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Obituary for Suzanne J. Evenson

Suzanne Jeanne (Noffke) Evenson, 76, passed away on January 16, 2021, due to complications from COVID. The daughter of V. Jeanne (Bender) and Paul Noffke, Suzanne was born in La Crosse, Wis., and was a 1963 graduate of Central High School. In her younger years, she looked forward to Friday nights when her dad would get home from work, and the whole family would spend the weekend out on the river. Later in life, Sue loved spending time with her family most of all. Sue and Kelly Evenson, married in May of 1969, adopted two daughters, Jinha and Kimsoo, and it’s not an exaggeration to say they were the light of their lives. As her daughters were adopted from South Korea, Sue took pains to honor their native culture, procuring books and keepsakes from Korea, which she displayed proudly. She took their birthday photos in Korean hanboks for as long as they would fit, although she mistook the traditional hair tie for a headband that she tied around their foreheads like Rambo. Sue loved children and was a clown for many years, bringing laughter and finding community while entertaining others. She attended Clown Camp annually during the summers at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and was a familiar face in the audience of the nightly open mic shows there. She was also a member of the Coulee Clown Club, performing in parades at Riverfest, and much to the chagrin of her daughters, making them join in. She loved driving to Baraboo, Wis., to watch the three-ring circus and spent many hours at Circus World Museum. Sue was always a collector. Over the years she went through phases of collecting items such as but not limited to, collectible travel spoons, Beanie Babies (they aren’t worth anything any longer, we checked), lighthouses, Mardi Gras masks, school buses, and Elvis paraphernalia. She would collect photo albums from other family members, cutting out all of the photos, and scrapbooking them into new albums. After experiencing a stroke in 2003, Sue lost much of her speech and moved around with a wheelchair, but she retained much of her self-sufficiency, stubbornness, and nearly all of her swear words. To quote Sue in one of her signature phrases, “See ya later, alligator!” Sue was preceded in death by her father, Paul Noffke; her mother, V. Jeanne (Bender) Noffke; her ex-husband, Kelly Evenson; and her aunt, Geraldine Scheid. She is survived by her daughters, Jinha Servais (Ryan Servais) and Kimsoo Evenson (Ben Como); grandsons, Sam and Remsen Servais; her brother, Steve Noffke (Fran Noffke); her nephew, Thad Noffke (Stacey Noffke); and many relatives and friends with whom she shared many laughs and good memories. Her family would like to thank the nurses at Hillview Healthcare, her Inclusa care team, and Colleen Skinner, her long-time guardian, for their compassion and care. A memorial service will be announced at a later date, once it is safe to congregate together again. Until then, stay safe, and wear a mask.