Susan Roberta Leeder, 68, of Liberty Grove, WI, passed away in the comfort of her home on Sunday night, February 26, 2023, with family at her side.
She was born in Sturgeon Bay, WI, to Evelyn (Logerquist) and Bennie Leeder on October 21, 1954. She grew up on the family farm with brother Bill and sister Mary, where she worked as her dad's trusted assistant until he stopped farming. She would become a fourth generation Leeder to care for the family homestead.
She started her elementary education at Appleport School and finished at Wildwood School, both on Old Stage Road in Liberty Grove. She was smart, athletic, and agile, often excelling at any sport she participated in; most recently, pickleball. After graduating from Gibraltar High School with the class of 1972, she went on to study Library Science at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, IA but found her passion for the written word and graduated with a major in English.
Upon her graduation from Upper Iowa in 1976, Susan accepted a position as an English teacher at Cazenovia High School where she worked until her father took ill. She returned to Door County to help with the farm and applied for an English position at Southern Door High school. She taught English to thousands of students and proudly represented the Teachers Union until she moved into a Counselor position after completing her Master’s through UW-Milwaukee in 1993.
Susan was a gifted teacher and mentor with a calm demeanor who gently guided and encouraged so many of us. Her quiet leadership style was positive, fair, grounded and firm. Like her dad, she would think first and talk later.
Susan enjoyed sports and supported Southern Door girls’ athletics as a score keeper or clock operator for years. She loved her students and colleagues, and they loved her. She took an early retirement in 2011, briefly worked as a substitute counselor at Sevastopol High School, then turned her focus away from nurturing young minds to fostering kitties, bees, monarchs, sunflowers, and zinnias. While she enjoyed her work in education, she was always a farmer at heart and took pride in maintaining the family farm.
Once the old barn went down, she affectionately became the "No Barn Farm" and used the theme to create a brand to sell her always in demand honey or flowers. The coffee pot at No Barn Farm was always ready for friends and family, she loved to share the magic of being at the farm.
She also loved catching caterpillars, watching them move through their stages in her homegrown caterpillar nursery and setting them free. She set 144 monarchs free the year before she got sick.
Old Baptist hymns always brought Susan comfort as they reminded her of her childhood, and she was especially delighted when her sister, Mary was the one playing them. She appreciated her roots in the First Baptist Church of Sister Bay, and yet she was constantly seeking a spiritual community that better aligned with her evolving values. She found her spiritual home with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County in Ephraim where she was an active member for years.
Susan showed her love for her community by volunteering her time fostering kitties for the Humane Society, teaching classes at the Clearing Folk School, serving on the board at UUFDC and driving people for Door Tran.
Susan and Catherine met in 1988 and instantly had a deep heart connection. They loved hiking, tent camping, biking, and playing tennis together. After several rounds of on and off again, their relationship finally solidified once Catherine moved to Door County. They continued to bike and hike but upgraded tent camping to princess camping in their RV and turned in their tennis racquets for pickleball paddles. They were great companions.
Susan will be missed by her partner, Catherine; brother and sister, William (Sandy) Leeder of Papillion, NE and Mary (David) Norton of Omaha, NE; nephews and nieces, Ben (Brandi) Leeder, Brandon (Lani) Leeder, Collin (Jamie) Leeder, Marla (Spencer) Larsen, and Jon (Emily) Leeder, and Kristi (Ryan) McComas and Jennifer Norton; aunts, Mabel Peterson, Marlene (Dean) Logerquist, and Joyce (Douglas) Logerquist; other relatives; and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; and other relatives.
Susan’s indoor celebration of life will be held 3:00 p.m. on Friday, May 26, 2023 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County, 10341 Water Street, Ephraim, WI 54211 with visitation beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Her outdoor celebration of life will be held on Saturday, August 5, 2023 – details to be announced. Susan will be laid to rest in Little Sister Cemetery in the Town of Liberty Grove.
Memorials may be given in Susan’s name for DOOR CANcer, Inc. (P.O. Box 423, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235; www.doorcancer.com) OR the Wisconsin Humane Society-Door County Campus (3475 Park Drive, Sturgeon Bay, WI; 920-746-1111).
A special thanks goes out to Unity Hospice for the kind and compassionate care given to Susan.
Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sister Bay is assisting the family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Susan may be shared through her tribute page at www.caspersonfuneralhome.com.