Sue Willke

Sue Willke

Sue Anne (Goetz) Willke died Oct. 17, 2021, in Sun City, Ariz. She was nearly 85 years old. She was born on Nov. 4, 1936, to John F. Goetz and Florence (Kiefer) Goetz. She married Carl (Chuck) Willke on June 14, 1958, in Madison, Wis.

She is survived by her sons Mark (Lisa) Willke of Portland, Ore., and Douglas (April) Willke of San Tan Valley, Ariz., and daughter Elizabeth Willke of Glendale, Ariz.; granddaughters Monica and Marissa Willke in Oregon; grandson Zachary Tahtinen in Arizona; brother-in-law Harold (Nancy) Willke of Pontiac, Ill.; eight nieces and nephews; and several cousins. Her parents and husband preceded her in death.

Sue graduated from West High School in Madison in 1954 and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She taught at Marquette School in Madison for the 1958-1959 school year and at Harrison Hill School in Fort Wayne, Ind., for the 1959-1960. She spent the years from 1960–1977 raising her children and caring for her family. In 1977, she began teaching again at Butte Creek School near Silverton, Ore., and continued there until she retired in 1996. Sue and her husband moved to Hood River, Ore., in 1996 and she taught, substituted and volunteered at Westside School in Hood River from 1997–2000.

She belonged to Hood River Valley Christian Church, was a communion preparer, choir member, elder, member of the Prayer Shawl Ministry and volunteered in the church Thrift Shop. She also was a volunteer driver for the Oregon Partnership Team, volunteered at FISH Food Bank and was a member of the Oregon Retired Educators Association.

In 2000, Sue and Chuck began spending several winter months in the Phoenix, Ariz., area and eventually bought a home there with their daughter, which had guest quarters where they stayed. She then began volunteering at Arrowhead Elementary School, where her grandson Zach attended. In 2015, she and Chuck moved to Newberg, Ore., to be closer to their sons during the summers. In 2016, they moved to Sun City full time. She participated in many activities and made lots of friends at their retirement community.

Sue enjoyed entertaining family and friends, playing cards and games, camping, listening to classical music, helping with the yard work and was an avid reader.

A memorial service was held in the auditorium at “The Palms at Sun City” retirement community, where she and Chuck lived, on Nov. 7, with Pastor Doug Wright officiating.

Sue thoroughly enjoyed her time in the church choir, so in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her honor to the Hood River Valley Christian Church, and sent to Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave, Hood River, OR 97031. We will request that it be spent on something benefiting the choir.

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How Glenn and I remember Sue and her contributions to the live of Hood River Valley Christian Church, where we, too, are members. Her warm smile and kind generosity and compassion will long be remembered. God's love and ours to you, her family and friends! Donnamae Craber Grannemann

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