Friday, December 5, 2008

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

Susan passed away tonight at 7:41 PM in her home in Mesa, AZ. Justin was at her side, and they were surrounded by their parents and siblings. Susan was resting peacefully when she left this world, despite suffering tremendous pain and discomfort during the past few days. It was a privilege to see the love that Justin and Susan showed each other even in the midst of such difficult circumstances.

We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and kind words on behalf of Susan, Justin, and our families. We feel blessed to know that our friends stand by us in this time of sorrow.

And yet, we rejoice in the precious years that we were able to spend with Susan. We know that her influence for good will live on in the lives of her many friends and family members. We give thanks for the knowledge that we will one day be together again, and that she is now able to rest from her pain and the cares of this world.

God be with you 'til we meet again. We love you, Suz.

54 comments:

Melanie said...

Justin, I am deeply sorry for your loss. May you find peace and comfort knowing you will be with her again someday. Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us, I know I am a better person because of it. Susan is a great example of good and even though I didnt know her personally she has impacted my life for the better. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Melanie (Adams) Jones

Marissa said...

Thank you for the update - the fact that you care so much about filling us in at a time when you yourself are grieving is enormously considerate and so greatly appreciated. Please let me know to which address I can send a sympathy card.

Thank you again. God bless you and your family.

-Marissa Weeman

Chelsea said...

I love you Susan.

Heath said...

Justin, Chelsea and I are so sorry for your loss. Our heartfelt prayers go out to you and your family.

Mike and Jolynn said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with each member of the Mortensen and Turley family.

Susan was a great example and touch many lives. And she did fight a good fight.

Love, Mike & Jolynn Kellis

Our Family said...

She will be forever missed. I am praying for you, Justin, and for your families. We know she is with her loving Heavenly Father now and that she no longer is in pain. Her influence and example will be felt and remembered forever. We love you guys!

Los Peña said...

Thank you for keeping friends in mind with your updates, please except mine and Jose's condolences. You don't know how blessed I feel to know Susan and to have had her and Justin's example. We are in Utah and would love to also know about any services or how we could help or where to send a card. Again, we love you both, Justin and Susan and are grateful for your selflessness! Justin stay faithful and strong, lean on those you need to lean on. This great Plan is real and God lives!

Jose & Gabby

Anonymous said...

my love is with your family at this time. Thank your for sharing her life with us. I love you all

Please let me know is there is anything I can do to help at this time.

Andrea Pay

Ami Bethea said...

Justin I'm so sorry. I can't imagine what you are going through right now, but please know that we will pray for you and your family. I didn't know Susan, but from reading the blog I can see that she was an amazing, inspiring, wonderful person that will be greatly missed. It is at these particularly tough times that we are are so blessed to have the gospel. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Ami Bethea

Josh and Melissa said...

How grateful we are for your example. We love you all and our thoughts and prayers will be with you.

Adriana said...

Family of Susan-
I know Angels rejoiced as Susan joined them...
Brother and Sister Mortensen, thank you for raising such a BEAUTIFUL daughter!
Justin, I am so sorry for your loss, but I am glad that she had you there for her when it was needed.
We pray that strength and comfort will surround all of you right now.

Much love,
Adriana and Damond Farar

Ashley said...

Justin,
I am so sorry for your loss. I just only recently heard about Susan. From what I have read and heard, she was an amazing individual. What a blessing it was for you to have her in your life, if only for a short time. And although short,what a blessing to know that you have an eternity to spend with her after this life. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you face the struggles ahead of you.

Sincerely,
Ashley (Poulsen) Kuhni

Anonymous said...

Although I only briefly met Susan, I have not been able to stop thinking about her, or your family. I have shed tears thinking about the sadness of the situation. My heart aches when I think about losing a spouse so early in life. It has completely changed my perspective on life. I am so very sorry for your loss. Although Susan cannot be seen with physical eyes, I hope you can take comfort in knowing she is still probably very close to you all. May you be strengthened and at peace during the difficult transition ahead.
"There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes. We cannot see it, but when our bodies are purified, we shall see that it is all matter."
Doctrine and Covenants 131:7-8

Anonymous said...

Many will live much longer lives than Susan, but few will live better ones. It has been an honor to know Susan and to be blessed by her life and the service and compassion she so selflessly poured out to those in need. I am forever grateful for the time she shared with us. With all my love to the Turley and Mortensen families, Julene Idso

Anna Macfarlane said...

God Bless Justin, the Mortensen and Turley families. My heart and prayers are with you today.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” -John 14:27

Anonymous said...

