Susan L. Schuster

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Susan Lynn Schuster, 85, passed peacefully the evening of Jan. 1, 2020, after a long battle with dementia. Mom lived each day with purpose, optimism, empathy and sincere kindness and compassion for anyone who crossed her path. She never hesitated to stop to help a stranger, greet a friend, pet a dog or admire anything nature put in her path.

Susan was born on May 16, 1934, in Elcho to Earl (Buck) and Sylvia Weaver. She had one older brother, Paul. Her parents inspired independence, curiosity, a love of nature and to be sensitive to the needs of others.

After graduating with a BS in nursing from Columbia School of Nursing (Milwaukee), she ventured to Hawaii with three friends and worked the night shift at Queen’s Hospital. After a year, an island feels pretty small, and she returned home. Her parents had moved to Shawano, where she met the love of her life, Richard Schuster, on a trail ride “date” arranged by her father. They married seven months later and lived in an apartment in downtown Shawano (on the site of the current BMO Harris bank), convenient to their jobs at Shawano Hospital and Schuster’s Appliance. One year later, they purchased their beloved farm just north of town.

After raising her three children, she returned to work as an RN at the Convalescent Center of Shawano and volunteered with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Luckily for us, Susan was an untraditional mom in almost every way, always opting for adventure and forging her own path with her eager kids in tow. She never thought twice about loading up the car and heading out — whether to spend a summer as camp nurse at Mission Lake (hello Matty!), to Milwaukee to visit the museum and zoo, to Pine Mountain or Powderhorn for skiing, or to Boulder Lake for camping.

Like her father, Buck, she rarely sat still and preferred to be biking, skiing, riding, kayaking, rollerblading, traveling and golfing. The one exception was the lure of a good book. She was a voracious reader, like her mother, who also inspired Susan’s love of gardening and her artistic eye which led her to oil painting.

She cherished her lifelong friendships and crazy adventures with her gal pals.

Our beautiful Mom, how lucky we were to have you. You gave us a life one could only wish for, filled with the very best of memories. You supported us through thick and thin, encouraging us to face our challenges head on knowing you would always be there. You had the most generous heart, always sensing the unspoken needs of others.

In these last few years, your ability to converse was harnessed by dementia, but it never stole your easy smile, or your hand extended in friendship to all. Your grace, and care for others despite your decline uncovered the most important gift you gave us — your strength. For that we will be forever grateful.

Susan was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Richard; her parents; her brother, Paul; and nephew, Daniel.

Her legacy lives on in her three children, Scott (Kristin) Schuster, of Bozeman, Montana, Jody (Kevin Stone) Schuster, of Apple Valley, Minnesota, and Stacy (Richard) Lyon of Bend, Oregon; and two granddaughters, Sara and Annie Schuster.

The family is so very thankful to the compassionate care teams at The Cottages and Heartland Hospice.

To honor Susan’s memory, charities can be directed to Red River Riders (http://redriverriders.org) embracing her passion for those who are challenged yet refuse to be defined by their limitations.

A small gathering is being planned at a later date.

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