Susan Deanne Helsten passed away peacefully on April 24, 2019 after a short illness. She was born on May 18, 1942 in San Leandro, California to Bert and Doris Wetzel and was raised there with her brother and sister. She attended San Leandro High School and graduated in 1959. At a local hangout called Gordon’s Drive-In, she met the love of her life and future husband Richard. After living in the Bay Area all their lives, Susan and Richard decided they were ready for a change. They always loved the Monterey Peninsula, so in 1979 they moved to Carmel where they bought a house in the Del Monte Forest. During the next several years Susan worked as a property manager in Carmel until she retired in 2014.
Susan was an insightful, funny, beautiful, outgoing and strong woman who always spoke her mind. Music was a big part of her life, and she especially loved jazz and the blues. She and Richard enjoyed going out to listen to live music and regularly attended the Monterey Blues Festival. They were also sponsors of the Sunday Jazz Jam at the Embassy Suites in Seaside. Susan had a great sense of style and never left the house without looking her best. She was an avid reader and a whiz at crossword puzzles and cooking. Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her family. When he was 4 years old, her grandson Liam described his Grandma as “sparkly” and that’s probably the best epitaph we can give her. We loved her more than the moon and the stars and we’ll miss her every day.
Susan is survived by her husband Richard; her daughter Stephanie Murphy (Christopher); her grandson Liam Murphy; her nieces Lisa Cunningham (Rick), Jennifer Wetzel (Randy), Jill Wetzel (Jim), and Becca Williams (Scott); her nephews Max Wetzel (Erin) and Daniel Oliver (Windy); and her sister Melinda Oliver. She was preceded in death by her father Bert Wetzel, her brother Richard Wetzel and her mother Doris Wetzel. On May 26, 2019, the Sunday Jazz Jam at Embassy Suites in Seaside will be held in remembrance of Susan’s life. An additional celebration will be held in Carmel Valley later this summer on a date to be announced.
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