April 24, 1938 — Aug. 5, 2019

Susan Catherine Lewis passed away on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, of age-related causes.

She was born in Portland, Oregon, on April 24, 1938, to parents Irja “Paula” Nikula and Donald Lester Lewis. She was raised in Astoria and graduated from Astoria High School in 1956.

She married Norman Quentin Baesler in 1959, and they had three children together, Rosalie Catherine, Steven Norman and Byron Christopher. Susan and Norman divorced in 1979.

Susan eventually met longtime companion, Dale Lawrence, and they spent many years in each other’s company until her passing.

Susan started out as a homemaker, raising her children in Springfield, Oregon. They enjoyed going on many camping trips and vacations to the Midwest to visit relatives. Her family fondly recalls that they stayed in nearly every campground between Springfield and New Leipzig, North Dakota.

In the early 1970s, Susan went back to school, attending the University of Oregon, and eventually attained her doctorate in anthropology. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, which allowed her to travel to her mother’s family homeland of Finland to further her studies. Her dissertation was entitled, “Finnish American women as socializers and communicators of ethnicity, gender and class.”

Susan is survived by her daughter, Rosalie Ennis (husband, Matt), of Cannon Beach; son, Steve Baesler (wife, Cindy), of Eugene; son, Byron Baesler (wife, Shanna), of Eugene; grandsons, Ahren and Shey Baesler; granddaughter, Molly Baesler; grandson, Lukas Baesler; half brother, John Plank, of California; and newly acquainted nephew Brian Garrison, of Dayton, Ohio.

She was preceded in death by her parents; younger sister, Mary Lewis; and half sister, Barbara Lewis.

Susan had many friends on the northern Oregon Coast and in the Eugene-Springfield areas, where she split her time. She maintained a deep interest and connection to education, family, her ancestral Finnish roots and the knowledge and traditions that could be fostered and passed on to others.

She loved talking with family and friends, being outdoors in the wonders of the Northwest and staying attuned to social issues. She was a voracious reader, and a lifelong student. She will be missed greatly by her family and friends, but forever held dear in their hearts.

A celebration of life will be held later.

Remembrances may be made to: Astoria Friends of Suomi Hall.

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