Dedicated mother. Loyal friend. Faithful servant. Sue Reifsnider passed away on September 24, 2020 from complications caused by a blood clot in her heart.
Suzanne Edna Phelps was born November 13, 1940, the oldest of four children, to Clinton and Nelda (Reinhardt) Phelps. She graduated from Baraboo Senior High School in 1958 and married the following year.
In 1969 Sue’s family, which now included two children, moved to Beaver Dam where she lived all but 1-1/2 years of her life. Soon after securing a job at JC Penney (which turned into a 27-year career), she joined Grace Presbyterian Church where she was an active member for over 50 years.
Sue married the “love of her life”, Bill Reifsnider, on August 8, 1981. Together they were a “team” that lived life to the fullest! With Bill by her side, she became an accomplished archer and avid hunter. Deer, turkeys and even bear were no match for her marksmanship! She cherished early mornings in the woods. Riding ATVs and snowmobiles, camping and traveling were also a favorite past-times. For 17 years, Sue and Bill shared their love of hunting with family and friends by hosting an annual bear hunt in Canada. They also served as volunteers for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) fly in in Oshkosh every summer for 20 years. Perhaps their greatest adventure, however, came in 1997 when they packed their truck and trailer and headed to Alaska. When asked when they would be home, they answered “when we get here.”
The love they had for each other and their faith in God also helped Sue and Bill weather many “storms” during their 37 years together. This was most apparent during the last years of Bill’s life when, as his primary care giver, she fulfilled her promise to care for him at home all while battling her own blood disease.
Already a talented knitter and crocheter, Sue took up quilting in 1987. While her sewing room at home was perhaps her favorite place, she treasured the work she did and the friendships she made as a member of several groups including: the Evening Star Quilt Guild, Beaver Dam, Kattywampus Quilt Guild, Randolph, St. John’s Pieceful Quilters, Humbird, The American Sewing Guild, Eau Claire and The Makers at Grace Presbyterian Church. In 30+ years of quilting, she personally completed dozens of quilts and countless other projects-each one a beautiful piece of art made with care and love.
Never one to “sit” for very long, Sue always seemed to have somewhere to go, someone she wanted to help or (yet another) project to be worked on. In recent years she had begun to research her ancestry, creating family trees going back many generations. In her “free” time, she loved playing cards, gardening and watching her grandkids play sports. As diehard Packers & Badgers fan, fall was a favorite time of year.
Sue is survived by her siblings-Eugene (Martha) Phelps, Baraboo, Jerald (Linda) Phelps, Baraboo and James Phelps, Chippewa Falls; children Norma Jean Henderson (Brad Jonas), Chicago, IL, R John Henderson (Katie Crowley), Lake Mills, Patricia J Reifsnider (Chris), New Glarus, Jeffrey L Reifsnider (Sherry), Beaver Dam and Michael W Reifsnider (Kelley), Juneau; 11 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren and one great, great granddaughter.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband William L “Bill” Reifsnider, her daughter, Barbara J (Reifsnider) Moen, grandson Austin M Reifsnider and her first husband Robert L Henderson.
A service to celebrate Sue’s life will be held at Grace Presbyterian Church, 215 Gould St, Beaver Dam on Saturday, September 25th at 11am; visitation begins at 10am. Masks will be required while in the church building regardless of vaccination status. A video of the service will be posted by 5:00pm, Wednesday, September 29, on her obituary page on www.cstonefs.com.
If desired, memorials in Sue’s name may be made to Grace Presbyterian Church.
Cornerstone Funeral & Cremation Services, 135 Keller Blvd., Beaver Dam is honored to be serving the family. You may view or sign the family’s guestbook at www.cstonefs.com.