Pastor Susanne Iris Wilczek April 13, 1958 – June 17, 2014
Susanne I. Wilczek, entered peacefully into the presence of her Lord and her God at her home in Salem, Wisconsin. Susanne was born in Kassel, Germany into a U.S. military family, and moved to the United States in 1962. She then lived, traveled extensively and attended schools around the U. S. and in Europe. She settled for a time in El Paso, TX, and raised her 3 daughters Nichole, Missy and Angela. Susanne married Charles (Chuck) P. Wolbers, 1SG, US Army (Ret) on Nov. 11, 2000 at Trinity First United Methodist Church, El Paso, TX.
Susanne received her B.S. in Social Work from the University of Texas El Paso. She worked in the El Paso Parks and Recreation Department in gerontology social work as a Senior Citizens Center Director and transitioned to serve as RSVP Director for the City of El Paso. While working with senior citizens, she served as a member of the National Senior Games Board and conducted the El Paso Senior Olympics as part of her duties.
The couple moved to Salem, WI in 2004 to be closer to her family members and she served as Development Director at the Shalom Center for 5 years. While there, her presence will always be characterized by her tireless drive to create a pleasant, nurturing workplace and healthy organization. She wrote incalculable, successful grant awards and organized innumerable fund raising activities, all to benefit the homeless and displaced in Kenosha – her interpersonal and organizational skills are unmatched. She was thrilled to pursue postgraduate study and received her M.S. in Social Work from Loyola University (at Carthage College). After completing her Master’s Degree, Susanne was led and answered the call into ministry, where she served as a Pastor with the United Methodist Church in the Northern Illinois Conference. She deeply cherished her ministry professional development experience as she participated in her Course of Study cohort at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She was assigned as Pastor to the churches in Capron and Chemung, IL on September 1, 2012. Her honesty and loving heart enabled them to build strong spiritual foundations and connections in the local and neighboring communities, which are located between Harvard and Rockford, IL. Susanne’s greatest passion was serving the Lord through caring for people, and had a gift for making them feel loved and good about themselves. She preached the Word with honesty and joy - her faith message came from the heart. She loved to travel, visit the ocean-side at Cape Cod, read mysteries (especially Agatha Christie) and she enjoyed watching classic movies and her beloved companion Dachshunds. As if serving the community professionally wasn’t enough, she continued to “give back” through her enthusiastic involvement in local performing arts, as a member of Radio Girl Audio Productions, in many old time radio theater performances, all staged and broadcast live in a number of local venues, complete with period accurate costumes, sound effects and props. She will be most often remembered as a widely respected, compassionate community leader and for the joyful spirit she brought to everyone with whom she came in contact. Pastor Susanne enters His halls as a good and faithful servant after a joyous life of obedient, spirit-filled service, despite a courageous 26 year struggle with metastatic breast cancer – she had cancer, it did not have her.
Susanne will be greatly missed by her loving husband, Chuck, her sister Kima (Scott) Picchietti, of Paddock Lake, and her brother John (Jen) Schilling, of Cedar Falls, IA, as well as her daughters Nichole (Carlos) Villalobos, of El Paso, TX, Missy Parsons of Las Vegas, NV and Angela (Wes) Hallgren, also of El Paso, TX, and her dear grandchildren, Enrique, Cielo, Gael and MacKenzie. Additionally, she will be deeply missed by her nephews Alex, Sam and Nick and her niece Grace, and many aunts, uncles and friends, across the United States and around the world.
A memorial gathering celebrating Pastor Susanne’s life will be held from 3-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at Antioch United Methodist Church, Antioch, IL, with memorial services to follow at 3:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you please make a donation to a nonprofit organization of your choice, in her name.
Kenosha Funeral Services & Crematory 8226 Sheridan Rd. Kenosha, WI 53143 (262) 652-1943 www.kenosha-funeral-services.com