Susie Fisher died peacefully at her home in Hillsboro on October 1, 2022, with her family by her side, almost three years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Susie was born in Salem, Oregon, on May 16, 1953, to Frank and Kitty Fisher. She had a happy childhood in Albany, Oregon, where she spent many hours in her dad’s photography studio. She graduated from West Albany Union High School in 1971.
In 1981, Susie married Mark McCarty. They divorced in 1992. From that marriage came the two joys of Susie’s life, her son, Kyle, and her daughter, Kelsey. She loved them “more than the sun, moon and stars.” In 1996, Susie married Bruce Hostetler, and he became a second dad to her children.
Susie finished her nursing degree in 1984 and spent time in various areas throughout the span of her 34-year career, working in the ICU, running clinical stroke trials, and was involved in establishing and managing telemedicine programs. She retired in 2017.
A nursing career was a natural fit for Susie given her compassionate nature and willingness to help others. Her positive approach to life and cheerful attitude rubbed off on those around her, and she could brighten any room with her big, infectious smile. Susie believed strongly in daily bear hugs and belly laughs, and she made new friends everywhere she went.
Her daughter Kelsey recalls the sticky notes which Susie would leave on her dresser, fridge, a vase of fresh flowers or the counter during visits. The notes might say ‘You are loved,’ or ‘You’re never alone,’ or ‘You’ll always have a hug from your Mom’. She was the best mom to Kyle and Kelsey. She would always tell them, ‘You guys are the light of my life. I adore you more than anything.’
In 2020, a week before her cancer diagnosis, Susie and her husband moved to Hillsboro, where she quickly made friends with many of her neighbors, took up pickleball and continued working out with a personal trainer nearly every week, stopping only two weeks before her death. Joy and gratitude were themes in Susie’s life and remained so even after her cancer diagnosis. She approached her cancer journey with acceptance and grace and felt there were many people with worse afflictions than her. She found something to be grateful for every day and felt lucky that she had time to say all the things she needed to say to those she loved.
In spring of 2022 Susie organized a team and participated in a walk called PurpleStride Portland, raising $39,000 for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCan). As part of this effort, Susie gave two television interviews, urging listeners to educate themselves on symptoms, screenings and early pancreatic cancer detection.
Susie is survived by her husband, Bruce Hostetler; son, Kyle McCarty, and daughter, Kelsey McCarty, both of Portland; and a brother, Bill, of Tecumseh, Kansas.
A private burial with family was held at Willamette National Cemetery. Per Susie’s request, an ‘After Party’ in her honor will be held for friends and family in spring 2023.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to PurpleStride Portland 2023, Team Step by Step, and invites people to participate in this walk sponsored by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Suzanne Kay “Susie” Fisher, please visit our floral store.
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network - Team Step by Step