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Susan "Sue" Gilmartin

January 9, 1930 ~ January 21, 2020 (age 90)


A passionate traveler with a knack for languages, Sue has now embarked upon the ultimate journey. She died peacefully in her sleep on January 21, 2020, not long after her 90th birthday.


Sue was born in Spokane to Gladys and Clarence Orndorff on January 9, 1930. She was the third of four daughters, coming after Grace and Ann, but before Kay. After Ann, Sue is now the second to have passed away. She loved learning, which sparked her curiosity for the world and its people. After studying at St. Augustine and Holy Names, she went on to the University of Texas at Austin. Due to economics, she returned to Spokane a year later, and took a job with Old National Bank. She met and fell in love with a customer, Earl John “Bud” Gilmartin, whom she married in 1952. A dearly loved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Sue is survived by six children: Grady, Michael (Lupe), Earl John III (Barbara), Peter (Cindy), Marc, and Megan (Gary). She is also survived by 16 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, with more on the way.


When not busy taking care of her home and family, Sue loved playing golf. She was a fierce competitor, and won many tournaments. She also participated in weekly doubles badminton matches at the Spokane Club, as well as downhill and cross-country skiing.


Sue had a sharp mind and loved playing bridge and mahjong until the very end. She also enjoyed investing in the stock market, and had a keen eye for companies that were poised to do well. With her longtime investment group, she had a blast traveling the world, using earnings from buying and selling stocks.


Always thinking of others, Sue volunteered regularly, including working at Sacred Heart Hospital, and teaching English to immigrants. She was always sure to learn several words in the languages of her students, and was able to communicate in at least a dozen languages.


Sue taught her family about survival, offering famous aphorisms such as “A little sour milk never hurt anyone.” She fought for her beliefs, and for the success of her loved ones. After her divorce from Bud in 1983, she did not complain or grow bitter. Full of gratitude, and her love for God, Sue was very satisfied with her life, and did not fear death. Several years ago, she declared that she’d soon be sticking out her thumb for that final ride.


Sue’s vigil will be held at Hennessey Funeral Home, on March 6th, at 6:00 pm. Her funeral mass will be at Sacred Heart Church, on March 7, at 12:00 pm, with committal to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. You can visit Sue’s tribute and leave condolences at In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Rockwood Residents’ Foundation or the Poor Clare Nuns of Spokane.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Susan "Sue" Gilmartin, please visit our floral store.


Vigil Service
March 6, 2020

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Hennessey Funeral Home - Division
2203 North Division St
Spokane, WA 99207

Funeral Mass
March 7, 2020

12:00 PM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
219 E. Rockwood Blvd.
Spokane, WA 99202

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