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Sue Erwin(1933 - 2013)

Sue Seltzer Erwin

Palm Desert, CA —Sue Seltzer Erwin, 79, lost her valiant battle with ovarian cancer in Palm Desert, CA on Wednesday, May 8th. At her request, services will be private.

Sue was born on October 16, 1933 and started her life, along with older sister Ruth, as a daughter of Carl and Lillian Seltzer. Although she admitted little artistic talent, she enjoyed long hours watching her grandfather, western artist O.C. Seltzer, paint at his studio. Sue graduated from Great Falls High School in 1951 with a great sense of adventure in her heart. Before Sue was 21, she had worked for the FBI in Denver, traveled to live in New York City and returned to Great Falls as secretary to the commander at what is now Malmstrom Air Force Base. Her responsibility to check in new officers at the base led her to meet Joe Erwin as he arrived from Los Angeles. They married in 1954 and after the completion of his military service in 1956, they moved to Los Angeles with their newly arrived twins Jodi & Steve. It was there that Sue began her life long love of warm weather and the beauty of Southern California. The call of Montana was too strong however, and in 1958 they returned to raise their family and start the Erwin Insurance Agency in Great Falls.

Sue was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister who's love of family guided her throughout her life. In the last years of Joe's life, she helped him cope as he battled Parkinson's disease. It was the most difficult struggle of her life, but one she handled with true love and affection. Joe passed away in 1999 and two years later Sue moved to their favorite vacation spot, Palm Desert, California. Not unlike her original adventure in her twenties, she had the courage to strike out and begin her life anew.

There was nothing more important to Sue than spending time with family, whether for a special occasion or one of her famous family trips. Including both exotic and historical locations, the frequent trips gave her children and grandchildren a true sense of the world and its people. Sue also had an extreme fondness for all animals, but particularly the Seltzer family cat Boots and her current cat C'ta. Both held a special place in her heart.

Sue's strong sense of community was expressed through her membership in Junior League, the Great Falls Symphony Guild, and her support of many local charities. Never one to sit back and take it easy, Sue always enjoyed work and new challenges. She was a long time employee of Spencer's of Montana, served on the board of Montana Deaconess Medical Center and was co-owner of Anderson-Elerding Travel Service. It was that career which led to her extensive travel around the world.

Sue approached her battle with cancer with determination and a single-minded focus. She was accompanied on this journey, as with life, by her sister Ruth. We are forever grateful for Ruth's love and devotion.

Survivors include her daughter Jodi (Gordon) Swanson of Camarillo, California, son Steve (Debra) Erwin of Great Falls, sister Ruth Teddy of Great Falls, four grandchildren, Jori (Bob) Nebel, Austin Erwin, Tahnee (Kevin) McHenry, and Toren (Amanda) Halseth, one great grandchild, Emmett McHenry and niece Lisa Barton and her children Garrett, Colton and Baylie. She was preceded in death by her husband Joe Erwin and her parents Carl and Lillian Seltzer. Memorials are suggested to the Humane Society of Great Falls or the Animal Foundation of Great Falls.


Published in Great Falls Tribune on May 10, 2013
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