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In Memory

Suzanne Leininger (Beithon) - Class Of 1945

Marcia Suzanne “Sue” Beithon, 85

Published 9:49am Tuesday, December 4, 2012 Updated 11:50am Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Marcia Beithon, died Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, at PioneerCare Center in Fergus Falls, surrounded by family.

Sue was born on July 26, 1927, at St. Catherine’s Hospital in McCook, Neb., the second daughter of Earl Francis Leininger and Eda Jane (Corley) Leininger.

In her early years, Sue lived in McCook, Neb., where she attended public school and was graduated from McCook High School.

Sue was baptized and confirmed at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in McCook. As a young girl, she studied piano, dance and voice. She continued to enjoy arts throughout her life.

Sue attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she earned a BA degree in sociology with minors in speech and English.

In 1949, she began nurses training at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. That same year, she met Paul Beithon. Sue and Paul were married on March 26, 1951, in McCook, Neb.

Sue and Paul lived in Omaha, Neb., while Paul finished medical school.

They also lived in San Antonio, Texas, Harrisburg, Pa., and St. Paul, before settling in Wahpeton, N.D., in 1953. They raised their six children in Wahpeton and enjoyed summers at Otter Tail Lake. During later years, Sue and Paul spent winter months on Marco Island, Fla.

Sue volunteered tirelessly in the Wahpeton community. She was a woman of strong Christian faith and gave of her time and talents to serve the Lord. She served at Trinity Episcopal Church, Wahpeton, as musical director, soloist and organist. She served on many state and national committees for the Episcopal Church of North Dakota.

She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Homemakers, bridge club and Bible study. She was both District and State President of the North Dakota Medical Auxiliary during the early 1980s.

She especially loved her connection with PEO, and was a faithful member of Chapter J (Wahpeton) and Chapter M (Fergus Falls).

Sue held many local and state offices of PEO in North Dakota, including State President from 1972-73. Sue was also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.

She served on the Wahpeton School Board for a two-year term in the late 1970s.

One of the greatest gifts Sue shared with others was her continued correspondence with many people. She was famous among family and friends for sending birthday cards, writing notes and sending Christmas cards with hand written notes on them. At one time her Christmas card list included over 700 names.

Sue was a wonderful wife to Paul and mother to her children. She adored her 14 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

There are many memories of summers spent at Otter tail, with Sue in the kitchen cooking and offering hospitality to a cabin filled with friends and family. It wasn’t uncommon for her to sit down at the cabin piano to play music for anyone wanting to join in and sing show tunes.

She lived in her faith and was a strong example to all who knew her. She will be remembered for her love of family and friends, and her kind and tender spirit. She truly tried to “make a difference” through service to the communities in which she lived.

In 1997, Sue and Paul re-located to Fergus Falls, to enjoy their retirement years, where Sue continued to be active in family and community service until limited by her health issues.

Sue is survived by her husband Paul Beithon; children, John and Pat (Olson) Beithon, Shorewood, Mark and Sharla (Landon) Beithon, Plymouth, Ann (Beithon) and Richie Smith, Wahpeton, N.D., and Peter and Jill (Schoonhoven) Beithon, Mary (Beithon) and Bill Pettit, and Carrie Beithon all of Fergus Falls; 14 grandchildren, Paul Beithon, Andrea Beithon, Tim Beithon, Rachel Beithon, Kelly Smith, Kathleen Smith, Kierann (Jason) Toth, Katie So (Dylan) Dachtler, Brock (Nina) Beithon, Hannah (Dane) Carlson, Joey Pettit, Steven Vergiels and Erik Vergiels; Great-grandchildren, Ara Beithon, Ada and Nellie Dachtler, and Gabe and Claire Carlson; a sister-in-law, Dorie Holen of Wahpeton; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Eda and Earl Leinginer; and an infant sister, Betty Jane Leininger.

Memorials preferred to St. James Episcopal Church-Organ Fund and Pioneer Care Foundation, or to a charity of donor’s choice.

Visitation: Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m., at the funeral home, and one hour prior to the service at PioneerCare

Service: 11 a.m. Saturday, at PioneerCare Celebration Center, Fergus Falls