Remembering Susan G. Werkema, 1959-2019

The family of Susan Gwen Werkema is sharing this remembrance with the community:

Susan Gwen Werkema

Susan passed away suddenly, having recently celebrated her 60th birthday. She was a remarkable and beloved daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. Her family and so many others benefitted from her love and support, her selfless kindness, and her warmth. She nurtured lifelong friends who will dearly miss her regular presence, smiles, laughter, and concern for their wellbeing.

Susan had a deep commitment to serving and helping others, and found great meaning and fulfillment in her chosen profession. She was a gifted and insightful massage therapist who helped countless patients live better and healthier lives. She was a creative individual and she practiced her love of art in many different forms and mediums. She loved her home among the fir trees in West Seattle and found strength, peace, and solitude among their grandeur in a very urban environment.

Susan suffered recently from significantly declining health, most likely brought on by her ongoing battles with diabetes. She was determined to lead with her best foot forward and put a positive spin on her tough circumstances.

Susan was a deeply spiritual person and had a profound grasp on the eternal. We know she is in a place now where she is very comfortable and at peace.

Susan is survived by an extended family that dearly loves, admires, and misses her: parents Gordon and Jacklyn Werkema of Michigan; siblings Gordon R. G. Werkema and his wife Barbara Purcell of Oregon, Nancy Haas and her husband Michael Haas of Michigan, Mark Werkema and his wife Anne Rivers of Georgia, Joel Werkema and his wife Rachel Deyette Werkema of Massachusetts; dearly loved nieces and nephews Amy Groenewold and her husband Jeff; Andrew, Taylor, and Sean Werkema; Julia Justine Damman and her husband Michael; Ashley, Chloe, Clara, and Olivia Werkema; Keri Haas Culhane and her husband Tom, Kevin Haas and his wife Jamie; and many cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, patients, and business associates. Susan was predeceased by her grandparents George and Gertrude Brumels, and Sidney and Lillian Werkema, and by loving aunts and uncles.

Susan was a 1981 graduate of Seattle Pacific University, and of training and certification programs in massage therapy both in the U.S. and China.

Plans are being formed to have a Seattle reception to honor Susan, most likely in the fall timeframe. Please let Barb Purcell know (at of your interest in attending. Arrangements are private. Susan’s family members are planning to gather in a celebration of her life in the coming months, in Michigan.

Care entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle. Please share your condolences and fond memories of Susan with her Family & Friends by visiting her Online Memorial & Tribute Wall.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

1 Reply to "Remembering Susan G. Werkema, 1959-2019"

  • daley family April 1, 2019 (2:41 pm)

    Our condolences, we are an SPU family – alums, employees, and knew her brother Gordon. Rest in Peace Susan.

Sorry, comment time is over.