Reverend Milton M. Suess, 84, Luxemburg, will be spending Christmas with Jesus this year. He passed away the afternoon of Sunday, December 13, 2020 at St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay. He was the first child of Frank and Theresa (Ledvina) Suess of Pilsen, Wisconsin on June 24, 1936. His grandparents were Matthias and Francis Suess and Joe M. and Julia Ledvina. His step-grandmother was Rose Suess, Francis (grandmother) having passed away when Frank was eleven years old.
Milton wanted to be a priest all of his life. When the parish priest, Father John Johanek approached his parents when Milton was in eighth grade, they said they wanted him to attend high school first and when he graduated, if he still wanted to attend the seminary, they would support his decision. He graduated from Kewaunee High School in 1954, was senior class president and senior prom king. Any date he had in high school would involve taking the young lady to visit churches in the area. So the seminary was definitely a good choice for him.
Following high school, Father Suess attended junior college at St. Francis Minor Seminary and then St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, where he earned a degree in Philosophy and Theology. Bishop Stanislaus V. Bona ordained him on June 1, 1963, at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Green Bay.
Father Milton’s first priestly appointment was as Assistant Pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish, Green Bay. At the same time, he served on the faculty of Sacred Heart Seminary, Oneida and as Prosynodal Judge of the Diocesan Tribunal. He earned a Master’s degree in Latin at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1969. In 1973, he was appointed Pastor of St. Ann Parish, Saint Anna. In 1980, he was appointed Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, Luxemburg, (commonly known as St. Mary Parish) where he served for 38 years.
While Pastor of St. Ann Parish, Saint Anna and St. Mary Parish, Luxemburg, Father Suess served the diocese in many different capacities including a three year term as Episcopal Vicar, Director of Catholic Cemeteries, Canon Penitentiary of the Diocese, Temporary Administrator and Pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Champion, for five years and Holy Trinity Parish, Casco/Slovan for his last 14 years. Father Suess retired and received senior status in 2018.
Father Suess had a love of travel-mostly to the Czech Republic, visiting every church, cathedral, mission and monastery. He had a love of gardening, proud to continue the variety of potatoes his parents had given him. He had plum trees on the church property, a tie to his Czech heritage. He spoke the Czech language as a child, needing to learn English when he entered LaFollette Grade School. He and his friends continued to stay fluent in the Czech language in high school using hand-written flash cards. He went on to learn Latin, Greek, German, Spanish and Russian. In his 70’s and 80’s he learned to use the computer and loved its vast collection of churches and cathedrals. He was especially fluent in Czech and read Czech newspapers, books, periodicals and interpreted Czech letters for friends. He loved the Czech music and had an extensive collection of albums. He sang with the Czech Choraliers at the Western Fraternal National Convention in Green Bay.
Survivors include four sisters, Elizabeth (Craig) Robillard, CO; Julie (Paul) Thoreson, Kewaunee; Susan (Robert) Heine, Grafton; Mary Ellen Suess, Madison; two nieces, Nichole (David Steffen) Robillard and Dierdre (Mike Strong) Robillard; three great nephews, Zachary and Ethan Steffen, Anders Olson and one great niece, Annika Olson. One uncle and one aunt, Robert Suess, Pilsen; Dorothy Suess, Mishicot.
Father Suess was preceded in death by his parents, his grandparents, his step-grandmother, and one great-nephew, Liam Olson; one brother in law, Robert Clapper; many aunts and uncles further preceded him.
Father Suess’s retirement Mass was celebrated with Father Paul Paider, Father Mark Mleziva, Father Joe Dorner, Deacon Bob Miller and his wife, Linda, and seminarian Matthew Colle. Servers were, Ethan Whitmire, TJ Weinfurter and Zachary Tassoul. In 38 years at St. Mary Parish in Luxemburg, he baptized 1192 people, (mostly babies). He conducted 438 weddings, 568 funerals and Masses more than can be counted. He had about 3500 round-trips to Casco in 14 years. He taught about 18 class periods per week during school and CCD times. He made about 4,000 home-made greeting cards for birthdays. He wrote and typed about 2280 introductions for weekend Masses. He was deeply loved by the people of Luxemburg, Casco and Champion.
The wake for Father Milton Suess will be held at St. Mary Parish, Luxemburg on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 from Noon until 7:00 pm. A Solemn Vigil Service will be held at 7:00 pm.
A Memorial Mass with the school children will be held on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 8:00 am. Visitation will continue on Thursday, from 9:00 am to 10:45 am. St. Mary Parish is located at 1412 Main Street, Luxemburg. To ensure health and safety, there will be strict adherence to Covid 19 guidelines with masks required and social distancing.
The Funeral Liturgy, expressing our faith and our hope in the promised glory of the Lord’s Resurrection, will take place at 11:00 am on Thursday, December 17, 2020, at St. Mary Parish, Luxemburg. Most Rev. David Ricken will preside at the funeral and Reverend Paul Paider will be the homilist with Reverend Daniel Schuster concelebrating. The Funeral will be private, limited to family members, priests of the Diocese of Green Bay, members of the Knights of Columbus Society, Christian Mother Society, Catholic Order of Foresters and the Holy Name Society. The Funeral Mass will be livestreamed on the St. Mary School of Luxemburg, facebook page at 11:00 am on Thursday.
The burial will be immediately after the Mass at St. Joseph Cemetery in Pilsen.
McMAHON FUNERAL HOME, LUXEMBURG is assisting the Suess Family. www.mcmahonfh.com
In Lieu of flowers a memorial/scholarship fund has been established in his name for the St. Mary Catholic School, Luxemburg.