Susan Elaine Butzin

November 28, 1945 - December 13, 2010
Susan Elaine Butzin


Susan Elaine Butzin, age 65, died peacefully on December 13, 2010 at Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Life Care Center in Wilmington, North Carolina surrounded by her loving family.

Susan was born November 28, 1945 in Kansas City, Missouri, the daughter of the late Leonard and Dorothy Hofstra. She was a beloved wife, loving mother, devoted grandmother and a caring friend. She is survived by her husband of 44 years, Donald Butzin, a son, Matthew and his wife Paula Butzin, a daughter, Amy Butzin and a grandson, Tanner. She was especially close to Tanner. The two had a special, loving bond. She is also survived by her sister Linda Hofstra, her brother Phillip Hofstra and his wife Jane Mobley and her brother David Hofstra and his wife Lynn Tillman. She is also survived by five aunts and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

As a child, Susan?s family briefly lived in Kansas City, Missouri, Topeka, Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas and finally settled in Leavenworth, Kansas, the original home of the Hofstra family. Susan was very active at the First Presbyterian Church as a youth and at Leavenworth Senior High School. Anyone who knew Susan would agree that it was very appropriate she was selected ?Most Dependable? her senior year in high school in 1963. Susan attended Emporia State Teachers College in Kansas and completed her degree in Education at Idaho State University in 1968. Susan married Donald F. Butzin on July 2, 1966 in Leavenworth, Kansas and subsequently made their home in Pocatello, Idaho. In 1970 they moved from Idaho to Northern California and then in 1987, the Butzin family moved to Wilmington.

Over the years Susan taught school in Idaho, California, and North Carolina, taking time off to raise her children while living in California. In all Susan taught school for over 20 years finally retiring in 1996. Most of her teaching career was in special education at the middle school level. Susan was chosen by her peers as ?Teacher of the Year? for Myrtle Grove Middle School in Wilmington for the 1991-1992 school year. Teaching and working with children was one of Susan?s life long passions which she did very well, respected and loved not only by her peers but by her students as well.

Filled with compassion and interest in others, Susan made friends easily. She had an impact on many people?s lives with her loving and thoughtful nature. She always had a smile and was an easy person to talk to. She was the pillar of her family and her presence made life easier for everyone around her. She left behind a legacy of love.

When her family was young, Susan enjoyed camping, hiking and backpacking in the mountains of Idaho and California. She continued to enjoy camping later in life, but in an RV with many ?luxuries.? Susan also enjoyed working in her yard and garden and was an active member of the Hobby Greenhouse Club for many years. Susan had a love of sports, closely following UNCW basketball during the 22 years she lived in Wilmington.

Susan was an active member of church throughout her life. Most notably, Susan served as Head Elder at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pleasanton, California. She was a devoted member of St. Paul?s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wilmington.

A celebration of Susan?s life will be held at St Paul?s Lutheran Church at Sixth and Market Streets at 11:00am on December 18th and a luncheon will follow at the Church fellowship hall.

The Butzin family wishes to express a special thank you to the wonderful people at the Zimmer Cancer Center at New Hanover Hospital who helped her with her battle with cancer and everyone at Lower Cape Fear Hospice who made Susan?s last months comfortable.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Life Care Center, 1406 Physicians Drive Wilmington, NC 28401 or to St. Paul?s Lutheran Church, 12 North Sixth Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 or charity of your choice.

A service of Village Road Memorial Chapel, Leland, NC.


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  • December 15, 2010
    Terry and Marilyn Hofstra says:
    Please accept our sincere sympathy. Susan was, indeed, a very special person. Our thoughts and our prayers are with her family and friends.

  • December 15, 2010
    Susie Parker says:
    Susan was a bright, shining light in our neighborhood. I never saw her without a smile and it was always a bonus to see that wide, beautiful smile of hers. As next door neighbors, we have grown very fond of Susan, Don and Tanner when he visits. Susan was a positive, caring friend and neighbor and I am blessed to have met her.

  • December 15, 2010
    Andrea Swanson says:
    Words can't express how much I will miss Susan. We loved to talk for hours in the driveway or chatted on the back porch to catch up about our families. She was so easy to talk to, and always listened as I rambled on about the kids or the dog. She was always there to comfort me when I needed an ear, or to rescue Roxie when I inadvertenly left her out. Susan was a genuinely considerate,kind, and generous person. She made my children feel so special; the grandmother that lived next door. I hope she knew how much she meant to all of us. She will always be missed.

  • December 15, 2010
    Pat Herrmann says:
    Susan, was truly a breath of fresh air, so lovely and kind always. Her shinning face wil be dearly missed at Hobby Greenhouse. Love, Pat

  • December 15, 2010
    Susan Slick says:
    My thoughts and prayers are with you. She was indeed a loving and caring person. I will miss her but will always have fond memories of her, especially when I am at a Hobby Greenhouse activity.