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Susan Alford

Nov. 11, 1942 –– Feb. 11, 2018

Susan Lee Gates Alford passed peacefully at the age of 75 at her home in Elgin.

Susan was the only child born to Richard and Barbara (Adams) Gates in Berkeley, Calif. Susan and her parents moved from their ranch in Ojai, Calif., to Joseph in 1951. They built a home at the foot of Wallowa Lake.

Growing up, she enjoyed riding horses and water skiing with her friends. She attended Joseph schools and graduated in 1960. After graduation, she attended several different junior colleges and spent time in Mexico, Arizona, Idaho and California.

Susan married Harvey Earl Cooper in Pasadena, Calif., in 1968 and had a son, Harvey “Lee” Cooper in 1970. They later divorced in 1977.

In 1979, Susan rekindled a friendship with Gary Leonard Alford and they married on Feb. 28, 1981. Susan and Gary operated a farm and ranch together.

Susan also began working for the U.S. Forest Service in 1984 and worked there until she retired in 2004. Susan and Gary’s favorite pastime together was to travel across the northwest and go to Angus cattle production sales. She also dabbled in several side endeavors such as bookkeeping, publications, Tupperware, Pampered Chef and fresh berry sales. She also enjoyed quilting and was very proud of the quilts that she made.

Susan is survived by her son, Lee and his wife Shae; grandchildren, Tavin Hurley and Shayna Cooper; great-granddaughter, Anayah; in-laws, John and Jeannie Alford; nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Marietta Hauser. She was preceded in death by parents, Richard and Barbara; husband, Gary and nephew Michael Hauser.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

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