Honoring a Legacy: Remembering Susan Rynas, Co-Founder of NAMI Eastside

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Susan Rynas, a remarkable woman who, together with her husband Mike, and with their friend, Brigitte ‘Bri’ Wiechmann, founded NAMI Eastside. Their inspiration came from loved ones and their journey led to the creation of a community lifeline for those affected by mental illness in East King County.

Established as a 501 C (3) nonprofit on January 6, 2001, NAMI Eastside, under the leadership of Susan and Mike, as well as other founders, swiftly grew into a vital resource. The organization’s milestones include the NAMI Eastside Housing program in 2002 and the inauguration of HERO House in 2005, addressing critical needs in our community.

In honor of Susan and Mike’s extraordinary contributions, NAMI Eastside established the Rynas Advocacy Award. This prestigious accolade, named in their honor, is awarded to individuals demonstrating exceptional service to those with serious mental illness and making significant contributions to NAMI Eastside, reflecting over five years of dedicated service.

Susan’s impact is immeasurable, and her legacy continues to resonate through every aspect of NAMI Eastside. As we grieve her loss, we also celebrate the profound difference she made in the lives of many.

Susan, your legacy of compassion, advocacy, and strength will forever inspire and guide NAMI Eastside. Rest in peace.