Sue Ann McAbee, 79
Sue Ann (Maule) McAbee, age 79, added her soprano to the choirs of Heaven on May 10, 2020 as a result of lymphoma. Sue Ann was born in Sandusky, Ohio, on December 9, 1940, to Harry and Marie (Grealy) Maule.
Sue Ann was a direct decedent of Thomas Maule, a Quaker, who settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1668. He was jailed for publicly criticizing the Puritan leaders and was acquitted for expressing his religious beliefs, a pivotal point in leading the adoption of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In fear that Sue Ann would not survive, at five weeks of age and fighting whooping cough, Sue Ann became a child of God through baptism into her German great-grandparents’ Lutheran faith.
Sue Ann grew up as an only child and was blessed with the attention of both parents. She had a delightful childhood fishing with her father, watching him build the family’s home in Castalia, Ohio, and riding with him from the age of three on his Indian motorcycle. Inside their home, alongside her mother, she learned to sew, take care of a home, and become an excellent cook.
Sue Ann was valedictorian of the class of 1958 at Margaretta High School in Castalia. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, in 1962, where she met her husband, Roger Leon McAbee, in the lunch line. They were married on September 2, 1962 at Grace Lutheran Church in Castalia.
Sue Ann’s work life was dictated by where Roger’s study and ministry led them. While he studied at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, she worked in public relations from the Tuberculosis Society and as an assistant at the Ohio State University music library. Roger’s year of internship took them to Zion Lutheran Church in Ferndale, Michigan.
After Roger was ordained in 1965, he was called to two small rural churches in Southwestern Wisconsin. Being a pastor’s wife kept Sue Ann busy, and it was in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, where their two children, Dawn and Michael, were born. She was able to be a stay-at-home mom during Roger’s ministry in Wooster, Ohio, and Forrest, Illinois.
Sue Ann returned to the workforce in suburban Chicago, where she learned to set type on a computer, which assured her of a job on a chain of suburban newspapers, and also in Wausau, after the family moved to Wittenberg, Wisconsin. During the 23 years they spent in Wittenberg while Roger served as chaplain at Homme Home of the Aging, Sue Ann branched from typesetting to a variety of occupations. She worked in direct sales with Home Interiors; she planned Jail and Bails and Chef’s Auctions for the March of Dimes; was the director of the Wittenberg Senior Center; and did telephone sales for Neuske’s Meat. Her favorite positions highlighted her passion for news and writing, serving as a columnist targeting interesting local residents for the Wittenberg weekly newspaper, and even more so, covering news in Antigo and Rhinelander, Wisconsin for WATK/WRLO.
Sue Ann’s activities at Trinity included serving on the church council, youth and worship committees, and Stephen Ministry. She was a graduate of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin, ELCA, Lay School of Ministry, and participated in continuing education classes. She recorded obituaries and news for the Portage County Caregivers and served a year reading with second graders for United Way.
Above all, Sue Ann’s family and faith were highlights of her life. She is survived by her daughter, Dawn McAbee, Plover and Dawn’s sons, Justin McAbee-Jensen, Wisconsin Rapids, and Austin Jensen, Plover. She is further survived by her son, Michael McAbee, Postville, Iowa, and his children, Lula, Postville, and Abraham, Wausau, Wisconsin. She is further survived by a grand-granddaughter, three great-grandsons, including Gavyn Jensen, who kept her feeling young and had a special place in her heart.
Sue Ann was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Marie Maule, and her husband, Roger, who died an untimely death in 2006 from a brain tumor.
Due to COVID-19, details for a Memorial Service will be held announced at a later date. Burial of her ashes will be at a later date in the Maule family plot in Castalia Cemetery in Castalia, Ohio.
“We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord, so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.” Romans 14:7-9
Contributions in Sue Ann’s Honor may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church of Stevens Point, the East Central Wisconsin Lay School, Capital University, Trinity Lutheran Seminary of Columbus. Ohio, or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences may be made at www.bostonfuneralhome.net.