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In Memory of Susan Ann Nusz

Susan Nusz, age 78, of Ames, IA died on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at Northridge Village following an heroic three-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. A visitation will be held in Ames, Iowa on Tuesday, August 10, 2021 at the Stevens Funeral Home in Ames, Iowa from 9:00am-11:00am. A Memorial service will be held at 11:00am at the same location. A Catholic Funeral Mass will be held at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Okeene, OK at 11:00am on August 14, 2021. Visitation will be held from 9:00-10:00 am in the Church basement prior to mass. Susan will be laid to rest next to her husband Lawayne immediately following the service, at Peaceful Cemetery in Hitchcock, OK.

Susan Ann Wagner was born on November 24, 1942, the first baby born at the Cape Canaveral, Florida Naval Hospital, to parents Armin S. and Jane (Curren) Wagner in Cocoa, Florida. She began her life in Florida, travelling the world with her parents as her father continued his career in the United States Navy. She spent three years living in the Philippines during his tour at Subic Bay. They relocated to Arlington, VA where she graduated from Wakefield High School in 1960. Her first job was with the United States Department of Commerce as a Secretary. During this time, her father was hospitalized at a military hospital. While recovering, he was impressed by a young Navy Hospital Corpsman. He was so impressed by the care he received from this young man, he invited him to a home-cooked meal once he left the hospital. Susan was smitten. She began dating this young man from a farm in Oklahoma and six months later she married the love of her life Lawayne. When he finished his time in the Navy, they embarked on a life together that included moving to Oklahoma so he could attend Oklahoma State University Veterinary College. When he graduated with his DVM in 1970, she was awarded her PHT – “Pushing Hubby Through” honorary degree from the OSU Veterinary School Student organization. During their time in Oklahoma, this city-girl began to love the farm animals and farm life in which she would surround herself over the next fifty years.

They became a family of three, adding Lara in March of 1967 and then adding Eileen in 1971 and David in 1972. During these years they moved from Oklahoma to New Jersey and then to Iowa where they began the Town and Country Veterinary Clinic in St. Lucas, Iowa. They immersed themselves in Parent-Teacher activities and 4-H clubs. They moved to an acreage where they raised Suffolk sheep, Jersey cattle, Angus cattle and nearly every type of fowl imaginable. She proudly delivered the first set of twin lambs of the flock when “the Vet” was unavailable and she HAD to step in! During these years, they fostered a sense of adventure and interest in travel in all of their children. In 1981 she and Lawayne picked up stakes and moved the family to New Zealand for two years where they traveled the entire country, then visited Australia, Tahiti and Fiji before returning to their lives in St. Lucas, Iowa. In 1986 they added Cris Salgado to the family as an exchange student daughter from Brazil. As the children drew closer to college, they decided to close the clinic and he accepted a position with the State of Virginia Dept of Agriculture. They moved to Harrisonburg, VA where she took an administrative assistant position with the Rockingham County Community Services Board.

In 1993, an opportunity presented itself to both Susan and Lawayne with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and they moved back to Iowa. Susan continued her work until retirement in 2008. In retirement Susan enjoyed playing bridge, traveling, and spending time with her grandchildren. Northridge Village in Ames, Iowa became her home in 2017 and is where she lived until her death.

She is survived by her daughter, Lara (Matthew) Hicok, Ames, IA, daughter Eileen (Eric) Canafax, Ames, IA and son David (Marievic) Nusz, Arnegard, ND, grandchildren Aaron Lewis, Des Moines, IA, Henry and Zoe Canafax, Ames, IA and Danielle, Ivan and Leah Nusz, Arnegard, ND and Mother-in-Law Iva Nusz of Yukon, OK and Brother-in-Law Ken (Kay) Brown of Nichols Hills, OK. She is also survived by Exchange daughter Cris Salgado, husband Luiz Fernando Schuller and daughter Fernanda Salgado Schuller, Brazil, step-sisters Marie Nuckols, Centerville, VA and Suzanne Blevins, The Plains, VA. Susan was preceded in death by her Husband Dr. Lawayne Nusz, her son Stephen Nusz, granddaughter Mariel Nusz, her parents Armin and Jane, her father-in-law Henry, Sister-in-law Marietta (Ken) Brown, Brother-in-law Lonnie Nusz, Sister-in-law Donna Nusz, step-mother Mary and step-brother Michael (Marika) Sniscak, step-brothers-in-law Jimmy (Marie) Nuckols and Sam (Suzanne) Blevins.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.


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