Susan M. Sielke, 71, a long-time resident of Keene and formerly of Westwood, New Jersey died on Sunday, September 20, 2020. She died peacefully in the comfort of her home with the love of family after a period of declining health.
Susan was born the daughter of the late Virginia (Stewart) and Alan Sielke on October 4, 1948, in Hackensack, N.J. She graduated from Pascack High School in Montvale, N. J. class of 1966. She went on in her studies at East Stroudsburg College in PA, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Education (1970). Later, she attained her Master’s Degree in Education from Plymouth State College class of 1979.
On January 6, 2010, she exchanged vows with Eleanor M. Vander Haegen in Westmoreland. They were married in a simple service with close family and friends in attendance. They have been legally married for ten years and life partners for thirty years.
Susan was employed by Keene State College for twenty-five years and retired as Registrar of Students in 2004. Previously, she had worked at Westwood High School in Westwood, N.J. as a Physical Education teacher for seven years.
She enjoyed an active life. She loved nature and volunteered as a citizen scientist inventorying vernal pools, protecting salamanders, and transcribing water quality data. Observing birds and insects delighted her. Susan was an engaged member of St. James Episcopal Church, serving as a Vestry member and Warden as well as a member of Diocesan Committees. She was a member, past president, and treasurer of Chapter H of the P.E O., an educational and philanthropic organization. She also painted watercolors, participated in writing and book groups, and traveled widely.
Ms. Sielke is survived by her wife, Eleanor M. Vander Haegen of Keene. A sister, Karen E. Sielke of Swanzey. A sister-in-law, Marie Pierce, and her husband Robert of West Newbury, MA. And her nieces: Abigail Hannan and her husband, Joseph of Amesbury, MA; Emily Pierce of Boston, MA; Joanna Kearney and her husband Ryan of Burlington, VT; and Rebecca Peerless and her husband, James of Durham, N.C. In addition, she is survived by cousins, extended family, and friends.
In keeping with Susan’s wishes, all services will be private. Donations can be made in memory of Susan M. Sielke to:
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
450 Brookline Ave.
Boston, MA. 02215.
All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. www.cheshirefamilyfh.com.