Susan Vallan, 76, passed away unexpectedly at her Grosse Pointe Farms home on Sunday, December 3, 2023. After enjoying her nightly piece of chocolate and a Coca Cola while watching the Game Show Network in her favorite chair, Sue closed her eyes and peacefully rejoined her husband of 50 years, Ronald, who pre-deceased her in 2020.
Sue was born in Detroit on April 23, 1947 to Joseph and Marie Stenzel, who, along with two of her sisters, Joan and Ann, predeceased her. She is survived by her children Anthony “Tony” (Shelly), Lisa (Michael Francescutti), and Ronald. Sue was a proud grandmother to Madison (Ben Peters), Nick, Andrew, and Jake. Sue is also survived by her sister, Edna (the late John), brother-in-law, Dave (the late Ann), and many nieces & nephews. Sue was well loved by many friends and seven granddogs who adored her and the belly rubs & treats she gave freely.
In addition to being a homemaker, Sue was the “First Lady” of Young Supply Company, accompanying her husband Ron as they hosted dozens of company parties and trips with employees and customers over the years. Live music and dancing were among Sue’s favorites and she always lit up the room with her genuine smile and friendly conversation.
Sue’s family and friends were her priority. She took the role of being a mother seriously, always involved in activities and school functions. Over the years, she remained a mother and grandmother first and foremost, but also became a trusted best friend and continued source of welcomed wisdom & advice to her children and grandchildren. Birthdays, holiday celebrations, and family trips were a must, with details and menus planned months in advance. Sue loved showing her appreciation for others with kind words, gestures, and thoughtful gifts and cards. She cherished her friendships.
Before breaking bread with family or friends, Sue enjoyed her signature cocktail - a Woodford Reserve served neat in a snifter glass with a side of ice and a lemon wedge. Sue knew what she liked and while she and her husband dined at some of the finest restaurants in the world, she preferred the comfort foods back at home. Mama Rosa’s, Buddy’s Pizza, The Original Pancake House, Big Boy, National Coney Island, and burgers at Irish Coffee were among her favorites. Cafe Epicure & Mediterraneo in Florida were other favorites as well as Da Eduardo Grosse Pointe, where she ate once a week at her table.
Sue enjoyed dining out and talking with friends she’d see at her regular places, but would also want it noted that she was an excellent cook and made countless meals for family and friends to enjoy. Home cooked Italian meals were a family favorite.
Time in the sun was a must. While in Florida for the winter months, “Wine-Down Wednesdays” at the pool was one of her favorite traditions. Sue enjoyed preparing her famous sausage & peppers dish to share with her girlfriends during their weekly gathering filled with stories & laughs.
Daily word games played online, with her sister and other friends, was something that Sue enjoyed. Euchre games were serious business and Sue was the one to beat. Slot machines, whether played on her iPad at home, or in-person at a casino, were another favorite pastime. Sue and the video poker machines at The Wynn in Las Vegas had a friendly but ongoing love-hate relationship.
In the last few years, Sue looked forward to making her weekly picks in a Pick Six football pool that she played in with over 700 other people. Despite knowing little about football, and never doing well in the pool, Sue’s competitive and determined nature finally paid off in the end. A couple of days after Sue’s passing, her family and friends couldn’t help but smile when they saw that Sue correctly picked all six teams before she passed and posthumously won the weekly pool! A longtime family friend pointed out that this was Sue’s way of letting all of her family and friends know that she truly died a “winner” and that, instead of being sad, we should celebrate her wonderful life.
Services will take place on Saturday, December 16, 2023. In state 9:30 AM until the 10AM funeral mass at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church - 157 Lake Shore Rd, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.