Susan “Sue” K. Birrenkott, 70, of Aberdeen, passed away Sunday, July 28, 2019, at Bethesda Home of Aberdeen.
Mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 a.m., Thursday, August 1, 2019, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 409 3rd Ave SE, Aberdeen, with Father Mark Lichter as celebrant.
Burial will follow at Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery in Aberdeen.
Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements. Family and friends may sign Sue’s online guestbook and also view her service via the live stream service link at www.schriversmemorial.com.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, at the mortuary, with a liturgical wake service and Rosary beginning at 7:00 p.m. Visitation continues one hour before Mass at the church on Thursday.
Susan K. Birrenkott was born February 6, 1949, in Lemmon, SD, to Ves and June (Van Riper) Birrenkott, and was the youngest of four siblings. Sue’s father died when she was just 11 years old and she was raised by her mother, under the watchful eye of her siblings. She attended Lemmon High School and graduated in 1967. Sue then continued her education at Northern State University in Aberdeen, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology with a Minor in Special Education, thus fulfilling her mother’s life-long goal of seeing all of her children obtain a college education. She later returned to Northern State and obtained her Masters Degree in Guidance and Counseling.
Upon graduation from Northern, Sue began her professional career. Throughout her career, she served as a Transition Specialist, Special Education Teacher, Intervention Counselor, Rehabilitation Counselor, and Foster Parent. Her love, patience, and caring for all she encountered through her work was immeasurable. Sue also spent many hours volunteering in her community and church.
Sue was a woman full of life who had a strong faith. She dedicated her life to advocating for and serving others, and for that she received many commendations. The Athena award she received in 2005 highlighted her life’s work. Sue was an active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Aberdeen. She also served as a member of the South Dakota Parent Connection, South Dakota Deaf-Blind Advisory Council, a Co-Founding Mother of Women’s Place Shelter (now known as Safe Harbor), a member of the Foster Parents Association, South Dakota Special Olympics Board of Directors, Co-Founder of the Aberdeen Epilepsy Chapter, New Beginnings Advisory Board, Aberdeen’s Mayor’s Committee for the Handicapped and the March of Dimes. Sue was also a Foster Parent for over 40 years, during which time she opened her home to an innumerable number of children.
In her spare time, Sue enjoyed spending time with her pets, reading, walking, and volunteering. She especially looked forward to and loved the time spent with her granddaughter, her “Saturday Morning Coffee Klatsch” and her Ladies Prayer Group.
Blessed to have shared in Sue’s life are Kelli (Jason) Erickson of Aberdeen; her granddaughter, Kianna Erickson of Aberdeen; her siblings: Bill (Shelly) Birrenkott of Rapid City SD, Bob (Regina) Birrenkott of Tampa FL, and Pete (Julie) Birrenkott , Rapid City SD; her aunt and uncle, Phyllis and Vernon Birrenkott of Fresno, CA; nieces, nephews, cousins, and many wonderful friends.
Sue was preceded in death by her parents, Ves and June.
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