Justin, Bruce, Janet and family - my heart pours out to you all. Susan was an amazing soul and may her love and goodness live on in all of you. God bless her and you all through this journey and we hope you find some peace from all those who love and care for you.

Sincerely,
Ann Williams

Lindsey Lundeen said...

Susan was an inspiration to me. Sometimes it was even intimidating to know all that she had accomplished :-) , but she is the sweetest person i'd ever met and i loved being around her.
I am so sorry for your loss. It is a loss for all of us. I will miss Susan so much. She is still an inspiration and always will be.
-Lindsey Lundeen Crosland

Maryann said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that your family will be comforted by a loving Heavenly Father. Susan was a wonderful person, and she was blessed to have a loving family that was able to be there with her and for her. Thank you for keeping us all updated during this difficult time.

erika said...

Justin, we are so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are in our prayers. Isn't it wonderful to have the gospel....
Susan was an amazing person and she will be greatly missed.

Mike Steph Brooklyn and Carter said...

She didn't just fight a good fight, she fought a GREAT fight. We are all better people thanks to Suz, she has taught us so much about selflessness, faith, love and so much more. I love her so much and can't wait for our reunion. She is going to be welcoming a lot of people with open arms! My heart goes out to you Justin, Bruce and Janet, her brothers and all those who will be missing her as I will. You will continue to be in our prayers.

The Bostock Fam said...

Justin, Susans Family, I am so sad for your loss. I am so thankful that you have a testimony of the truth. What a comfort in this hard time. I did not know susan but her testimony is enough to let me know what a great person she is! I hope your faith will abide with you all through this next while. My family has prayed for you all since I learned of Susan illness.

Love,

Rachel and Alan Bostock

Anonymous said...

I know that in the short times I spent with Susan, she provided immense joy and light in all people that surrounded her. That joy will be with me always. My prayers with Susan's family and friends. She is a truly incredible woman of God.

Ross and Brittany Chambers said...

Susan has touched so many lives by her courage, faith, and example. I am so lucky to have known and loved Susan. She always had the best sense of humor and was always laughing. Because of her, my high school experience was so fun and we shared many great memories. By her example, she has made me a better person and i strive to be more like her everyday. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Until we meet again, We love you!

Brittany said...

My heart goes out to you - both Justin and the Mortensen family. She has touched my life in ways which have made me a better person. I am grateful for my everyday struggles and the experiences I have on this earth. Her testimony left me in tears. I am grateful to have known her. My prayer to you is that God's peace and assurance will touch you when loss and sadness seek to overwhelm you.

All my love,

Brittany (Lueck) Blackburn

Kelli said...

I am so sorry for the loss of such an amazing and beautiful woman! I didn't know Susan personally, but what I have read of her, seen in smiling pictures, her accomplishments and tender and sincere testimony, have been a true example to me! Thank you for sharing so much with all of us. Justin and family, I hope and pray you will be carried through this time and always. Remember her SMILES and LAUGHTER...

Caryn said...

Justin my families thoughts and prayers are with you.
Hugs

Caryn Beck

Ruth and Paul Hatch said...

Dear Justin,
We are Christy Whittaker and Mark Hatches Mom. They both have been sadly relating the challenge you and Susan have been faced with recently. They have both been touched deeply by your experience amd example.
Our first child past away suddenly at 15 months with cancer. It was so sudden and quick less than 24 hours. We know the heart ache that is felt when a loved one passes quickly with an untimely death. We also know in the Doctrine and Covenants 42:48 that if they are "not appointed unto death, shall be healed. We knew it was her time to return to our Heavenly Father even though she was so young. That helped us understand but we still felt the physical pain of her leaving our presents.
You will be in our prayers.
Susan has touched our lives and we did not even know her personally. We are grateful to you and Susan for the wonderful example you are to all of us.

Adam and Jessica Cooley said...

I couldn't have said it any better...she did fight a good fight. I can't help but feel excited for Susan, while we are left to miss her dearly, she is in paradise with loved ones long gone from this world and with a perfect knowledge of all that we are working so hard to obtain in this short probationary life. Although it's hard to say goodbye it's more of an "I'll see you soon". Know that we love all of those family members that have been left behind and that our family still prays for you. Some say only time can heal wounds, but really only Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ can as we reach out to them and ask. Susan has taught me a lesson that I knew, but did not really grasp. Life is short, you must take in every second as if it was your last, and most importantly...you must live today as if you will soon enter the Lord's presence. Rather than "eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die" we must "feast" upon the words of Christ, "quench" our thirst with living waters, and "rejoice" in Christ that we may all be prepared on the day we shall also pass from this life to the next. We love you forever Susan and thank you for your pillar of strength and shining example.

