Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Suzanne Buhrman

January 3, 1926 - January 4, 2019
Hollandn, MI


Life Story / Obituary


Suzanne Patterson Buhrman, formerly of Ann Arbor, MI, Mullett Lake, MI, and Sanibel, FL, died January 4, 2019 in Holland, MI. She was born January 3, 1926 in St Louis, MO, daughter of Ward Waterman Patterson and Eleanor O’Donnell. She graduated from Mary Institute in St Louis and attended Bennett College in Millbrook, NY. In 1946 she married Gerard L. Buhrman, Jr. and lived in Cheboygan, MI until 1952 when they moved to Ann Arbor. They summered at Mullett Lake Village and wintered in Sanibel, FL, and she maintained studio space in all three locations.

Mrs. Buhrman is survived by two sons, Jeffrey (Leslie) of Portland, ME and Lindsay (Tamra) of Cheboygan, MI; one daughter, Debby Topliff (John) of Fort Myers, FL; six grandchildren; and nine great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and three siblings.

Mrs. Buhrman was an avid and prolific painter. She studied art at Eastern Michigan University, Edison Community College in Ft. Myers, FL, as well as workshops with Wayne Thiebaud, Millard Wells, Robert Petersen, and in Florence, Italy and at Ox-Bow Summer School. Her work was handled in galleries in New York, Sarasota, Milwaukee, Vero Beach, and Birmingham, MI. Her pieces have been purchased by many private collectors as well as Reader’s Digest Corporate Collection, Hyatt Hotels, Washtenaw Community College, and the University of Michigan Hospital.

A reviewer in ARTSPEAK wrote, “Buhrman is not afraid to make herself vulnerable in her work. Her inner pain is right there in her paintings for all the world to see. Which is why she succeeds so admirably one of the true Expressionists of today.”

In her own artist’s statement she said, “For me—painting is a spiritual experience —a declaration of the joy of living. It is a language of love and self-discovery expressed through texture, color, and fanciful imagery.”

A graveside service will be held at 11am on May 11th at Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor, with a luncheon to follow. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Dawn Farm in Ann Arbor.