Obituary: Susan Lee de Wardt née Holder |

Obituary: Susan Lee de Wardt née Holder

Susan Lee de Wardt née Holder BA BSME CAPF CJF-M/S

November 20, 1948 – July 18, 2018

Global personality, engineer, teacher, certified journal/poetry facilitator, accomplished artist/writer, outstanding cook, loving and committed wife / mother / sister; Susan de Wardt passed away peacefully at home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado on Wednesday July 18 2018 after 3 years courageously fighting Stage IIIC Peritoneal Cancer.

Born in Chicago, Illinois to Willis C Holder and Florence H Holder (née Petzold); married February 19 1983 in Fraser, Colorado to John P de Wardt; during their marriage, Susan and John made their home in Houston, Bangkok, Miri, The Hague, Paris and Steamboat Springs.

Susan’s lifetime of accomplishments cover many genres and countries:

Engineer/Entrepreneur : Economics BA degree, George Williams College; Sears Financial advisor; exercise program at YMCA developed into a Professional Belly Dancer in Greek Restaurants funding engineering university education; Mechanical Engineering BS degree, University of Illinois, Chicago; rig site Drilling Engineer Montana & Wyoming (a pioneer for female engineers) & Research Engineer, Bellaire Research Center, Shell Oil; Expert Advisor, created the Petroleum Engineering curriculum at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Therapeutic Writer/Coach; Graduate Coach University; Certified Instructor Journal to the Self; Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator; Certified Applied Journal Facilitator; Board Member, Credentials Chair, President National Federation of Biblio / Poetry Therapy – elevated this organization to International status; Adjunct Faculty at The Therapeutic Writing Institute; Life Coach at Mindworks Coaching LLC; frequent presenter and co-facilitator at conferences, workshops and retreats sponsored by the Center for Journal Therapy, the International Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy and the National Association for Poetry Therapy.

Community/Volunteer: Charity work American Women’s Club, Bangkok, Thailand; Lamaze class facilitator and expat theater participant in Miri, Sarawak, Island of Borneo; in Steamboat Springs – Advocates Building Peaceful Communities; CMC; Troop 194 Scouts, including team player on the fund raising that sent 10 Scouts and their Scout Master to the World Jamboree in Santiago, Chile; various productions with the Community Theatre, Chief Players and Steamboat Cabaret; gaveled many Steamboat Writers Group meetings and led this organization’s Annual Conference for many years; Trustee of the Bud Werner Memorial Library for 10 years during the very successful rebuild program.

Susan is survived by her husband, John; her son, Winston, and his wife, Faith; her daughter, Rebecca, her husband, Ian, and grandson, Jayce; her sister, Lynn Garman, and her husband, Dale.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a special Therapeutic Writing Program set up in Susan’s honor to support patients, their families and the staff at the Jan Bishop Cancer Center at YVMC. This Therapeutic Writing Program is created and facilitated by Susan’s friend and mentor Kathleen (Kay) Adams, one of the foremost practitioners and teachers of Journaling and Therapeutic Writing in the World, specifically in Susan’s memory. Susan’s family is eternally grateful for the care and attention the staff at the Jan Bishop Cancer Center gave without any compromise to her in their support of both her cancer treatment and her well-being as well as the ever attentive radiologists at YVMC. Information about Kay Adams is available at Information on the Jan Bishop Cancer Center at

The budget for this extraordinary and especially designed program for patients and staff at the Jan Bishop Cancer Center and YVMC is $60,000 covering the launch and the first 5 years implementation. Susan’s family will match all donations, dollar for dollar, up to a match of $30,000 in the hope that the full budget for 5 years can be raised as quickly as possible.

Tax deductible donations can be made through the YVMC Foundation by selecting the ‘Susan de Wardt Fund’ drop down at

An invitation Memorial Event will be held in Steamboat Springs the week of Thanksgiving with remote access via video conference. Information from

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