In loving memory of Sister Susan

Our hearts are once again mourning the loss of a dear loved one. Sister Susan, age 44, lost her battle and passed away on January 31. Three years ago on the same day, brother Amos died unexpectedly at age 56. Please keep praying for God to give us the strength we need to go on.

Sisters Susan and Verena made a cookbook with recipes from the family members of Ben and Elizabeth Coblentz, my parents. The memories and recipes this week are from their book.

Susan’s Memories

There are a lot of memories we could talk about. When I was a sixth grader at school, our class was supposed to bring in some kind of food. Then we had to prepare it in front of the class so we could all see how different foods were made. We just had to make enough so the class could all have a taste of what everyone prepared. So I made a potato salad. I had the potato mixture in one container and then the salad dressing mixture in another. Everything was already cut up and diced; I just had to mix it together then tell the class what and how much was in it. Mom helped me with the potato salad recipe and also got everything prepared. She was an excellent cook, baker, and mother. My sixth-grade teacher said she wanted to taste my potato salad, as she said she knows what a good cook Mom is! My teacher liked the potato salad! I still get hungry for Mom’s food. I put the potato salad recipe in the cookbook that Mom had gotten ready for me to take to school that day.

Dad was a great carpenter and father! He loved watching his birds and had his Martin houses, and he’d watch to see how many sets of Martins he would have.

I always like playing games with Dad and Mom. With Dad I liked to play the game Connect 4 and with Mom, Aggravation! Good old memories—they are gone, but not forgotten.

Potato Salad

2 1/2 pounds potatoes, cooked (whole) until tender
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups salad dressing
2 teaspoons yellow prepared mustard
1/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons salt

Dice potatoes or put through a slicer. Combine potatoes, eggs, celery, and onion together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together salad dressing, mustard, vinegar, sugar, milk, and salt. Pour over potato mixture and stir together.

Susan’s Meatloaf

1 1/2 pounds hamburger
3/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup tomato juice or V8 juice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, beaten


1/2 cup ketchup
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard

Combine hamburger, oats, onion, eggs, tomato juice, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Shape into 2 logs in a 9×13-inch pan or 2 loaf pans; pack firmly into pan. Whisk sauce ingredients together and spread on top of meatloaf. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for one hour. Let sit 5 minutes before slicing.

Beef and Gravy

This is a recipe sister Susan wrote in her own words from watching Mother make the gravy.

4 heaping tablespoons flour
1 pint canned beef chunks
1 medium onion
Potato water (from mashed potatoes)

Put 4 heaping tablespoons flour in a pan and brown flour until it’s dark. Let flour cool. In a 3 1/2-quart kettle, add 1 pint of beef and 2 pints of water. Put 1 whole onion in it. When it starts to boil, take out beef and put potato water in it. If you don’t have potato water, then use water. If extra water is needed, just put more water in kettle. Then mix the cooled flour and water to make a thickening until it is a little watery. Then mix the beef and thickening in the kettle until it boils.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available wherever books are sold. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

26 thoughts on “In loving memory of Sister Susan”

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. It seems like Susan had a large role in the family and I know she will be missed. God Bless You All!

  2. So, so sorry that your sister passed. Praying for peace and comfort that only God can provide. May you feel His arms around you and your family as you deal with so much grief.

  3. sending you our condolences, Lovina! I know we are never to ask the question “why?” but I also acknowledge the fact that I do sometimes question God’s purposes in our lives! May you find peace in your hearts with Mose and Susan’s deaths….. I find such comfort in knowing they are in God’s beautiful heaven!!

  4. Deepest sympathies Lovina for you and your family I know your faith will provide deep comfort to all of you. God bless you with comfort in this sad time.

  5. I feel so saddened for you and your family. Again no time to grieve before another tragedy for your family. Stay strong and prayerful . If you don’t feel like I’m intruding, Susan was so young, what lead to her death? I understand she was hospitalized for some time, but what lead to this? I’m sure many are questioning this as well.

  6. So sorry for all you and your family have loss in the past two months. Yes, memories are always with us. I value the memories I have of my parents and my grandmothers. We shall see them again. God Bless you and your loved ones.

  7. Dear Lovina,
    I am so sorry to read of the loss of your beloved sister Susan, coming so soon after the tragic death of Mose. Please accept my condolences for you and your extended family, with special thought for your sister Verena, who was so close to Susan. We are holding you all in our thoughts and wishing for you to find the strength and composure that you need to get through this as a family.

  8. I am very sorry for all of the losses that you’ve had recently! I will put your family on my prayer list. Michelle Cook

  9. May God comfort you as you grieve the loss of sister Susan. Thank you for sharing her family memories and recipes with your readers.

  10. Your loss is immeasurable. Prayers are being said for all and for God to grace everyone’s journey through all of this. God bless and keep all of you.

  11. I have never met you and your beautiful extended family but, i feel i do as been reading your wonderful column for near 15 years i think. it is a day
    brightener for sure. i am so sorry for your and your families losses. i feel
    i lost a loved one. hugs across these miles. i am from Mi just 20 miles
    northwest of Lansing in a close knit catholic community where each family cares for one another as your people do. like we know gods ways arent always our ways but he has a plan for each of us. thanks for all the updates of your sweet family. caring ways and more sent your way during these difficult times. prayers.

  12. I am so saddened to hear of another death in your family. ? Please accept my condolences. I will be praying that God will give you strength and comfort during another difficult time. Thank you for sharing Susan’s recipes. God bless you. ??

  13. As much as I love to read your prints and ad much as I love to read about your loving friends and family and enjoy your tasty recipes that you share, it breaks my heart to hear of your lost loved ones. I wish you peace and comfort through these trying times.

  14. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. God will give you the strength to cope. God Bless You !

  15. I have read this column since your mother was writing it. i remember the morning when you wrote your first column as you mother had passed. I called everyone I knew to share the news as it was as if I had also lost a family member. Your losses in the past 2 months are so hard but know that there are many people praying for you and your family. Please stay safe, Carolyn

  16. I’m very sorry for your family’s trials. This world is hard to bear sometimes. May God hold you through it all.

  17. You have my deepest sympathy over the loss of your sister Susan. We don’t understand God’s plans or why you have had to suffer such terrible losses these last couple months. May the Lord hold you close as you rely on Him for comfort to get through.

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