Memorial Gift to Purple Paws From...

Susan Swanke

Susan Palmer Swanke died on March 19, 2024, in Westmoreland, Kansas, from cancer.

The third of four children, Sue, was born and raised in Chicago by parents Robert and Gertrude Palmer. Sue lived in the area until her early twenties. She left Chicago and went to nursing school, living in various places around the country until she settled in San Diego. It was there that she met Thomas  Swanke, and the two married in 1984.

Sue became a nurse to help people and worked in hospitals throughout her career.  She held many different positions, from the ER to the recovery room and everything in between. Never one to settle for the way things were, Sue was known for her compassionate care and fought for the wellbeing of both her patients and fellow nurses.

A fiercely independent woman, Sue had many passions outside of her career. She was a member of the SCA while in San Diego and could often be found taking care of horses or in the saddle. An avid gardener and birder, she transformed the yards of every home she owned, creating safe spaces for birds to land and feed. Sue also loved to sew, hand making her own wedding dress, along with countless Halloween costumes for her children. Finally, after being introduced to them by her children, Sue loved to play video games. She was very active online and created many lasting friendships with gamers all over the country.

Sue was a force to be reckoned with. Her iron will, stubborn nature, do-it-yourself attitude, and sardonic humor will be impossible for anyone who knew her to forget. Once she set her mind to something, there was nothing that would stand in her way. Sue is survived by her brother Lynn, her son Peter, her daughter Heidi, and her grandson Miles. She was loved by all of us, and while her loss is painful, we are thankful that she is no longer suffering and hope she is reunited with the ones she loved.”

A gathering of friends and family will be held on Thursday, March 21, 2024, from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m. at Campanella & Stewart Funeral Home of Wamego. Memorial contributions can be made payable to Purple Power Animal Welfare Society (PPAWS) or the Northern Flint Hills Audubon Society. They can be left in the care of Campanella & Stewart Funeral Home, PO Box 48, Wamego, KS 66547. 

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