Susan Marie O'Brien

11/07/1959 - 05/30/2023


Obituary For Susan Marie O'Brien

Susan Marie O'Brien, a beloved mother, wife, and friend, passed away peacefully on May 30, 2023 in Asheville, North Carolina. She was born on November 7, 1959 in Green Bay, Wisconsin to her loving parents, Ronald and Judith VandenBusch. Susan's father was a member of the Air Force, which led to their family's exciting travels across the globe, including the Philippines, California, Florida, Illinois, and Japan.

Growing up in a military family, Susan attended and graduated high school in Japan. Throughout her high school years, Susan enthusiastically participated in all sports as the team statistician and showcased her passion for music by playing the violin.

After returning to the United States, Susan pursued higher education at Old Dominion University, where she earned a degree in criminal justice. On August 9, 1980, she married Michael O'Brien (deceased), and together they welcomed two beautiful daughters, Erin and Megan, into their lives. Susan's devotion to her children was unparalleled, as she not only fulfilled her role as an incredible mother but also actively participated in their elementary school activities, managing sports teams and leading Girl Scout troops.

Susan had a deep love for animals and always had a soft spot for rescues. She allowed her daughters to keep whatever unique and unusual animal they rescued, including a crawfish. Her compassion extended to all living creatures, and she found joy in nurturing and caring for them.

Susan found love again when she met her future wife, Christine LaRose. Together, they embarked on a new chapter of their lives in the picturesque mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, where they built a beautiful home and shared countless cherished memories. Susan and Christine enjoyed exploring nature, hiking the scenic waterfalls, traveling, and spending quality time with their children and grandchildren.

Susan Marie O'Brien will be fondly remembered for her unwavering love and support for her family, her vibrant spirit, and her zest for life. She leaves behind a legacy of kindness, compassion, and a profound love for the people and animals who were fortunate enough to have known her.

Susan is survived by her devoted wife, Christine LaRose; daughter, Erin Spence (husband Matt); stepsons, Scott LaRose (wife Jessica) and Alex LaRose; stepdaughter, Jessica LaRose (wife Casey); father, Ronald VandenBusch; sister, Sharon Vidaurri; brother, Steven VandenBusch (wife Sadie); grandchildren, Kya O’Brien, MJ Spence, Luke Spence, Nolan Spence, and Lincoln LaRose; nephews, Joshua Vidaurri, Steven VandenBusch (wife Amberly), and Ryder Vidaurri (wife Jenna); niece, Tanya VandenBusch (husband Carlos); great nieces. Jocelyn Valdez, Neveah Salazar, and Peyton VandenBusch; and a wide circle of family and friends who will miss her dearly. She is preceded in death by Michael, daughter Megan, and mother Judith. Her memory will forever live on in the hearts of all those whose lives she touched.

A memorial service to celebrate Susan's life will be held on June 13 at 10:00 am at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville, NC.

Rest in peace, Susan Marie O'Brien. May your soul find eternal serenity among the waterfalls you loved, and may your spirit continue to inspire us all.

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  • 07/04/2023

    I'm so sorry. I didn't know Susan well, being new to the neighborhood, but when she had her little dog out and I was walking mine, we would chat a few moments about the yard and lovely rocks at their home or the dogs. She told me that she needed treatment again. She had a kind soul and I will miss seeing her. Peace to her and all who loved her.

  • 06/14/2023

    Sue. You were a phenomenal neighbor. I always loved chatting with you and you were so good to my kiddos. You always looked out for us and I will always remember your laugh. Rest in peace and my thoughts are with Chris and your family. Cari, Tom, Trenton, and Layla kennedy

  • 06/14/2023

    I did not know Susan that well but did have the opportunity to see her and talk to her at family reunions. She was a very good person, loving, sincere and just someone I wish I got to spend more time with. I will miss you, Susan.

  • 06/10/2023

    I had the honor of working with Sue at both Volvo and Smartrac. She was a sincere friend you could rely on. She was there for me during many difficult times. She will be missed. The last few years had been difficult for Sue but her love for her family and her Catholic faith were what she talked about the most. They were the source of her strength. With a smile on her face she spoke fondly of all of them from her parents to her great nieces and she often shared pictures. The last time we spoke she talked about how proud she was of each of her grandchildren and what good mothers her daughters were. She lived a life rich in love and she knew it. It was a privilege to have known her.

  • 06/07/2023

    I had the pleasure of working with Sue for many years! We shared the love of rescues and animals, in general. I always looked forward to hearing about the shenanigans her furkids would be up to and we would just laugh. Her laughter was contagious. She was an incredible person and will be missed! Rest in peace my friend.

  • 06/06/2023

    Erin, Matt and boys, Chris and family members. Dad Ron, Sharon, and Steve. Prayers for healing always. Susan we love you so very much to the moon and back. You always had a heart of gold. I know that we are very sad, heartbroken that you have left us here on earth. But overall we all know you are already holding hands with mom Judee and Meghan in the Lords house. We know in our hearts that the Lord opened up his arms and welcomed you into his kingdom in heaven. May you rest in peace and always remember that we loved you so very much. Our deepest condolences to each of you. Love, hugs, kisses and especially prayers Steve and Sadie VandenBusch

  • 06/06/2023

    I worked closely with Sue for 4 years. She was always very eager to help and mentored me early in my career. I admired her ability to be direct, to the point and to solve problems and always appreciated it when she stopped by my office to check in. I was very sad to hear that she passed away. She will be missed.

  • 06/06/2023

    Sue and I had offices right next to each other at Smartrac. Her smile and hard work were contagious! My day was always brighter when I saw Sue and I loved how she lit up when she talked about Chris and her daughters. Sending prayers for Chris and the family.

  • 06/06/2023

    Please accept our sincere condolences to Chris and your family. Please know how heavy our hearts are and accept all of the good energy we are sending your way. 💞Tina & Karen

  • 06/06/2023

    I remember when I was little and I wanted a skateboard so bad. Grandma promised to give me 20 dollars If I raked the leaves in her yard. I bought my first skateboard with that money and to this day I still skateboard.

  • 06/06/2023

    Sue and we're besties at Yokota High School in 1976-1977, she was so tall and I'm only five foot two inches so some people called us "Mutt and Jeff" from an old cartoon. She graduated and moved away, as military families do, she visited me once in Rhode Island but we lost contact for years until recently reconnecting on Facebook ..... I'm glad we were able to catch up, I'm going to miss her! My heart goes out to her family and friends. Toni Orsini-Bagley

  • 06/05/2023

    Our daughters were teammates in softball for many years. I'll always remember Sue as being there for the girls and team. Love and prayers to Erin and the whole family.

  • 06/05/2023

    My sincere condolences. I worked with her briefly at Volvo and she was so kind and warm to me.

  • 06/05/2023

    Sue was a part of the crazy Brentwood crew🥰I had both Erin and Meghan in second grade. Our girls had their First Communion Rest in peace Sue

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