Life Story / Obituary
Sue Swett was a devoted mother, grandmother, and friend to many. She savored the time she spent with her growing family over the years. Sue lived her life to the fullest by working hard to provide for the family she loved. Her legacy of being generous, reliable, and humble touched the lives of many over the years. There is no doubt that she will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
The 1940s were characterized by WWII. By 1948, the first affordable prefab homes were being built in the U.S. to solve the growing needs of the baby boomers. That same year, Susan LaVerne was born the youngest of four children on February 16th to Paul and LaVerne (Hoogerhyde) Block. Her childhood was filled with many happy and memorable moments.
Sue loved to spend her time in the family home reading books and learning about a wide variety of topics. She attended Creston Christian and later transferred to Grand Rapids Christian where she was social and outgoing. Sue was always up for fun, yet preferred her time at home even into her adult years. After high school, she landed at Grand Rapids Junior College which led her to an advertising job with Meijer. As a young adult, she met and married Jerry Swett. The two of them raised two wonderful daughters, Jennifer and Erinn, during their sixteen married years.
As a mom, Sue was known for her unwavering support and sense of humor. She always put her girls’ needs ahead of her own and held down a wide variety of jobs to ensure they never went without a Christian education or the latest styles and trends. Sue drove a van for Christian Schools for several years before being a consistent bookkeeper for a local daycare center. Sue raised her girls on meat, potatoes, and vegetables, and taught them the value of being frugal. She also spent these years doing needlepoint and crafting. Her girls learned how to cook as well as made their annual Christmas treats together to welcome the holiday season for many years.
Faith was always important to her and she was a steadfast member of Riverside Christian Reformed Church for nearly fifty years. She made many lasting friendships within her church community. In her later years, she did accounting work for a trucking company and then completed her years at Wedgewood Christian Services as a bookkeeper.
When the girls were older, Sue was blessed to move into a condominium to ease the responsibilities of yard work and snow removal. She loved her condo and continued entertaining her family there. When it came time to relax, Sue enjoyed reading and spending time with her growing family. When she was blessed with grandchildren, her life was made richer. She enjoyed spending quality time with them. As a grandmother, she enjoyed watching her grandkids once a week and would always accept their invitations to school events as well as their baseball games and concerts. Sue loved traditions and going out to eat on Sundays after church with her grandchildren was a highlight. Special memories were made on their trips to Florida visiting Disney World on three separate occasions. Whenever they were together, there was sure to be laughter. It was evident to all who knew her that her family meant everything to her.
Sadly in 2012, Sue lost her daughter Erinn to her battle with cancer. It was a devastating loss for Sue and she leaned on her special friends and family to help her through the difficult time. She never got over the loss, yet learned to celebrate the warm memories her daughter left behind. Sue mostly was comfortable at home, yet kept a few good friends; Ruth, Gail, Marcia and Connie close to her over the years. They would venture out to eat, play cards, and attend the Sunday night concerts at Sandy Pines. They were there for each other through the ups and downs in life.
Although she was diagnosed with medical issues over the past year, Sue never complained. Her health began to decline in November when she fell and broke her shoulder. Her family felt blessed to celebrate one last Christmas with her on Christmas Day where she kept everyone laughing and joyful as they shared the joys of the season. Sue approached her life with optimism and a grateful heart. She always kept her family in her daily prayers and was most content with the small peaceful moments when her family was gathered together. May her family always live their lives as a reflection of her steadfast compassion for others and may her memories live on in their hearts forever.
Susan L. Swett, age 75, of Grand Rapids, passed away on December 30, 2023. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Erinn Swett; her parents, Paul and Laverne Block; and step-father, Ralph Woldyk.
Sue is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and Rob Ignatoski; grandchildren: Nicholas, Emily, and Abby; brothers, Paul (Sara) Block and Ron (Mary) Block; sister, Arlynn “Cookie” (Jim) Kuiper, as well as several nieces and nephews.
Friends are invited to visit with Sue’s family on Saturday, January 6 from 1-4 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE. To share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com