Susan Wong Obituary

Susan d Wong
Susan d Wong

August 9, 1951 - March 22, 2019
Born in Denver, Colorado
Resided in Anchorage, Alaska


Susan d. Wong (McDonald), 67, departed for even grander adventures on Friday, March 22, 2019. She was born August 9, 1951 in Denver, Colorado to Joseph and Nancy (Jacobs) McDonald. Innately a creative soul, she held a degree in Fine Arts and worked professionally in commercial and fine arts. During her time as a ‘starving artist’ and single mother, she cleaned houses for wealthy clients who also commissioned her to make portraits of their homes. In 1993, she earned a B.S. in Human Services and Senior Addictions Counselor certification. This kicked off a career in addictions counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and social work with various organizations in Denver. After 15 dedicated years in Human Services, she pursued and received her Massage Therapist License in 2006. She maintained a private practice and worked as a contract medical massage therapist for clients with spine/head/neck injuries, patients in neurology, oncology, orthopedics, and pre/post-natal mothers in Denver and Anchorage. She became a certified yoga instructor in 2010. She volunteered with Live by Living and the Bird Treatment & Learning Center and involved with the Anchorage Parkinson’s support group, teaching a weekly yoga class for members. Although her professional accomplishments are remarkable, Susan was not to be defined by just her work. In humble and grand ways, she connected with people and made each of us feel loved, listened to, and valued. She sought to nurture and elevate the voices of the neediest among us. She loved the natural world and lived in a way that was responsible and respectful of our planet and its finite resources. She took in and cared for numerous creatures in need. She taught us all so many lessons about how to be authentically human, to believe in and work toward peace, to cherish diversity, and to love and forgive unconditionally.
Already a cancer survivor, Susan died from a rare, neurodegenerative disease called Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), which affects <1 in 100,000 people each year. Although she was so much more than this disease, it became an all-consuming part of the end of her life. Increased awareness and research support for rare diseases is desperately needed. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the MSA Coalition ( or the Brain Support Network (
Susan is survived by her loving daughter Shina duVall, son-in-law Guy Runco Jr., grandson Wilder Runco, sister Sallie McDonald (Bobby Eaton), brother Carl McDonald, niece Amy (Don) Clark and sons, many loving cousins, and a vast network of adoring friends and chosen family. She is preceded in death by her parents, brother Michael McDonald, and niece Carlie McDonald.
A celebration of Susan’s life will be held in Anchorage, Alaska at 2pm, April 28, 2019 at the Kincaid Chalet. A celebration will also be held in Colorado in the summer of 2019 (location/date TBD). Those interested in attending either are most welcome and encouraged to reach out to the family for additional details.

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