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HENDERLITE, Susan 'Susie' Linda (nee Ermatinger)



Susan “Susie” Linda (Ermatinger) Henderlite, age 74, of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., was called home on Dec. 26, 2023, at the McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital with her sister and niece by her side. She was showered with prayers, hugs, kisses, happy memories, and messages from loved ones who will forever miss her earthly presence and beautiful soul. Although our hearts are filled with sorrow, we find peace in knowing that she is now renewed and living in serenity with Jesus and her loved ones who have gone before her.

Susie was born on March 7, 1949, in Sault Ste. Marie, to James Henry and Margaret Grace (Gore) Ermatinger. She grew up living with her parents and five siblings in the home her father built in 1957 on the St. Mary’s river. She later met Glen Henderlite while he was serving in the Air Force and stationed in Kincheloe, Michigan. They were married in Sault Ste. Marie on Nov. 4, 1967, and soon moved to Glen's hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, where they raised their family. She worked at Martin Marietti for several years before moving back to Sault Ste. Marie. She worked as an administrative secretary for the Sault Tribe, where she made many friends before retiring in 2015.

Susie loved the outdoors, enjoying kayaking, going to the beach, and spending time with her sisters at Brimley State Park. She had an adventurous soul, often taking long drives along the water and discovering hidden beaches to check out along the way. She loved her Jeep and loved taking it off-roading with her sister. In fact, Susie and Gayle were quite the adventuresome pair, often taking back-roads and getting lost, but laughing the entire time and always finding their way out. Susie also loved tent camping, sitting around a fire, and going for long swims in Lake Superior; as well as crafting, decorating her home, and shopping at TJ Maxx. She also enjoyed sitting on her back deck with her good friend and neighbor, Deb, soaking up the sun and sipping on a cold drink. Last but not least, one of her favorite pastimes was cuddling on the couch with her beloved cats, Lucy and Twinkie.

Susie’s warm demeanor and kind heart made everyone feel at home. She had a soft spot for those in need, and was genuinely happy to be family for those who didn’t have one. In fact, if anyone hinted that they were in need of some motherly love, you best believe she would reply with, “Awe, I’ll adopt you!”; and those of you who knew “Aunt Sue” knew darn well that she meant it! She was very compassionate with animals, taking in all kinds of critters and mischievous dogs when her kids were young; and she was, without doubt, a favorite aunt to her “fur” nieces and nephews, as they knew that she would never deny them a cozy spot on her lap.

Sunday family dinners will surely never be the same without Susie, as she rarely missed a family get together. Summer Sundays were particularly special, and you best believe that if the sun was shining, Susie would be on the deck, soaking up the sun, chit-chatting, and sipping on a Gin and Tonic. We also can’t forget to mention the yearly “Wine Fest Trip”, where Susie, her sisters, and her nieces would take off to Traverse City, Michigan, for the weekend, to attend the Leland Wine Fest and go wine tasting on Old Mission Peninsula. Hopping from winery to winery, with the windows down singing along to Janis Joplin’s “Summertime”, will be a memory that us girls will never forget.

Susie loved without judgment, had unapologetic fun, and brought so much joy to the people in her life. She was truly one of a kind. And although we can’t help but feel that she was taken from us too soon, whether it's a day at the beach, a glass of pinot noir, or a random moment in time, the memory of her warm presence and kind soul will remain with us forever.

Susan is survived by her ex-husband, Glen; daughter, Tiffany (Doug) Ramsey; grandchildren, Nathan Henderlite and Ava Ramsey; brothers, Jim (Deb) Ermatinger of Athens, Michigan, and John (Kris) Ermatinger of Brimley, Michigan; sisters, Gayle (Tom) Fortin of Sault Ste. Marie, and Karen Ermatinger-Duprey of Stephenson, Michigan; and many beloved nieces and nephews; especially her nieces Lauren, Katy, and Rachael, with whom she was not only an aunt, but a dear friend. It’s also important to note that her cats, Twinkie and Lucy, will remain well loved under the care of a family member who will spoil them- just as she did.

Susan was preceded in death by her parents, James and Grace Ermatinger; son, Ray Henderlite; and sister, Lynn Ermatinger-Weaver.

In lieu of flowers, please consider sending memorial contributions to Family Life Funeral Homes, 4951 S. M-129, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. 49783 to assist the family with funeral expenses.

Services will be held in the Summer of 2024, and the family will announce more details in early summer.

Final Resting Place will be at the Mission Hill Cemetery in Bay Mills, Mich., where she will be laid to rest along with her dear son, Ray, and her sweet kitty, Violet.

Family Life Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. Condolences may be left to the family at