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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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February 1, 2023

11/22/2022 5:29:00 AM
Patricia Suzanne "Sue" Kirsch

Sue Kirsch, 76, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Nov. 8, 2022, in Rhinelander. Sue was born Patricia Suzanne Vanderhei on Aug. 1, 1946, to Oscar and Fern Vanderhei.

Sue was an unbelievably hard worker, running the Town House Restaurant through the late '70s, and later, various food endeavors including "Herb's" which had the hottest french fries in town. Sue also spent many years in a leadership role at Steenberg Homes where she found immense success. In the 1990s Sue began her real estate career where her charm allowed her to excel and thrive.

Parenting came natural for Sue, regardless of how many kids were around, she made room for friends, cousins and all felt special in her presence. Sue's compassion for those who needed help the most was recognized. Her loving nature would invite those in for holidays or just a special talk. Sue always let you know she would take care of you and make you feel part of the family. Sue also tolerated the many, many stray animals that would be brought home by her children.

Sue managed to balance her career with being a permanent fixture at Rhinelander Catholic Central serving as a Room Mom, Mardi Gras President, Field Trip Chaperone and Blue Bird Troop Leader. Sue would hand-make costume winning Halloween costumes and had the best chocolate chip cookies in town.

Some of Sue's favorite activities were sprucing up her flower gardens and decorating for special occasions. You could see her Christmas display from a mile away and there were always cars lined up to come see and feel the spirit of the holidays. Sue also loved finding a great deal whether that was out dragging her kids along "rummaging", on trips to Goodwill or on an epic back-to-school clothing trip with her daughters and nieces.

Suzie, as she was known in her hometown of Waukesha, loved going back for visits where she would spend days with her family and could be found in the middle of the dancefloor doing the "Vanderhei Stomp". Suzie, was sure to spend enough time with the Vanderhei clan and was always so generous with her time to make sure everyone felt they were important.

She is survived by her life partner, George "Skip" Wright, her children, Edward (Jeanie) Pauer, Wanda Pauer, Jamie (Ross) Armstrong, Jodi (Jeffrey) Schiek, Justin Wright and Joshua Wright. Her grandchildren were the light of her life - Maxwell, Samantha, Ariel, Owen, Riley, John Robert, Jack, Keagan and Kaden all had a special place in her heart and she was beyond adored by all. Sue is also survived by her sister, Karen Shulfer and her brothers, Douglas (Bonnie) Vanderhei, Charles Forrest Vanderhei, Thomas (Donna) Vanderhei, and many nieces and nephews.

Sue was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Wayne Vanderhei, her infant son Ronald Pauer, and her son Peter Pauer.

Sue wanted to have her life celebrated, not mourned. A celebration of her life and the Vanderhei Stomp will be held in the summer so we can enjoy being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, surrounded by wildflowers, as Sue would love to do.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501, 715-365-4343. Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook or leave an online condolence at

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