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In Memory of Susan Blair

February 13th, 2014 in Archived Salmon Fest News

Susan Gayle Faw Faw Blair

Susan Gayle Faw Faw Blair passed from this life on Saturday, 25 January 2014 at her home in Biloxi, Mississippi, after nearly a year-long battle with cancer. Susan was born 20 December 1957 in Perry, Oklahoma, to parents Marie (Scott) and Louis V. Faw Faw Jr.

Susan found her life’s calling in the natural sciences, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Oklahoma State University in 1984. Susan began her professional career soon afterwards in Biloxi, MS, serving as an interpreter and leader of the education and outreach programs for the U.S. National Park Service’s Gulf Coast National Seashore preservation efforts. There she helped to bring knowledge and understanding of America’s wildlife and preservation of her natural wonders to the general public and especially to children. She co-authored several educational books and pamphlets and hosted and narrated numerous informational videos on nature conservancy and the local seashore ecosystems.

Susan joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Complex as Environmental Education Specialist for Leavenworth, Entiat and Winthrop National Fish Hatcheries. There, she was a key organizer and coordinator of public outreach activities. Most notably, she served on the Core Planning Team for the award winning Wenatchee River Salmon Festival. Salmon runs are central to the local economy and especially to the Native American tribes of the area, including the Colville, Nez Perce and Yakama peoples. As a Native American herself, Susan was uniquely suited to bringing together the traditional ways of the native peoples by educating thousands and sharing the cultural significance of salmon to the Pacific Northwest and her north central Washington communities.

It was in Leavenworth where Susan met and married her husband, Michael Allen Blair, on New Year’s Day 2006 in Las Vegas.

Being an Oklahoma native, Susan preferred the sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast to the deep snows of the northwest winters. She returned to Biloxi where she remained as the District Interpreter for the Gulf Coast National Seashore and where she continued to organize the Biloxi Earth Day celebrations among many other activities.

Susan is survived by her loving husband of eight years, Michael, both her parents, sisters Sharon Luttrell of Noble, OK, and Sandra Faw Faw of Gulfport, MS, her brother Steve Faw Faw of Oklahoma City, OK, many nieces and nephews, and her “kids” – a veritable menagerie of ducks and geese, dogs and cats, and several other of God’s creatures she held dear to her heart.

A gathering of friends and family will be held at the home of Corky and Duane Broaddus, 8189 East Leavenworth Road, Sunday, February 23, 2014 from 1-4 PM.