Friday, May 24, 2024

Janice Lee Sunitsch


Janice Lee Sunitsch

December 21,1937-February 9, 2023

Janice Lee (Christie) Sunitsch, 85, of Leavenworth, Washington, passed away on February 9, 2023, at home surrounded by her family after a short battle with cancer. She was born in Bellingham, Washington to Leonard and Helen (Neher) Christie on December 21, 1937. She cherished her childhood memories of growing up with one brother (Leonard) in Bellingham to parents that grew bountiful and beautiful vegetable and flower gardens. Her family home was near a horse farm where she enjoyed horseback riding and dreamed of becoming a jockey one day. She attended elementary, middle, and high school in Bellingham where she developed lifelong friendships, graduating from Bellingham High School in 1955. She attended Western Washington University for one year before starting her banking profession at Bellingham National Bank.  She soon met Donald Sunitsch on a date arranged by their high school friends and were married on April 30, 1960.  Don's career took them to several communities including Seattle, Yakima, and Everett before settling in Marysville, Washington.  She met more lifelong friends in Marysville, including Darlene Coshow (the sister she never had), wonderful neighbors on Parkside Drive, and families throughout the community. Don’s career took them to California for 10 years before retiring to their cabin in Leavenworth, a beautiful place where they welcomed family and friends to enjoy the peace and tranquility of listening to the river.

While Janice enjoyed gardening, sewing, volunteering, the outdoors, and friends, her devotion was focused on her family.  She is survived by her three children, Scott (Nancy) Sunitsch, Susan (Glen) Adams-Peterson, and Kirk (Marcie) Sunitsch.  She showed great love through making sure her children and their friends came home to delicious sweets and meals, spent countless hours volunteering at schools and events, and never missed her children's athletic events and activities. The family spent weekends and holidays on adventures including backpacking, fishing, boating, and getting lost on logging roads -we always knew she would have the gear and food needed to keep us safe and fed, while dad focused on the activity. Her devotion to her family became even more evident when she had grandchildren. Our favorite quote by her was, “I love my children, but I really love my grandchildren.”  She spent countless hours on the road following her grandchildren’s sporting events from peewee soccer and baseball, high school softball and track, to college and professional baseball and football. Her grandchildren were the joys of her life: Sami, Scotty, Grace, Christie, Trey, Ben, and Emma. She never missed an opportunity to make her famous chocolate chip cookies for her grandchildren. The family will spend the rest of their lives trying to replicate her cookies, cinnamon rolls, jam, and pickles which will always be missing the secret ingredient of her love and devotion. Her grandchildren fondly remember their Halloween trips to the fabric store to pick out a pattern of their choice which resulted in beautifully sewn costumes.  After following her grandchildren's events, her devotion was focused on watching the Mariners and Husky sports. She enjoyed attending her first Mariners game with her children and grandchildren last Fall wearing her Julio Rodriguez jersey.

Janice is survived by her children and spouses, grandchildren, brother, sister-in-laws (Ann, Bonnie, Margaret, Joanie), brothers-in-law (Dale, Gordon), and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, mother and father-in-law (Franz and Mary), brother-in-law (Jack), and nephew (Paul).  Family and friends are welcome to attend a celebration of life on April 29 at 1 p.m. at the Sleeping Lady Resort in Leavenworth. Memorial donations can be made in lieu of flowers to Confluence Health Home/ Hospice Care, American Cancer Society, or a youth sports organization of your choice.