Susan M. Amacher


Susan Mary (Smith) Amacher of Lake Shore/Nisswa, MN, passed away peacefully with family by her side on June 3, 2020, in Hospice care. She was born in Peoria, IL December 6, 1946. Her parents were Gladys and Herman Smith. Susan grew up living in beautiful hotel properties where her father served as general manager throughout the Midwest. She was a high school cheerleader and graduated from Southwest High School, Minneapolis, MN in 1964. She continued her education at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN and completed a B.A. at Ripon College in Ripon, WI. She met Ryan Amacher who was the love of her life at Ripon. They married on December 28, 1967 in Northwood, IA. They had loved each other dearly for just shy of fifty years when Ryan passed away in 2016.

Susan completed a master’s degree in theatre at the University of Oklahoma. She had a passion for theater and music. She was both a singer in rock band and in church choirs and continued to play the piano, even as her health deteriorated in these last years. While Ryan was completing a PhD in economics in Virginia, Susan taught in public schools there and later in Oklahoma. With a move to Arizona, she worked in real estate and was a natural salesperson. Once they returned to Gull Lake, Susan was elected to the Lake Shore City Council and served for over a decade.

In her varied career, Susan’s favorite job was being Ryan’s partner. She had special gifts for never meeting a stranger and making her home a place people loved to be. Susan turned entertaining and fundraising for the various universities where Ryan served, a joyful life’s work. Though they never had children, there were always dogs and horses that received Susan’s love and attention.

With Ryan death and Susan’s declining health, it was necessary for her to move into assisted living. Like each change in her life, Susan met this one with a positive spirit. Her family and friends deeply appreciate the caring staff at both at Hills Crossing Senior Home in Nisswa and AmeriCare Lodges in Remer who gave Susan such kind and loving care the last years and months of her life. Also, a very special thank-you to Bonnie, Ron, and all the staff at Good Neighbors Home Health Care. Their help made it possible for Susan to remain active and happy these past years.

Susan will be greatly missed by her double cousin, Patty Smith Miller; her cousins, friends, and caregivers – Kari Huso Eliassen and Mark Huso; and all her other many cousins and dear friends throughout the United States. Private service will be held as family places her cremains in Columbarium at Living Savior Lutheran Church, Lake Shore, MN.

Those who knew Susan will miss her great energy, fun loving spirit, and her laughter.

Arrangements have been completed by Nelson-Doran Funeral Home, Brainerd. 

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