Remembering Susan Kay Harris, 1949-2020

Family and friends have said goodbye to Sue Harris and are sharing this remembrance with the community:

Susan Kay Harris, age 71, died peacefully at home on May 23rd. She is survived by her children Sean (Courtney Harris-Campf), Colleen, Becky (RJ Masters), Marianne (Pat McGah), and CJ (Morgann Harris), six grandchildren, and her siblings Rita Meyers and Chuck Pepka. She was preceded in death by her loving husband Joseph, her parents Ruth and Ray Pepka, and her sister Rose Ann Hallett.

Sue was born in Kokomo, Indiana and moved with her family as an infant to Seattle. Raised in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, Sue attended St. Paul Catholic School, Forest Ridge, and Seattle University. Pepe, as she was known to her camp friends, loved her summers working at CYO camps, and it was there that she met Joe.

After they were married in 1973, Sue and Joe moved to West Seattle to begin their family together. Sue remained a staple in the neighborhood, all the way until the end of her life. Sue loved that her house, “the big blue house,” was a place that everyone was welcomed, where people would gather together, and kids could often be heard playing on the third floor. Sue and her neighbor, long-time friend Teresa Brown, would always comment that between the two of them they collectively raised their nine kids.

Sue worked at Holy Rosary School for over 25 years as the school librarian. Sue loved Holy Rosary. She loved the people at Holy Rosary. She would always rave about the amazing teachers and staff she got to work with and how proud she was of all the school does. Everyone could count on Sue to have a good book recommendation and some M and M’s to share when they visited her in the library.

In the last three years, Sue was an absolute trooper as she dealt with stage 4 breast cancer and the intense pain that came with it. She was always someone who loved life, and she continued to love her life even through the chemo and treatments. During which, she took her whole family to Hawaii, traveled to Portugal for a cruise, continued to coach basketball at Holy Rosary, watched Survivor every week, and maintained a decades-long love of the Mariners (especially Edgar!).

Sue was a constant caregiver and loved to be a host to whomever walked through her door, even in her final days. She was happiest when talking to neighbors, students, life-long and new friends near and far, and above all, spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren.

The celebration of her life will be held at Holy Rosary Church at a later date once it is safe to do so. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fr. Mallahan Endowment Fund at Holy Rosary School, a fund that Joe and Sue helped to create, or to Camp Gallagher or the Kaplan Cancer Research Fund.

Please share memories of Sue and condolences with her family at

Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services of West Seattle

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

7 Replies to "Remembering Susan Kay Harris, 1949-2020"

  • M.S. May 26, 2020 (10:09 am)

    So sorry for your loss may your days ahead be filled with great memories.

  • Kristine May 26, 2020 (10:59 am)

    I spent most of my childhood summers at Girl Scout day camp with Sue and have such fond memories of her. She truly was a special lady. Sending much love to the Harris family. 

  • GMT May 26, 2020 (11:00 am)

    Mrs. Harris was a true gift to the Holy Rosary community.  Our family was very sad to hear the news of her passing.  We are keeping her family in our prayers.

  • MC, TM, EM May 26, 2020 (11:44 am)

    We lost a bright light, an amazing teacher and a loyal friend.  Sincere condolences from our family to all who knew Sue, but especially to her wonderful children, who stood fiercely and lovingly by her side.

  • Patricia May 26, 2020 (11:25 pm)

    She was an amazing person and soooo missed! Love and hugs to her family. 

  • Kylene May 27, 2020 (1:15 am)

    I loved doing Girl Scouts with Sue.  We volunteered together at the chinook day camp for many many years as well as did troop camp outs together.  Sue was always so fun to be with.   I always appreciated her calmness when things would get crazy.  She did love her big blue house and she enjoyed it most when it was filled with people.  Sending love and hugs to the Harris “ kids” and their families.

  • J T Underwood May 27, 2020 (8:22 pm)

    We are all so sad to hear this news. She was literally the brightest light at HRS. We will miss her kindness and smile. Big hug from the Underwood family. 

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