Susan Steiner ’71 Bolhouse

Susan Steiner Bolhouse passed away suddenly, at home in Flint, on Friday, August 6. Susan was born in Bad Nauheim, Germany on July 30, 1949, the daughter of B. Franklin Steiner, a U.S. diplomat, and Dr. Hedda Janata Steiner. She had one older brother who predeceased her.

The family was of Czech extraction. She attended private boarding schools in Switzerland and West Germany until she was 18 years old, when she entered Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She graduated from Hope in 1971 and married classmate Roger Bolhouse, who eventually became a top forensic scientist with the Michigan State Police.

They were the parents of two sons, Matthew and Nicholas. Susan was a beloved mother and grandmother, wife, teacher, tutor, seamstress, chef, gardener, and civic leader in both Flint and the Lansing area. She spoke five languages and was a renowned beauty. She was an elected member of the Waverly K-12 school board and served on the board of directors of the Michigan Association of School Boards. Susan founded the philanthropic Waverly Foundation and endowed the Delta Township Library.

She was on the board of Impression Five Science Museum in Lansing. She was later the chair of the Flint Institute of Arts Foundation board and a member of the full FIA board. She was a longtime member of the Board of Trustees of the Hurley Hospital Board of Directors. Susan was a mainstay of the Cultural Center Corporation in Flint. She was also on the board of historic Glenwood Cemetery. In addition, she chaired the W.S. Ballenger, Sr., Eminent Persons Lecture Series, which brought in such illustrious speakers as former Polish Prime Minister Lech Walesa, singer/civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, filmmaker Spike Lee, singer/songwriter Patti Smith and a dozen others. Susan was Vice-President of the Human Resources Commission for the City of Flint.

At the time of her death, she had just been appointed to the board of the Flint Institute of Music. Susan is survived by her son Matthew, his wife, Jessica, and their children Quinn and Sebastian; by her son Nick and his wife Cyndi and their children Benjamin, Mila and Birdie; by her former husband Roger and his wife, Kristina. She was preceded in death by her beloved pets over the past half-century, including her dog Jabba and her therapy Norwegian Elkhound, Kahlo. She is survived by two other Elkhounds, Kyrie and Sami, and two cats, Romi and Zaza.

In fact, she published a book on Kyrie, available on Amazon. Susan’s passing has left a hole in our universe. She will be deeply missed by her family, her many friends around the globe, and the nonagenarians for whom she prepared a constant stream of gourmet meals during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Her best friend during the last two decades of her life, William S. (Bill) Ballenger, said: “Shakespeare’s 116th Sonnet is the greatest tribute to her I can think of: “Let us not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments. Love is not love when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove; O no! It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken. It is the star to every wandering bark, whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks within his bending sickle’s compass comes. Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the end of doom. If this be error, and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.” Surely, no man ever loved a woman as I did Susan, although I didn’t tell her that enough.

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