It is with great sadness that I share this news. Our friend, Susan Houghton shared her life with many of us, teaching, organizing and innovating. She was one of the very earlier adopters of hoophouses and also a co founder of Organic Growers of Michigan, a farmer-founded and based organization to help other farmers manage their farms using sustainable practices and grow organically. Below is her obituary and note that memorial donations are being accepted by Giving Tree Farm in Lansing, Mi where she developed a program of vegetable, herb and flower production that aided (and still does today) persons who were impacted by an injury and then need assistance to regain occupational skills. Not only did she develop a profitable organic produce business but also served many persons with the opportunity to engage in the healing virtues of growing food while they grew in confidence and ability.  I will miss Susan- her wisdom, enthusiasm and sense of adventure.

Vicki Morrone
Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University
Specialist for Organic Farming
480 Wilson Rd Room 303
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-353-3542/517-282-3557 (cell)

White Pigeon

Susan Houghton, 69, of White Pigeon passed away at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 13, 2012 at her home surrounded by her family. She was born May 17, 1942 in North Canton, Ohio to Arthur James and Rosemary (Garrison) Shahan. She is survived by her children, Carla Bordine of White Pigeon, Cynthia Ernst of Decatur, James Houghton of Sturgis, William Houghton of Goshen and Cathy Houghton of Three Rivers. Also surviving are 15 grandchildren, Michael Warren of Kalamazoo, Samantha Plank of Constantine, Brandi Clewell of South Bend, Shannon Clewell of Auburn, IN, Christopher Houghton of Decatur, MI, Amanda Houghton and Mark Houghton both of Middlebury, Laura Workman, Jacob Houghton & Kelsey Houghton all of Goshen, Aiden Houghton of Ohio, Scott Fox of Kalamazoo, MI, Reggie and Nathan Jones of Three Rivers, MI and Cassie Crill of Canton, MI. She is also survived by 15 great grandchildren, one sister, Rosemary Shahan of Davis, CA and two brothers, John Shahan of Claremont, CA and Arthur Shahan of Norco, CA. Susan was preceded in death by her parents. Susan started the Michigan Organic Growers Association and through that program she touched many lives. She also loved gardening, fishing and spending time with her family and friends. There will be visitation for Susan on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Walley-Mills-Zimmerman Funeral Home, 700 E. Jackson Blvd., Elkhart, Indiana 46516. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Elkhart Cremation Services is entrusted with the arrangements. Memorials for Susan may be given to the Giving Tree in Lansing, MI.

Published in Kalamazoo Gazette on May 15, 2012

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