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Susan Kurth

November 11, 1946 ~ February 15, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Susan Kurth Obituary

“Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43

Memorial services for Susan Kurth, 77, of Groton will be 11:00 a.m., Thursday, February 22nd at St. John's Lutheran Church, Groton.  Pastor Jeremey Yeadon will officiate.  Inurnment will follow in the spring at Union Cemetery, Groton.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, February 21st at Paetznick-Garness Funeral Chapel from 5-7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:00 p.m.

Surrounded by her loving family, Susan Kurth was called home by her Lord to her eternal resting place on February 15, 2024 after several years of battling dementia. 

Susan Lynn Ulrich was born in Aberdeen, SD on November 11, 1946 to Ervin and Ruth (Stablein) Ulrich.  She was raised on the Ulrich farm near Putney, SD.  Susie, as she was often known by her family and friends, attended the two room Putney country school through the 8th grade.  Her fondest memories of growing up was time spent with her beloved mother, often in her flower garden, from which Susan entered many varieties in the Brown County Fair.  She spent time swimming and playing at Tacoma Park with her sisters and friends.  She also enjoyed trips with her mother to Aberdeen to visit her cousins and family.  And, of course, her very favorite television show, “The Howdy Doody Show.”  To which she was known, in her later years, to greet everyone with a very, cheery, “Howdy Doody!” 

From Putney, she attended Groton High School and graduated in the Class of 1964.  In high school she was an active member of Girls’ Glee Club, Pep Club, the school newspaper, chorus, class plays and “declam” contests, where she advanced to the district contest for her dramatic reading. She carried her love of these activities throughout life as she enjoyed many musicals, plays, and public speaking - often, with her dear friends through her association in the local Red Hat Society club.

After high school, Susan attended Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD where she pursued a degree in teaching, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in English.  The summer before leaving for college, Susan met Dale Kurth in Claremont.  And the rest, as they say, is history. 

Dale and Susan dated throughout her time in college and were married following her graduation from DWU on June 29th, 1968 at the First Methodist Church in Groton. They settled on Dale’s family farm near Claremont, SD, where they would residefor over 50 years.  Time spent together centered around their children but also meant attending church events, card parties, dancing or taking in a local baseball game.  She was a member of the Claremont American Legion Auxiliary and Putney Ladies Aid.At the time of Susan’s passing, Susan and Dale were lovingly married for 55 years.

Susan joined the faculty at Britton High School teaching English, speech and directing class plays.  Upon the arrival of her first child in 1971, she made the decision to stay at home to raise their family.  They were blessed with 3 children - Travis, Troy and Tiffany.  She rarely, if ever, missed an event in which her children participated. Somehow, she attended more sporting events than could be counted - while never really becoming a “sports fan.” All for her kids and grandkids. 

As her children grew, Susan returned to college earning a degree in Special Education from Northern State University in 1990.  She spent the next 20 years teaching Special Ed, coaching oral interp and directing class plays in Langford, Roslyn, and Groton.  She retired from Groton High School in 2011.  She continued to scratch her teaching itch by guiding classes for Weight Watchers, something she had done throughout her life.  She was an inspiration for many in their pursuit toward healthier lives.

A “city girl" at heart, one of Susan’s favorite pastimes was window shopping. Which, admittedly, sometimes became actual shopping, much to Dale’s chagrin.  She loved to model jewelry and new clothing, always finding the perfect match.  Susan also loved decorating her home for the various holidays, with her favorite being Christmas.  She loved Christmas.  Baking, singing, shopping, wrapping gifts and celebrating the birth of Jesus. She often reminisced about visiting the famous Christmas scene on the 8th floor of the Dayton’s store in downtown Minneapolis as a youth. She was an avid collector of The Dicken’s Village houses and created stunning winter model scenes that she enjoyed sharing with the community. 

Susan loved playing games.  You might often find yourself at the wrong end of a witty jab as she placed another winning Scrabble tile or a winning hand in cards.  She was always quick with a smile or a laugh, even to the very end.  Her greatest laughs, however, were shared with her grandchildren whom she loved to pamper, whether with a gift, a special trip, an amusement park ride or a “sweet treat” – which she definitely shared. 

Susan’s deepest passion was reserved for her faith and relationship with Jesus.  She was firm in her conviction her entire life and spent a lifetime cultivating her relationship with God.  Before she was called home, she expressed her excitement to find her final resting place in heaven where she could be reunited with all her loved ones, but especially her cherished mother and sister.  Today she is celebrating that reunion with the same vigor she showed in life.

Susan is survived by her husband of Claremont; sons, Travis (Debbie) Kurth of Groton and Troy (Jessica) Kurth of Minnetonka, MN; one daughter, Tiffany (Jake) Unzen of Groton; her sister Penny (Craig) Wenzel of Wessington Springs, SD; 10 grandchildren, Marlee, Cali, Boston, Laken, Annie, JD, Haley, Megan, Erin, and Nathan; and 1 great-grandchild Stetson.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Sharon.

Memorials may be directed to Avera Hospice or St. John’s Lutheran Church, Groton.

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