Marilyn Sue Ganch

Marilyn “Susie” Atkinson Dunham Ganch passed away March 27, 2023 in Clear Lake, TX . She was born on October 5, 1948, to John Joseph and Mamie Elizabeth Atkinson.  She was blessed with a large extended and loving family.

A native Houstonian, Susie grew up in Houston where she graduated from Spring Branch High School in 1967.   She then attended the University of Texas at Austin where she graduated with a BA in English and Journalism in 1971.  She married John Spofford Dunham in July 1971 and worked at the UT Housing and Food Service in accounting while her husband went to Graduate Business School.  They then moved to Houston to pursue their careers.  Susie worked as an administrator for Urology Clinic of Houston for 30 years before retiring in 2013.  She had an article published in Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul as well as other publications.  She also wrote a book on her Ward/Habersham ancestry, which was published by Amazon.

She was blessed with a beautiful daughter, Elizabeth Anne, born September 16, 1980.  She was always the light of her mother’s heart.  After her husband’s death, Susie married Allan Nicholas Ganch in 1997 and inherited a son, Nicholas.  Susie, Allan and Elizabeth made their home in the Clear Lake area. Her daughter Elizabeth, married Philip Cromartie and gave them two wonderful grandsons, Kade and Kole Cromartie, who were the sunshine of their lives.  Susie enjoyed outings and field trips with her grandsons and just spending time with them.  Susie’s stepson Nicholas married Christina Tomlinson in Annapolis, Maryland and gave her a grandson, Alexander Ganch.

As a descendant of several Revolutionary War Patriots, Susie was proud to belong to the Daughters of the American Revolution, Sam Houston Chapter, where she served as their Regent from 2012-2014 and Chaplain 2018-2020.  She remained active in DAR as well as United Daughters of the Confederacy.  She received many awards for her support of Literacy, Veteran Aid, Active Military Support and Americanism. She loved researching her genealogy and held several offices in Bay Area Genealogical Society.  She was also a faithful servant of God and a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Nassau Bay and served in the St. Brigid Chapter of the Order of the Daughters of the King.  She was an avid reader, loved travelling, especially to historically significant places.  She and her husband, Allan traveled internationally to Paris, France, Munich, Germany, Vienna, Austria, Budapest, Hungary, Montreal and Quebec City.  They also travelled extensively in the United States.

Susie was preceded in death by her father, John Joseph Atkinson and her mother, Mamie Elizabeth Watson Atkinson, her first husband John Dunham, her second husband Allan Ganch, her sister Sylvia Atkinson Johnson, her brother, John Raymond Atkinson and her brother-in-law Eric Johnson.

Remaining to cherish her memory are her daughter, Elizabeth Anne Dunham Cromartie and her husband Philip Cromartie; her grandchildren, Kade and Kole Cromartie and Alex Ganch, Her step son-in-law, Nicholas Ganch and his wife, Christina.  Also surviving is her sister-in-law, Katherine Atkinson and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.


  1. I lost my cousin and friend. We grew up together and were close as kids. We had the opportunity to remain close through our adult lives. We had many talks and road trips allowing us to share so much. I can not put into words how much I will miss Susie. Susie had the gift of words and so many more attributes. Love you Bill ( Billy )

    Bill Laycock
  2. I knew Susie through the Sam Houston chapter of DAR. She was very active and served as an excellent Regent. We were both in a birthday group and had many delightful lunches together. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

    Sue Smth
  3. My deepest condolences to Susie’s entire family. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. God has a new angel.

    Peggy Jeffries Kosinski
  4. I knew Susie through 3 clubs/societies, Sam Houston Chapter and Bay Area Genealogy Society and UDC. She was a hard worker and always positive. She was just a joy to know and be around.
    I will miss her smile and her kindness for sure.
    Deborah Gammon

    Deborah Gammon
  5. I’ve known Susie for many years as Charter members of BAGS (Bay Area Genealogical Society) and membership in Sam Houston DAR chapter. She always had a smile and always pitched in to help in any project that came along. Condolences to Elizabeth and the extended family. Susie will be sorely missed.

    Resa Nichols Hennings
  6. I just knew Susie very recently but I truly enjoyed getting to know her. My condolences bro Elizabeth and her family.

    Betty Gilfillan
  7. My wife and I are so sad to hear of the passing of Susie . A very nice and intelligent woman. She will be missed .

    James Presley
  8. I’m deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and integral part of the Bay Area Genealogical Society. Susie was a charter member of BAGS and current Treasurer as well as Acting 2nd VP and Programs Coordinator. She filled many roles on the Board over the years and will be greatly missed. May you rest in peace, Susie.

    Lisa Smith, President of BAGS
  9. My condolences to Nick and Christina and family.
    My prayers are with you.

    Ann Payne
  10. Many, including the Sam Houston Chapter, Texas and National Societies, Daughters of the American Revolution, Clear Lake/League City communities, lineage and historical societies, Clear Creek ISD, and local religious communities, have lost a radiant beacon of community service. Marilyn “Susie” Atkinson Ganch was a tireless volunteer, caretaker, literacy program organizer, author, genealogist, historian and philanthropist. She will long be remembered for her significant contributions, boundless energy, grace and unfailing kindness. Sincere condolences and many blessings to the Atkinson, Ganch, and Cromartie families upon the loss of their beloved matriarch.

    Alice Braud-Jones
  11. I am still in shock over the lose of Susie although I was aware of her health problems. I will remember Susie as a friend and comrade in our daily lives and as Sisters in the NSDAR and UDC. My heart goes out to her Daughter and Grand Children for their loss and for her loving 4-paws pets.

    Flora Byars Calaway
  12. During her term as Regent of our DAR chapter, Susie encouraged me to get involved in our efforts to promote literacy and citizenship in our community and schools. We will miss her leadership and dedication plus her beautiful smile and caring nature.

    Nancy Vernau

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