Susan Helen Bir, age 56, of Sturgis, passed away early Wednesday morning, March 6, 2013, at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.
She was born Sept. 27, 1956, in Three Rivers, a daughter of Floyd and Helen (Stenhouse) Benash.
Sue resided in Sturgis since 1977. Her early life was lived in White Pigeon and she was a graduate of White Pigeon High School with the class of 1975. Sue continued her education at Glen Oaks Community College, where she earned an associate degree in technology.
On June 25, 1977, she married Richard Bir at First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis.
For the past 17 years, she had been employed as a customer service representative by Omni Community Credit Union in Sturgis. She also worked for DeRand Kitchen Designs, Bank One and for several years she worked weekends at The Garden Shed, a job she truly enjoyed.
Sue was a past member of the Sturgis City Commission. She was the first female vice mayor of the city, first female to preside over a City Commission meeting and served on many committees and boards, including the Sturgis Hospital Board and the City of Sturgis Finance Committee. She enjoyed gardening, crafts and painting. Sue was happiest when she was surrounded by her family, especially her children and grandchildren.
She is survived by her husband, Rick; two daughters, Michelle Bright of Sturgis and Amy (Dan) Bir of Burr Oak; two sons, Stephen (Katie) Bir and Michael Bir, both of Sturgis; nine grandchildren, Steven, Kimber, Katlyn, McKenzie, Maison, Lukis, Sydney, Sophia and Kylie; mother and stepfather, Helen and Earl Stuby of White Pigeon; a sister, Cindy (Bob) Tuesley of Portage; a brother, Jack (Peggy) Benash of Clermont, Fla.; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father; a brother, Don Stuby; her grandparents; and an aunt, Dorothy Richardson.
In accordance with her wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Hackman Family Funeral Homes — Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis. A memorial service celebrating the life of Susan Bir will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. The Rev. Steve Kaszar of First Presbyterian Church in White Pigeon will officiate. Private burial of the ashes will take place at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations would be appreciated to the Susan Bir Memorial Fund for the future educational needs of her grandchildren c/o: Omni Community Credit Union, P.O. Box 1537, Battle Creek, MI 49016.
Her obituary is also at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com, where personal messages of support may be left form the family.