Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Susan Erion

April 4, 1936 - June 23, 2019
Paw Paw, MI



Saturday, July 6, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
First Presbyterian Church
120 Pine St
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-3111

A luncheon will follow at La Cantina, 139 W Michigan Ave.

Web Site


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.

Paw Paw Area Rotary Club - Rotary Park Fund
PO Box 477
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Web Site

Paw Paw District Library
609 W Michigan Ave
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-3800
Web Site

Lake Cora Corporation
PO Box 10
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


A vibrant and generous woman, Susan Erion was loved and treasured by many. She modeled a life rich with hard work focused on putting others first in her family and community. She enjoyed being a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Susan had a real knack for putting others at ease and never took anything in life too seriously. Always more than willing to lend a helping hand, she found great pleasure in opening up her home on the holidays as well as sharing her time and resources with the community she loved. Her warm personality, cheerful demeanor, and optimistic outlook will be lovingly remembered.

The Thirties were being marked by tough economic times, yet the decade also saw an expansion of new technologies, especially in the fields of aviation, radio, and film. In 1936 for example, Kodachrome was invented and remained a leader in both cinematography and still photography for many years. Bringing great joy to their world, Charles “Clem” and Mary (Chappell) Burger welcomed their newborn baby girl, Susan, on April 4th in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her birth brought much joy and happiness to their loving family home.

Susan lived a happy childhood of the times, filled with days helping out at her father’s business, DeHaven’s Grocery. She had fond memories of running the cash register, taking orders, and offering up quality customer service. These early adolescent days instilled in her the value of a hard day’s work in order to make your way in the world. Growing up on Lake Cora, Susan met her future husband, Jack, during one of his summer visits up from Illinois. Young teenagers, the two of them hit it off right from the start. Susan attended Paw Paw High School where she excelled receiving all A’s. Ambitious as well as studious she set off for Northwestern University to earn a Bachelors degree in journalism.

After graduating, she and Jack joined in marriage in 1961. Her early years were spent working in Chicago as a writer for the Savings and Loan Association. Susan took time off to raise her two children: Frances and Matthew. She was very active in their lives, often attending their school events. A lover of the arts, she was known to bring in works of art and talk about the pieces with their grade school classmates. Susan especially enjoyed hosting their friends for sleepovers and weekends at the lake. Later, she returned to work joining the Naperville Sun. First as a sportswriter, later as Sports Editor, and finally retiring as the City Desk Editor. Her colleagues became very important to her and she hosted many after-work gatherings. Her son, Matt, remembers poking around the newspaper office and helping the paper doing various odd jobs. A remarkable writer, Susan won several awards over the course of her career along with other members of her team.

Susan was a genuine lover of all people. She treasured filling her home with guests often playing games and staying up late sharing conversation. Her stories and wit were priceless! The younger crowd kept her heart young as well. Any time she could entertain or host friends out at their Lake Cora home during her retirement years, she was overjoyed! Each and every July 4th and New Year’s Eve she threw a lively party where all were welcome. Susan was sure to always leave room at the table at Thanksgiving time for special friends and neighbors. An active member of the Lake Cora dinner club, she often hosted at her home with time on the deck or a sunset pontoon cruise around the lake. Whether it was a special holiday, deck fest, or just a lovely afternoon, everyone was made to feel welcome in her presence.

Susan held a vast array of special interests. She absolutely loved to travel. She took several trips to the Caribbean over the years. She toured Europe with special friends and went on a cruise to Greece with Jack. Always up for an adventure, she also traveled as far as the Galapagos Islands, meeting her friend, Harlow, on arrival! A memorable time was a family trip to Walt Disney World in Florida to celebrate her 75th birthday. She even donned a special button to ensure extra special attention from the employees! An avid lover of the theater, she supported the local actors and attended as many local performances as she could over the years. Susan also enjoyed birdwatching, especially hummingbirds, and always kept a bird book and a pair of binoculars together on a table at the lake house. Susan kept up her writing even in retirement by publishing a historical book titled Legends of Lake Cora, all about the place she called home for many years. Active in the community she loved, Susan was a founding member of the Paw Paw Area Rotary Club. She served as President and was a Paul Harris Fellow of the club as well. Her life was a reflection of the Rotary creed; Service Above Self. Remarkable to note, she was also instrumental in the campaign to relocate and build a new district library in Paw Paw and was elected as a trustee. Susan’s life was certainly not short on accomplishments as she had the truest heart and spirit of a volunteer.

As much as she favored her involvement in her community, she was blessed to spend time with her growing family. Her grandkids were very special to her and she made frequent trips to Springfield to visit them. They enjoyed coming to her hotel to swim in the pool and play games together. Whenever they were together, she was sure to treat them like royalty! Nothing filled her heart more than their love. Described as a gracious mentor and special friend, Susan left a lasting impression on the countless lives she touched over the years. May her family never doubt the sincerity of her love and may their hearts reflect her kindness toward others.

Susan Erion, age 83, died peacefully on June 23, 2019, at Maple Lake Assisted Living. She was a faithful member of First Presbyterian Church, a member of the Community Chorus, served as the Paw Paw Area Chamber of Commerce President along with the Van Buren County Board of Review. Susan was preceded in death by her husband: John “Jack” Erion; and an infant brother. Surviving are her children: Frances (Dean) Abbott and Matthew (Ruth) Erion; grandchildren: Jackson and Holly Abbott; brother: Charles (Mary) Burger; brother-in-law: Frank (Marilyn) Erion; and several nieces and great-nieces whom she loved very much. Cremation has taken place. A funeral service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, July 6, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church, 120 Pine St., Paw Paw. A luncheon will follow at La Cantina. Visit www.BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive a favorite memory, and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Paw Paw Area Rotary Club – Rotary Park Fund, Paw Paw District Library, or the Lake Cora Corporation. Arrangements by Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, 60900 M-40 Hwy, Paw Paw (269) 657-3870.