Ashley said...

From a former wildcat...Dear Susan, I always remembered your positive attitude and smiling face at the track, in the weight room or around campus. May you rest in peace with our God.

Amy said...

Justin and family, I pray for the Spirit to be with you at this time. I know the Holy Ghost will comfort you more than you can imagine in the days to come.
Much love,
Amy (Snow) Kimball

Jen from Windy Ridge said...

What a beautiful example of courage and faith. May God continue to give you strengh.

may l said...

Justin - So sorry for your loss. I didn't know Susan well - we were roommates for a weekend at a Pac-10 SAAC conference in college - but she was kind and made a strong impact on me for the limited interaction we had. My heart and prayers go out to her and the entire family, especially to you. Best, May Lundberg

Sheri Packard said...

Justin, I am so sad for you. I can't imagine the loss you are feeling. I wish there was something to say that would make you feel better, but there is nothing. I know the Lord is with you, and He will help to carry you through this. I am so sorry.
Sheri

Harry_the_Hand said...

I will remember Susan as the little 3 or 4 year old that was always bouncing around in Primary when I was a newlywed and as the beautiful and mature young woman who moved into my ward when she was a newlywed 20 odd years later. She always had the best smile and the best disposition. I can't find words to express the empathy that I feel for Justin at this time. Susan is his forever, but that can't take away the feeling of the loss of the greatest love of ones life. I want him to know that all of us are there to support him.

Harry Woods

Jack and Annie said...

Susan, you were such a wonderful light. Always a smile on your face even when times got tough. Always everyones friend, never judging. You are what is beautiful, lovely, and pure about the world and we have been so blessed to have known you and been your friend. I pray for you Justin, Bruce, Janet and the rest of the Turley and Mortensen families that you may have His spirit to be with you during this time. We love you guys!

Kleinmans said...

Justin & Family, My heart breaks for you during this time right now. I have been so impressed by your optimism throughout your trials! May you find the comfort and peace you seek. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Michelle Fish Kleinman & Family

thearringtonclan said...

Dear Justin, The Mortensen and Turley familes..... We are wanting to send our condolences to you and pray that you will be blessed with peace at this time. Though very sad to hear of Susans' passing I cannot help feeling excited for the relief she has from this earthly trial and for the great reunion in Heaven. I know she was greeted by a multitude of Angels because of the staunch servant that she was..
We never got to meet her but know she will remain in our hearts forever and we look forward to the day when we can say Thank you for the encouragement she gave to us while Mathew goes through the trial also of Cancer..
I will treasure the e-mails she sent to us and so grateful that she took the time to do so..
God Bless you all as you strive to move forward.
Maxine and Mathew

The Ferrin's said...

I did not know Susan, but was able to read her story on another blog and couldn't help but share my deepest sympathy for your loss. In reading about Susan I am overwhelmed by her continuous faith and love she had for the savior and for the church. She has inspired my life and Im sure the life of others who did not have a chance to meet her. I am so grateful for people like her who help strengthen my testimony and faith in the plan of salvation. I know her time here on this earth was short, but what an impact she has left on the lives of those around. I can see the love you both share for each other and what a blessing it is to know that that love will continued to be shared through time and all eternity. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, and thank you for sharing Susan's story.

The Earnest Family said...

Justin, I love you like a brother and I am so sorry for your loss. I didnt know Susan personally but I am convinced she was an amazing woman for winning your heart. Come over soon for some floppovers. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope you can find peace through this trial. Love, Amber Allen Earnest

Anonymous said...

May Susan's memory and influence live on in those whom lives she blessed by association, and may they find a cure. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Justin and the Mortensens.

~Tim and Shiloh Gooch

Megs said...

Susan was such an example of kindness and Christ-like love. She always knew how to make people feel welcomed and loved. I feel privileged to have known her and I know I am a better person today because of her influence in my life. Those loved ones she has left behind are in our prayers.
Love,
Brad and Meghan (Salmon) Miner

Jake & Kara said...

Susan,
I felt like the king of the world because I got to sit next you in Sunday School.  I like to think that it is your confidence (from having a close relationship with your Christlike father) and your kindness (from the example of your saint mother) that make you so universally attractive.  I have known for a long time that our wise cracks during Janet's lessons, our unruly Friday night drives, our contentious games of Risk, our uproarious basketball attendance, and our absurd repeated toilet paper crusades of the Ritchey's house were immature.  All this tomfoolery of our childhood was pointless and perhaps reckless but I loved it and I like to think you loved it.   You were always one of the guys and while I regret not treating you more like the lady you were, I will always treasure having you for a buddy.    Through your recent suffering you formed a fellowship with the Savior that those of us loving and rooting from the outside can only admire.  It will take years of sacrifice and trials for us to understand what you gained in these four months of experience.  You passed the test and because you shared it so bravely and openly we are richer for it.  The church stage, the ball fields, the seminary parking lot, and the track are now holy ground.  Stanley, Gail, Keneth, and Knox are now hushed with a reverence that contrasts with the laugher of our youth.  But the laughter will return.  May the tragedy of Justin's empty house immediately remind us of the victory of Christ's empty tomb and the joy that will ring at our distant but inevitable reunion.
Love,
Jake

CathyD said...

