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Nature 14


Connie Kay Suyehira

January 29, 2019

Connie Suyehira, 65, died Tuesday, January 29, 2019, at home from complications due to her Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She was a fighter and battled her MS fearlessly. After nine days in the ICU and three additional days in the hospital, she was able to go home through hospice. She passed away peacefully in her sleep shortly after coming home, with her family by her side.
Born in Twin Falls, Idaho, on December 6, 1953, to Paulene and Don Smith, she was the oldest of four children. She graduated from Twin Falls High School, and then attended the College of Idaho where she majored in Zoology and graduated in 1976. Connie also met the love of her life at the C of I, Rich Suyehira. After graduation Connie enrolled in the medical technology program at St. Alphonsus Hospital/BSU. She graduated the following year and started working in the lab at St. Al’s. She studied while working in microbiology and completed her microbiology specialty. Later she ran the bone marrow transplant program (signing up volunteers) at St Al’s and then the cancer research program. She retired in 2001 as a consequence of progressions in her MS.
She married Rich Suyehira on July 23, 1977, in Boise, Idaho, where they continued to live, work, and raise their two children, Michael and Kelsey. Connie was the life of the party. She could talk to anyone and everyone and was full of joy and happiness. She was funny and loved having a good time. She was very organized but somehow tolerated her husband’s piles of stuff. She was very focused on raising her son and daughter, standing up for them yet giving them plenty of room to become their own people. Connie was an avid sports enthusiast, playing softball with work colleagues, watching football with family and friends, and watching her children play soccer. Despite a distaste for wind and water, she loved to snow and water ski, hike, camp, and be outdoors.
Connie was predeceased by her mother Pauline Smith (Don). Survivors include her father Don, step-mother Gladys, husband Rich, children Michael (Christy) and Kelsey, grandchildren Will and Wes, brother Scott (Mia) Doron, sisters Sandy (Brent) Bronson and Kathy (Brian) Jost, Aunt Elaine (Gary), in-laws Beth (Bon), Jan (Mike), Jody (Rick), Ron, Bob (Ruth Ann) and many nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends – all of whom she considered family.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Sunday, February 3, 2019, at Cloverdale Funeral Home. A reception will be held following the memorial service at 3876 N. Sawgrass Place, Boise, Idaho 83704.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) or a charity of your choice in Connie’s name.

Click here to view a webcast of the service on 2/3/2019 at 12:50 PM, Mountain Standard Time.

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