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Susan Tonner Tonner

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Susan Tonner Tonner Obituary
Susan Tonner

Mass of Christian Burial for Susan M. Tonner, 71, Mina will be 11:00 am, Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Father Michael Griffin celebrant. Sue died Thursday, May 11 in Rochester, MN. Visitation will be from 1:00 to 7:00 pm, Monday, with family present 5:00 to 7:00 and a wake service at 7:00 at Spitzer-Miller Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers the family prefers memorials to NSU Business School Scholarship for Women. Beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, Susan Marie Ellyson Tonner was born in San Fransisco, CA to Roger and Avis Sorteberg Ellyson on September 11, 1945. Susan was raised in Watertown, SD and graduated from Watertown High School in 1963. She then attended the University of South Dakota as well as two summers at Northern State University. She graduated in 1967 with double majors in Secondary Education and Library Science. Sue met her future husband, Thomas Tonner, in college at the University of SD. After graduation on June 10 1967, Sue and Tom were married in Aberdeen, SD. Susan taught in the high schools of Hawarden, Iowa and Elk Point, SD while Tom attended law school at the University of SD. After Tom's graduation in 1970, Sue and Tom moved to Indianapolis, IN where Tom was stationed with the US Army. During Tom's time in the service, Sue taught in the Indianapolis, IN school system, with an emphasis on working with the school library system throughout the city. She traveled throughout Indianapolis working and creating libraries. Their first daughter, Leslie Ellyson, was born in Indianapolis, IN on May 8, 1972, in the army barracks. Amazingly, Tom helped the doctor with the delivery, as there were 3 new babies born that night and only one nurse. Sue and Tom then relocated to Aberdeen, SD in 1972 so Tom could start his law practice. Their second daughter Melissa Marie was born in Aberdeen on June 25, 1974 and third daughter Lizabeth Frances on August 6th, 1977. When their children were small, Sue stayed home and was active volunteering in the school system. During the 1980's and 1990's, Sue became involved in the ownership of the historic Ward Hotel. She managed the hotel bar and restaurant for more than 20 years. During that time, she also served on various boards associated with Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Board, and Downtown Aberdeen. Sue lived life on her own terms with a special sense of humor and sweet nature that was loved by all. She especially enjoyed throwing her husband, Tom, "under the bus." Sue enjoyed attending her children's many school activities such as dance, cheerleading, basketball, and show choir and watching them grow into wonderful adults. Sue enjoyed shopping, filling her home with keepsakes, golfing (a little less than her husband), her winters in Arizona and spending time with children, grandchildren, and friends. Warm summer evenings cruising Mina lake with an ample supply of Tab pop was a special favorite. Sue also enjoyed traveling with her husband, Tom. They visited Europe, Africa, Australia, Central America, Canada, and Mexico. Grateful for having shared Sue's life are her husband, Thomas P. Tonner, their three children, Leslie (Charles) Wuischpard, Melissa (Scott) Teigen, and Lizabeth (Erik) Peterson, 10 grandchildren, Grace (13) and Chase Wuischpard (9); Thomas (18), Nicholas (16), John (14) and Avigail (7) Teigen; Paydyn (11), Tonner (9), Paxtyn (6), and Lucca (5) Peterson. She is also survived by her sister, Patricia (Jerry) Horn of La Quinta, CA and her brother Roger (Sandy) Ellyson of Watertown, SD. Sue was preceded in death by her parents Roger and Avis Ellyson.
Published in The Argus Leader on May 16, 2017
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