Susan Portyrata

February 10, 1954 ~ June 9, 2020 (age 66)


Susan passed away at her home, after several loving goodbyes, with her family at her side, after a (5)-five year battle with breast cancer. She lived her life to the fullest, and viewed life as a gift from God, that is precious, including the sanctity of life.

Susan’s life can be summed up in a quote given by Pope Saint John Paul II, when he stated “Never, Ever Give Up On Hope, Never Doubt, Never Tire, And Never Become Discouraged. Be Not Afraid.” And she practiced this quote, until the last moments of her life on this earth.

She came onto this earth on February 10th, 1954, born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at Warren Air force Base Hospital; her parents Harland Soppe and Ann Tapke Soppe welcomed her into the world with open arms. Susan was baptized on March 14, 1954.

As an Airforce dependent for (20)-Twenty years, Susan traveled the world with her parents and lived in Europe, North Africa, several cities within North America, and had numerous experiences throughout the world, as a child and teenager.

Traveling to her family’s final Airforce station, Pease Airforce Base, located in Portsmouth New Hampshire, she met her lifelong friend, lover, and husband Mark, at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, in Dover New Hampshire as a Senior, in 1972. Her first date with Mark, her future husband, was the Senior Prom, and they knew then that they would share the rest of their lives together.

Susan & Mark were married on April 12, 1975 in Newmarket, NH, and spent the next (5)-Five years together stationed at several USCG stations on the East Coast. Her fondest memories in the USCG, were spent living on the Outer Banks of North Carolina enjoying swimming, surf fishing, body surfing, walking along the beaches, crabbing, and spending romantic nights on the beach, listening to the surf. Later in life her family made several journeys back to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

In 1980, Susan and Mark returned to Ohio, to study at The Ohio State University; in 1985, Susan received a BS Allied Health Professional Degree in Occupational Therapy and became an OTR/L. After graduation, she spent time working at The Heinzerling Foundation working with children, and then worked at the Burn Clinic, at the The Ohio State University Hospital. It is at The Ohio State University Hospital, her daughter was born, Catherine Portyrata.

Susan’s family moved to the North Canton, Ohio area in 1988 to pursue her career along with her husband, to raise her daughter, and after the move, she gave birth of her son Jonathan Portyrata. Susan practiced her OTR Profession for (30)-Thirty years in the area, specializing in working with the elderly at several local nursing homes, which was her passion. She treated her patients as family and worked passionately to make life better for her elderly patients to return home or better their lives within the institutions Susan experienced life in. She spoke to her husband several times, sharing stories of the elderly, who are often forgotten as cherished story tellers of the past.

She spent many summers with her husband refurbishing an (80)-Year old Farmhouse on Tappan Lake, and enjoyed boating, water skiing, reading books, and taking numerous walks in the woods with her husband. She also enjoyed collecting antiques with her husband over the years, visiting every nook and cranny throughout Northeastern, Ohio.

Susan leaves behind her “Best Friend” and husband Mark of (46)-Years, her daughter Catherine Portyrata & Grand Daughter Gabrielle Portyrata-Smith, and her loving son Jonathan Portyrata. She also leaves behind her brothers, David Soppe, Jim Soppe, Paul Soppe, John Soppe, and her sisters Marian Soppe, and Ellen Soppe, including the spouses of her brothers & sisters along with numerous cousins & nephews.

She is predeceased by her other best friend, her mother Ann Tapke Soppe who Susan took care of when Ann succumbed to cancer, her younger sister Karen Ann Soppe, and her father Harland Soppe. Susan has entered “The Everlasting Kingdom of God”, and her family is sure that she is with her mother and sister, looking down at Mark, wondering if he misses drinking German Old Style Beer and eating Fritos, as he frequently did with Susan and her mom.  

Public calling hours will be held Tuesday, June 16, at the Arnold & Spiker-Foster-Shriver Funeral Home from 4-7PM, private family callings hours will be Wednesday. A public Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, June 18 at 10 am in St. Paul Catholic Church with Rev. Marian Babjak officiating. A private burial will take place at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, per Susan’s wishes, please donate to the below listed cause, in Susan’s name, which will help the families of children who have cancer. 

In Susan's memory we'll be donating all funds to St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research Hospital. The donated amount will be matched, and a plaque will be displayed in her memory at St. Jude’s. We'll share an image of the plaque to all contributors.

Donation Link:



June 16, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Arnold & Spiker-Foster-Shriver Funeral Home
4817 Cleveland Ave NW
Canton, OH 44709

Mass of Christian Burial
June 18, 2020

10:00 AM
St. Paul Catholic Church

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