Susan Anne Birchak, 52, of Payson died Oct. 9, 2001 in Payson. She was born March 18, 1949 in Butler, Pa.
After college Susan became a professional gold and silversmith creating many exquisite and unique pieces. Coupling her gold and silver jewelry skills with business savvy, Susan started and ran a successful jewelry retail and manufacturing business in Estes Park, Colorado, and in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
When Susan and her husband, John, decided to start a family, Susan sold her successful business to become a full-time mother.
Susan home schooled her children from elementary through high school, and all three are now in college with 3.5+ GPA's. In her college years Susan studied voice, opera, and art.
She was a self-taught expert botanist and ethnobotanist. Susan could identify every tree, plant, shrub, flower, fern, moss, and mushroom in the Western U.S. with their proper scientific Latin and common names, as well as their traditional horticultural uses.
Susan was the general manager of Payson's TV7.
As a longtime political activist and volunteer, Susan used her KMOG and TV7 positions to raise awareness for local Hospice, Time Out Shelter, water conservation, and other important community activities.
Survivors include her residence spouse, John Birchak of Chandler; one daughter, Maria Birchak of Chandler; daughter-in-law, Hanna Birchak of Payson; two sons, Aaron Birchak of Payson and Ian Birchak of Chandler; one brother, William Clark of Winchester, Ky.; and one grandson, Austin Birchak of Payson.
A private memorial service will be held for immediate family, close relatives and personal friends next week.
An upcoming public memorial service for all Payson residents will be announced in the Payson Roundup, on KMOG and TV7.
Donations can be made the the Time Out Shelter, P.O. Box 306, Payson, AZ 85547.