Susan Marie (Schmidt) Rhoades was called home to Jesus on February 16, 2019. Susan was born on July 23, 1937 in Newton to Mariam (Penner) and Dr. Herbert Schmidt. Susan was preceded in death by her parents and her older sister, Madalyn (Schmidt) Ensz. Following graduation from Newton High School in 1955, Susan attended Emporia State University where she received a BS degree in laboratory science. While at Emporia State she was the president of her sorority, Alpha Sigma Tau. She met her husband, Keith Rhoades, at Emporia State, and they married on January 30, 1960. Susan is survived by Keith, their three children and two daughters-in-law, Marc (Denise), Eric (Tammy) and Stacey. Susan is also survived by her seven grandchildren, Joshua Rhoades (Laura), Justin Rhoades (Ellissa), Tori Rhoades, Lindsay Christopher (Anthony), Hannah Rhoades, Mollie Rhoades and Wesley Rhoades and five great-grandchildren, Genevieve Rhoades, Judah Rhoades, Elaina Rhoades, Madeleine Rhoades and Rhoades Christopher.
Susan worked in the medical field in a number of roles. She held several positions as a medical lab technologist at Glockner Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, the student health clinic at Kansas State University, Bethel Clinic and the Medical Arts practice in Newton. She also worked in the public relations department at Kidron Bethel.
Susan had a heart for service. She was a member of many boards including Health Ministries, Bethel College and the Harvey County Historical Society and held various positions at the Bethel College Mennonite Church. Susan volunteered at the Newton Medical Center, Kauffman Museum, the Et Cetera Shop and Asbury Park (Greenhouses).
Susan developed a love for travel from her parents. Her trips included a pilgrimage to India with her daughter, Stacey, to visit the locations where her missionary grandfather, P.A. Penner, established churches and a clinic for those afflicted with leprosy. Susan and Keith traveled to Paraguay on several occasions to visit her parents. They also made numerous trips to Europe. Susan traveled with friends to Eastern Europe (formerly known as Prussia) and spent time in the village of her ancestors. She also enjoyed family reunions with her Ensz nieces and nephews and holiday travel with her children and their families.
Susan also enjoyed time with her friends—whether it was playing bridge or tennis or hosting friends for an outdoor breakfast in the Flint Hills. She looked forward to reunions with her sorority sisters. Susan and Keith shared vacations and many celebrations with a group of families they met through the church (Karen and Larry Penner, Lois and Orlando Goertzen, and Deane and Marlin Frey). They, affectionately, became known as the Beaver Bunch.
A memorial service will be held at Bethel College Mennonite Church on Saturday, February 23 at 3:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to The Harvey County Historical Society or the Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice.