Cover photo for Susan Rae Henke's Obituary
Susan Rae Henke Profile Photo

Susan Rae Henke

August 3, 1944 — December 1, 2022

Plymouth

Susan Rae Henke

Susan passed away after a brief illness on Thursday December 1, 2022. Wife of Ronald Henke
and loving mother of Nathan (Ann), Margaret, and Andrew. She was a proud Nana to six
grandchildren; Taylor, Cameron, Braeden, Madeline, Gabrielle, and Brinley. She is preceded in
death by her parents, Reynor “Pete” and Ina Mae (Lund) Peterson and father and mother-in-law
Edmund and Clara (Polzin) Henke. She is also survived by brothers David (Nancy) Peterson,
Douglas (Kellie) Peterson, sisters-in-law Lyndis (John) Vander Louw and Cheryl (Stephen)
Hamilton.
Susan was born and spent her childhood in Willmar, Minnesota. She graduated from Willmar
High School in 1962 and attended the University of Minnesota where she graduated with a
degree in Child Psychology.
One of her greatest passions was education. She began her career as an elementary school
teacher and taught in several school districts. She also served as an instructor to students with
learning difficulties and was instrumental in launching an initiative that directed resources
towards students from underserved communities. As part of this effort she also implemented a
program that provided bussing for parents from underprivileged communities for parent-teacher
conferences and PTA meetings so that they were able to more actively participate in their
childrens’ education. She served as PTA President and volunteered her time as a tutor.
Outside of the classroom, Susan was a woman of diverse interests and talents. If there was
something that needed to be done, she found a way to do it and do it well- everything from
throwing batting practice in the backyard to hand-sewing ornate ballet costumes for various
productions by the Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company, as well as assisting with costumes for the
Kirov Ballet. She also served as President of the Lincoln Midwest Ballet Guild.
Susan loved the beauty of nature and discovering new places. She had a lifelong love for travel
and the outdoors. She often recounted her summers camping at Sioux Lookout in Canada as a
child and attending summer Green Lake Bible Camp in Spicer, Minnesota. This later translated
into a love for family adventure, sightseeing through different parts of the country, and spending
time with her family at a cabin near the Boundary Waters. Her two favorite places to visit were
New Mexico and Hawaii, where she frequently vacationed with her husband, Ron.
She belonged to Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Plymouth, Minnesota and was an active
member of OWLs (Older, Wiser, Lutherans) and a Circle group. She deeply cherished the
friendships she made in these groups.
She had a wicked sense of humor and a sharp intellect. Her determination and loving spirit
carried her through many challenges in life. Through them all she always had more love to give,
and everyone received it in equal measure. She was able to enjoy a rich and full life for nearly
thirteen years after major heart surgery, in part because of the wonderful care she received from
various health professionals over the years, and though the Lord carried her through and her
will pushed her on, she was forever grateful for the care she received from these amazing
people.
Above all else, Susan was a wonderful and loving wife, mother, and Nana (she would have
hated for me to write grandmother). She brought a sense of warmth and belonging to all whom
she knew and she enriched all of our lives beyond measure.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Susan Rae Henke, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, December 8, 2022

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth (Rockford Road)

12235 Old Rockford Road, Plymouth, MN 55441

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth (Rockford Road)

12235 Old Rockford Road, Plymouth, MN 55441

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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