Justin, Bruce and all the family - May I extend the deepest sorrows from myself and on behalf of your friends here at Burke. She will be missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with you all in your time of sorrow.
CathyD, NY

Martha said...

My heart breaks for you, the Mortensens and the Turleys. I visit taught Susan back in U3 when her dad was the bish. What a light she was and what a light I can see she is continuing to be. All my love to you in her passing and during this time. May the heavens bring you peace. Love, Martha E. Howe

Anonymous said...

My heart aches for your sweet family. I pray that you all feel that sweet comfort that comes from the multitude of prayers being said for you. I will always remember Susan's beautiful smile and her wonderful example.
Thank you for sharing her story.
-Robin (Andersen) Lee

Cheryl Chiasson said...

I have just learned of Susan's passing and although you don't know me, I have watched Susan grow from a little girl to the beautiful woman she was. My name is Cheryl and I live in New England and am a client of Mediserve. Please accept my sincere and deepest sympathies. Susan was always a bright spot for me when I arrived in AZ. She made me feel at home and that smile of hers made me feel special. I know she is with our Creator and I have asked those that I work with to say a prayer for Susan today. I thank our Lord for the opportunity to have known her - even a little. Cheryl Chiasson, Mercy Medical Center, Springfield, Mass.

Jonathan and Sarah said...

As many, I did not know Susan personally. I saw her occasionally at Single Stake Activities. I just know that she was always happy and seemed like a very kind person. I have also been touched by this story. I have felt silly crying about it since I don't know her well. Susan's family is truly strong to bear this unexpected event in their life. I pray that Heavenly Father's peace will be with you.

Jeff said...

I must say that I haven't been keeping up as much as I would have liked only having the knowledge of the blog for the last week or so. I've been inspired and reminded how precious life is all over again. Please accept my apology if I can't make it to the funeral, but will try my hardest.

Anonymous said...

It was a heartbreaking news for our family to hear about Susan's death. She is always going to be a part of our family. We are glad that we could see her one more time, last year when she visited us. She was the same as always with a big smile on her face, and that is how we will always remember her.
She will be forever missed here in Skopje.
With love,
Tashevski and Trpchevski family

~wb said...

I knew susan while working in the academics department at U of A. She was always sweet, funny, and very kind. I had to take a couple of deep breaths when I heard about her passing. She was much, much too young ...
I've lost both of my parents to cancer. I'll be making my next contribution to the ACS in their names and in Susan's.
~William Broussard

Megan said...

I went to school (Corona) with Susan and am deeply saddened to hear about her passing. I wish her family and loved ones the best in getting through this tough time and hope that you know that Susan touched the lives of many.

Megan Hanley

Anonymous said...

Justin and Family,

I knew Susan only briefly in the Single's Stake 6 years ago. She was quite a gal, and when I was shown your blog, I sat and read it in its entirety in one sitting. I am moved by her story and strength, as well as the love and support that you all gave to her. Thank you for keeping this record, so that people like me can be inspired and reminded of how important life, love, and family are. My heart goes out to you all, and I wish you my best.

Sincerely,

Cory Theobald

Anonymous said...

Justin and Family,
I would like to take the opportunity to express to you how much Susan's story meant to me. I recently rejoined the church after over 8 years of inactivity. This has not been an easy road and everyday I pray that Heavenly Father will give me the strength to make it through another day.
What started out as a wrong web address turned into the strengh my testimony needed. What a beautiful tale of sincere love and everlasting faith. Reading Susan's story truly put things into perspective for and and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. May your lives be blessed as you have blessed mine.

Anonymous said...

I have just found out about Susan's passing and my sincerest condolences go out to you. I ran track with Zach, Sam, and Mike at Corona. I did not know Susan but I feel that you should know that her story has touched me. It cannot be said enough what an inspiriation she will be for so many ailing people. Justin, your strength is paramount. I feel honored, just to have been able to read about her story from beginning to end.I feel blessed to have known her, even if only through the blog. All our Prayers,

The family of Corey Leon.