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SUSAN LOUISE RATHJEN (ROOHR) WHITNEY Susan Louise Whitney, 63, was born in Washington D.C., February 21, 1953, to Max and Lucile Rathjen, and moved to Richland, Washington, soon after. She attended Lewis & Clark Elementary School, Carmichael Junior High, and graduated Columbia High School in 1971. She married David E. Roohr in 1971. They had 3 children together; David F. Roohr (Kristine), Debbie E. Stacey (Andrew), and Jack M. Roohr (Aimee). In 1989, Susan married the love of her life, Dennis Whitney, with whom she shared 18 happy years. Together, they blended their families, building many memories at their cabin near Packwood, Washington. They enjoyed taking trips, including traveling through Europe, and playing cards with dear friends Colleen and Gary Jensen. Dear Mom, From the day you were born, until the day of your passing, the world was a better, brighter place. Everyone who knew you in life remembers your laugh, your smile and your heart. You willingly opened your home to anyone who needed one, and loved hosting big family dinners. What we remember are the things about you that only a child would know about their mom. We remember camping every year at the Oregon Coast and invariably ended up getting rain-drenched. We remember when we had to move campsites and you didn't want to repitch the tent. So, we hoisted it on top of the car and drove to the other campsite that way. We remember you delivering David's lunch in elementary school wearing enormous novelty sunglasses. We remember you letting Jack wear his drum pajamas until he busted the feet out, because you didn't want him to stop being your baby. We remember Debbie going to a preschool Halloween party literally sewn into a puff the magic dragon costume. We remember this beautiful person who loved no job more than being a mommy. We wish everyone had the chance to know you as we did: The woman who insisted that ex-spouses come to Thanksgiving and Christmas, because they are part of the family; The woman who loved to sing to 80's music and made sure her kids KNEW what good music really was (I'm still not convinced about Air Supply......). The woman who couldn't say no to a stray animal (and we took full advantage of that); The woman who arranged school Halloween parties, led Brownie troop events and tried her best every year not to cry if Dave or Jack lost the Pinewood Derby, because her heart was that loving. When her kids hurt, SHE hurt; The woman whose friends loved her like family, because to Robin and Bert she WAS family. In the 9 years since Dennis passed, we watched your laugh and sparkle slowly dim. And our one comfort in your passing is that you are with him again. Although our family had not been close in many years, your heart was such, that in this time of pain you would do anything you could to heal that breach. The loving family that survives you are your three children David, Debbie and Jack; D'Lana, who you loved like a daughter; grand-children, Susannah, Emelia, Matthew, Elizabeth, Jonathan, Max, Katelynn, Lilly, William, Sean, Sloan, and Eli; your mother, Lou Rathjen; your sisters, Kathy Loper (Bob), Betsy Taylor (George), and Karen Todd (Bill); Nieces and nephews, Jenny (Logan), Shane (Robert, Ashton), Kevin (Norah), Jeff, and Vicky; your four stepsons; Brennan, Richard, David and Jared and many step-grandchildren, and special friend, Gordon White. You were preceded in death by husband Dennis Whitney, and father Max Rathjen. We all love you, and will miss you terribly until we see you again. Please hug grandpa and pet Homer for us. We love you Mom, Boogie, Moonface, Googey Monkey Viewing is at Einans at Sunset, Bypass Hwy, Richland, on Friday, February 17, 5-8 p.m. Funeral is Saturday, February 18, 1 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1321 Jadwin Ave., Richland, preceded by viewing from noon-12:45 p.m. Graveside service is at 2:30 p.m., Sunset Memorial Gardens, Bypass Hwy, Richland. Reception follows at 3:15 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1321 Jadwin Ave., Richland.

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Published in Tri-City Herald on Feb. 16, 2017.
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