Susan K. Akin

          Susan K. Akin, 71, Overland Park, KS, died peacefully in her sleep on September 28, 2013 and went to eternal peace and comfort after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.  A memorial service will be at Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf, Overland Park, on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm with burial at Little Norway Lutheran Church, Black River Falls, WI at a later date.

Susan was born August 23, 1942 at Black River Falls to Verna and Jerry Hoonsbeen who preceded her in death.  She is survived by husband Paul of 48 years; daughters Kristy (Rich) Melton, Gardner, KS, and Janell (Roger) Gibbs, Jenks, OK; and son Craig Akin (fiancée Abbie Gardner), Jersey City, NJ; grandchildren Trey and Ty Gibbs, Kaylynn and Kylee Melton, and step-grandson Braden Gibbs; sister and brothers and their spouses Jan (Bill) Friedrich, Minnetonka, MN, Gary (Nancy) Hoonsbeen, Golden Valley, MN, and David (Margret) Hoonsbeen, Fullerton, CA, aunts Beverly Bahnub, Ettrick, WI., and Bernice Gilbertson, St. Louis; nieces, nephews, and many, many cousins of the Hoonsbeen and Gilbertson families.

Susan graduated from the Univ. of Wisconsin- La Crosse and began a teaching career, first instrumental music in schools and culminating in 40 years as piano teacher in Tulsa, OK, Chanhassen, MN, and Overland Park.  She has memberships in and was active in Mu Phi Epsilon music fraternity, Kansas City Music Teachers Assoc., and National Federated Music Teachers, and was a national certified teacher of music.  She is a member of PEO Missouri Chapter IR and Atonement Lutheran Church.  She was a talented and accomplished musician in violin, piano, and other instruments, and will be missed by the music communities, friends and former students in Tulsa and the Kansas City area.  She enjoyed listening to music of all kinds, especially classical, and regularly attended performances of orchestras, ensembles, and recitals.

In lieu of flowers memorial gifts can be made in her name to the attention of the Music Fund at Atonement Lutheran Church, and scholarship funds of Mu Phi Epsilon and KCMTA.  The family would like to express appreciation for the loving care and comfort Susan received from Saint Luke’s Hospice, Kansas City and Comfort Keepers.  Fond memories and condolences of Susan may be left for the family at


  1. Julia Scherer on October 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Susan was a beloved member of the Kansas City Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Fraternity and will be sorely missed.

    As VP of that organization, Susan was my right hand–and was the same, I’m sure, for several presidents before me. Accolades and recognition never interested her. She simply did what needed to be done, always with good cheer.

    If I could be more like Susan, I’d be a better person. Her quiet competence will serve as an inspiration to me for the rest of my days.

    When writing to our membership to inform them of the sad news, I was listening to the words of the Requiem set to the glorious music of Mozart:

    Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine,
    cum sanctis tuis in aeternum,
    quia pius es.
    Requiem aeternum dona eis, Domine,
    et Lux perpetua luceat eis,
    cum Sanctus tuis in aeternum,
    quia pius es.

    Rest in peace, dear friend.

    Julia Scherer, President
    KC Alumni Chapter
    Mu Phi Epsilon

  2. Nancy Zschietzschmann on October 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I knew Susan in Mu Phi! She was a wonderful Lady!

  3. Phaedra Moll on October 1, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    While those of us in the music community will miss Susan tremendously, I know it does not compare to how much you, her family, will miss her! My thoughts and prayers go out to you. I know that your grief is not for only a few days, but that your lives are forever changed. As you go through this time of saying good-bye, may you feel the love and warmth Susan brought to your lives.
    As you go through the coming year, there will be many ‘firsts’ where Susan is not with you. But may you experience peace and treasure opportunities to continue sharing traditions and memories to help you through.
    And as you continue on through life, remember that Susan is always just a memory away. Sharing her stories, love and legacy will help fill that void in the moments when you wish you could just call her, have tea with her, listen to her music, give her a hug.
    You are in my thoughts & prayers, as I know you simply wish things could be different. I’m so sorry for your loss!

  4. Jan Miller on October 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    What a gracious lady! I met her years ago as members of Mu Phi Epsilon. I have always admired her quiet, competent manner and her lovely smile…added to her musicianship. She was always willing to entertain our music group in her lovely home and to work “behind the scenes” for the benefit of Mu Phi. We will truly miss her vital presence.

  5. Patricia Plake on October 1, 2013 at 10:35 am

    My sincere condolences to the family of Susan Aiken in this sad time of loss. As a fellow music teacher, I admired how she touched so many young lives through her teaching career. She will be missed.

  6. Glenyce Botten on October 1, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I was pleased to call Susan a friend, she will truly be missed. My deepest sympathy to Paul, Kristy, Janell, Craig and grandkids. You are all in my prayers.
    Affectionately, Glenyce Botten

  7. Liz Lamontagne on October 1, 2013 at 6:43 am

    I had the pleasure of knowing Susan for less than a year and loved her shining personality! I became of member of her P.E.O. Chapter and she made me feel so welcome. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  8. Jeanene Bartel on October 1, 2013 at 4:51 am

    I am a fellow music teacher who never knew Susan personally. However, I have followed her story on CaringBridge because I have greatly appreciated the example your family has set in dealing so graciously and gracefully with what is a very tough situation. May you find peace as you continue the new phase of your journey.

  9. Jen Robinson on September 30, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    I have so many fond memories of my Great Aunt from my childhood. So many fun times were had at her home in Tulsa. I was the worst piano student she probably ever had. But Kristy, Janell and I had so much fun at sleep overs, going to the pool, riding around the neighborhood, playing in the backyard, eating at the kitchen table. Susan always driving, picking up, making pbj’s. So nice to have spent some time with Susan and Paul on their trips to California. You’re all in my prayers. Love, Jennifer

  10. Brenda Simmons on September 30, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I am so saddened to hear the news of Susan’s passing. She will be missed by so many folks. Please know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this very difficult time.

  11. Marles Dudley on September 30, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    I have followed Susan’s illness day by day on Caring Bridge and only wrote a message once, but I want you (her family) to know how beautiful of a person I felt Susan was. She always had a kind word about everyone and a great smile. Being multi-talented, she gave so much to the music community in KC. She will truly be missed by all of us.
    You have done such a great job of taking care of Susan. You are a great family!
    Marles Dudley

  12. Beth on September 30, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Words seem to fall so short at a time like this, but I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to all of you. Susan was a wonderful musician and friend. She will be missed by so many. May God’s peace surround you in the days ahead.

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