t-shirt that said, “C’mon Lions- just one Super Bowl before I die.” Sadly, they did not cooperate. 

She would be upset when the Tigers would trade away her favorite player, but quickly adopt another. She was a loyal Michigan State University fan, making sure the DVR was set to record a game if she couldn’t watch it live. 

Sue found a second family at Path of Life Ministries. She wore many hats at church-driving the church van, greeter, King’s Kids teacher and occasionally took the role of janitor. She did all these things not for recognition or a pat on the back, but to serve God through serving others. She spent countless hours volunteering at the Jericho House in Ludington, a women’s shelter ministry. Eager to learn, Sue immersed herself in the study of God’s word. Her profession of faith and baptism were her two most important life events. 

She left us to mourn her loss on April 25, 2021 and yet rejoice at her heavenly homecoming. 

Sue is survived by her siblings, Ted (Carol) Parkinson, Sally (Kerry) Richmond, Julie (Art) Collins, Becky (Mike) Magee all of Ludington, Van (Jacki) Parkinson of Plymouth, and sister-in-law Lisa Parkinson of Kentwood. She is Aunt Sue to 18 nieces and nephews, 29 great-nieces and nephews and nine great-great nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Francis and Betty Parkinson; brother Tim Parkinson; niece Sarah Magee Lamb; great-niece Amanda Richmond; and great-nephew Joseph Stidham. 

The opportunity to visit with Sue’s family and share memories will be Saturday, May 1 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Path of Life Ministries, 5738 West U.S. 10, Ludington (Pere Marquette Township). Acknowledging the current coronavirus situation, face coverings will be required and social distancing is encouraged.

 A celebration of Sue’s life will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 2 at Path of Life. Face coverings required. Sue’s earthly body will be laid to rest next to her parents at Lakeview Cemetery in a private family service.

 In lieu of flowers, Sue would encourage you to contribute where it will make a lasting difference. Please consider a donation to Jericho House or Job 29 Ministries (an orphan relief endeavor that transforms lives in Haiti.) Gifts to either can be sent in care of Path of Life Ministries.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington, www.oakgroveludington.com.

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