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Susan L. Claassen

August 4, 2015

Susan Louise Claassen, 57, passed away August 4th at Schowalter Villa in Hesston, Kansas. Susan had lived with multiple sclerosis from early adulthood and ultimately died from complications of this disease. Susan graduated from Newton High School in 1976, earned a degree in Personnel Management from Kansas University in 1980, and was a graduate of the Hesston School of Nursing in 1984.  In high school she was a star athlete and excelled in both gymnastics and track. At KU, Susan was a member of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority.  After graduating from KU, Susan took a job as a sales representative for the Vick’s Health Division.  Shortly after taking this job, she was diagnosed with MS and had to leave this position. After her MS somewhat stabilized, she went on to earn her nursing license and worked as a nursing services provider at the Lorraine Health Center, a day care health center for the elderly in Wichita, Kansas. Susan’s professional work life was short-lived due to her MS, but she continued to act as a volunteer in the Newton Community and was recognized for her work as a Crisis Hotline Counselor for United Methodist Youthville.  A scholarship fund in her name was established at the Hesston School of Nursing. Also a child care center was established by her family, in her honor, at Schowalter Villa. Susan battled with MS for over 30 years. This journey with MS was never easy. The family would like to thank her many friends for their unwavering support over the years. A special thanks to the wonderful staff at Schowalter Villa. Your many acts of kindness and love, made Susan’s battle less lonely and her life richer. Susan was born in Newton, Kansas, May 24, 1958. She is preceded in death by her mother and father, Walter and Helen Claassen. Survivors include sister Patty Purvis of Wichita, Kansas, brother William Claassen of Columbia, Missouri, brother Robert Claassen of Kansas City, Missouri, nephew Mark Purvis of Seattle, Washington, niece Lander Cooney of Bozeman, Montana, great nephews Jack and Tucker Purvis of Seattle, Washington, and great niece Juniper Cooney of Bozeman, Montana. There will be a graveside service in Newton, date to be announced. Memorial donations may be made to the Hesston School of Nursing. Condolences may be left at www.petersenfamilyfuneralhome.com.

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8 thoughts on “Susan L. Claassen

  1. Sad to hear of Susan’s passing. I remember her from high school and she was a wonderful friend. Susan was a friend to everyone she met and always had a wonderful smile. A wonderful angel is gained in heaven.

  2. The NHS class of 1976 will miss her my thoughts and prayers are with her classmates that knew her and prayers are being lifted up to her family I knew Susan from high school

  3. I remember Susan from the summers at the old Newton Country Club and also in high school. She was a very sweet and caring person to all those she came in contact with. Thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  4. Susan was a special friend–through childhood, church, college years at KU and post-graduation when we lived together for a couple of years while she worked at the Lorraine Center. We had many fun times together, including a trip to Europe after graduation from high school. . MS struck hard and was really devastating to her. She had such a long struggle, and I have thought of her often . Bob, Patty and Bill, I am so sorry and I hope that Susan now is in a better place. . Sincerely, Laura Ice

  5. Dear Family,
    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear loved one and send you my sincere condolences. May you find comfort from God’s word at Revelation 21:3,4. Heartfelt prayers are with you and your family. 

  6. The Hesston College nursing staff carries wonderful memories of Susan during her years in our nursing program. We remember her as a caring, compassionate, and competent student with a wonderful spirit and sense of humor. Susan’s ability to be a gracious, healing presence for her patients stands out in our memories. We are thankful that Susan was a part of our lives and are proud to have her as our graduate. We are also grateful that her legacy will live on through the nursing scholarship established in her name by the Claassen family and continue to benefit many nursing students in the years to come. Susan, we will miss you. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Claassen family. – Bonnie Sowers for the Nursing Faculty and Staff at Hesston College

  7. i remember when Susan was in elementary school. The Claassen kids passed by my family’s home on Ambleside Lane while walking to school. My mom (now 87) would see Susan and say, “That Susan Claassen is such a beautiful girl.” Yes, she was physically, but in spirit, too. Thank you for bringing beauty into our world, sweet girl.
    Cindy Long and Family

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