Emily “Susan” Chase-Klaas of Ellsworth, Wis., and El Paso, Texas, passed away Monday, August 16, 2010, after a nearly 12-year battle of health issues related to cancer.
“Susan” was born Feb. 21, 1955, in Wilmington, N.C., to Melva June Bramble Chase and William Orlando Chase of Kelly, N.C. She was schooled in North Carolina, Alabama and was a 1973 graduate of Irving High School in El Paso. She attended the University of Texas - El Paso (UTEP). Throughout her working career with employers such as Compugraphic, Digital Computer, Western Grocers, Super Valu Stores, WyBanco, Jacques Seed/Mycogen Plant Sciences, and Paradise Pools, she lived and worked across the country and traveled extensively with many of her early positions in management and information technology. In 1984, she met her husband while both were employed at Super Valu Stores Inc. - Denver, Colo. After they married they moved to Ellsworth in 1988. Susan was active in the Klaas-Jonas Recreational Center Project in Ellsworth and headed up the Dr’s Run Walk & Roll fundraisers for a local community center. In 1996 she created, owned and operated Blue Skies Pools & Spas in Hudson, Wis.
In December of 1998, she was diagnosed with cancer and was blessed to have the services of the University of Minnesota for the past 11 years, 8 months. She praised their medical staff for their care and for being cancer free for the past 6+ years. Her battle against cancer has been a great inspiration of strength, determination and faith to many people and taught many about life’s true importance and perspective. She will be greatly missed by many.
Susan is survived by her husband, James F. Klaas of Ellsworth; son Taylor W.C. Klaas of Minneapolis, Minn.; son Frederick B. Klaas II, and daughter Samantha K. Klaas, both currently attending the University of Denver in Colorado; a brother, Bill Chase, Oregon; and her mother-in-law, JuDea A. Klaas of Ellsworth; in addition to many aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her mother (2005); her father (2010); and other family members and friends.
A celebration of life was held at St. Francis Catholic Church on Thursday, August 26, with Rev. Father Roy Wituchi and Rev. Father Tom Donaldson presiding. A private interment was held at St. Francis Catholic Church Cemetery in Ellsworth. A memorial fund is being established in her honor; contributions may be sent to the family.