Susanne M. Ponchene was born in the village of Afognak, Alaska to Alec and Selma Chichenoff on March 5, 1935. She passed away peacefully March 8, 2021 in her sleep at home in Ellensburg, WA at the age of 86. She fought a courageous 18-month battle with lung cancer. She chose no treatment from the time she received the diagnosis and lived a very productive life until the end.
Susanne moved from Afognak to Kodiak in her late teens and later married Peter Ponchene on December 31, 1953. She worked various jobs including as a store clerk, cook and clothing store manager while also raising a family. Pete passed away in 1989. Susanne filled her time with family gatherings and spent a lot of time with her neighbors Tom and Gina Johnson and their family. She also enjoyed taking special car trips with her nephew, Cecil, to look at boats, houses, and a ride out the road, ending with dinner.
After moving to Ellensburg in 2013, Susanne enjoyed going to various high school sporting events to watch her grandson participate. She taught her grandkids and great grandkids how to play cards and enjoyed putting together puzzles and completing word searches. She was also an avid Mariners and Seahawks fan.
Susanne is survived by her daughter Andrea (Marty) Shuravloff and son Andrew (Kari) Ponchene; grandchildren Michelle (Kelvin) Shuravloff-Nelson, Guy Shuravloff, Stephanie (Gabe) Ponchene-Laramie, Melissa Ponchene-Davis, Zack Ponchene and Alex Ponchene as well as two great-grandchildren, Layla and Van Laramie. Her nephew Randy Sholl as well as many more nieces and nephews also survive.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Alec and Selma; her sisters Elizabeth Chichenoff, Hilda Chichenoff -Ponchene and Phyllis Sholl; brothers Robert and Sonny Chichenoff; husband Peter Ponchene as well as his son Duke and daughter Sandra. She was also preceded in death by her dear nephews Louie Sholl, Cecil Sholl and niece Lori Chichenoff-Ogle.
A graveside service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 12, 2021 at the IOOF Cemetery with Pastor Dennis Hickman officiating.
Memorial contributions in Susanne’s honor are suggested to the Gretchen Weller Foundation, PO Box 1762 or to KVH Hospice, 1506 E. Radio Road, both in Ellensburg, Washington 98926.
Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Susanne’s family. Online condolences may be left at www.johnston-williams.com
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