Susan Marie (nee Ristow) Zewiske

July 25, 1957 – March 31, 2014

Be at Peace

Susan M. Zewiske, 56, of North Prairie, passed away peacefully from cancer Monday, March 31, 2014, with her husband at her bedside and surrounded by family. She was diagnosed with the disease in May of 2013. She was born on July 25, 1957, the daughter of Gerald and Jill (nee Julaine Summerfield) Ristow. Susan was a member of Three Holy Women Catholic Parish in Milwaukee and St. Paul Catholic Church in Genesee Depot. She is married to John W. Zewiske.

Susan M. Ristow graduated from Waukesha North High School in 1975, UW-La Crosse in 1979 and earned her graduate degree in health administration from Cardinal Stritch University. She enjoyed gardening and played soccer and softball. She continues to hold a track record at UW-La Crosse.

Sue, Susan or Susie was a true gift – an irreplaceable gift. Please thank God for her life and the difference she made. She was a blessing to those who knew her. This attractive young woman had an outgoing personality, a twinkle in her eyes, infectious smile and the love of God. She was easy to know and a humble, driven worker. She was always fun.

She had positions of increasing complexity at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center and the Medical College of Wisconsin. On her passing, she was the administrator of the Department of Microbiology at the Medical College. She was employed at the Medical College for 31 years. She enjoyed her work and the people she worked with. She was a great organizer of just about everything to include games and competitive events like the Department of Microbiology Winter Olympics. In her work environment, she earned many achievement awards and honors.

Susie will miss the spring with its new and fresh smells, which were her cue to get in the garden. Her work paid off with beautiful flowers. She loved lying in bed in the summer with the windows open, enjoying the breezes and the sounds of a passing train. Watching the birds was a “first thing in the morning” to-do as she watched from her kitchen window at her elaborate bird feeding station. She looked forward to visiting her nieces, nephews and grandchildren (through marriage), and playing pretend, puzzles or games of all sorts.

Susan will be dearly missed by her husband, John; her parents, Julaine and Gerald Ristow; her sister, Linda J. (Dave) Hall of Oconomowoc; and brother, Patrick T. (Kris) Ristow of Waukesha; children by marriage, Christopher J. (Jeni) Zewiske of Minnetonka, Minn., Joseph P. (Nancy) Zewiske of Eagle, Ann Marie (Ola) Bildtsen of Roseville, Minn., and Wayne E. Zewiske of Luverne, Minn.; as well as her loving cousins and many grandchildren through marriage and nieces (Kelsey, Dana and Mallory Hall) and nephews (Dylan and Garrett Ristow).

Visitation for Susan will be held from 3:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Friday, April 4, at Cesarz, Charapata, Zinnecker Funeral Home, 237 N. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha. A second visitation will be held from 10:00 A.M. until the time of the 12 noon Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, April 5, at St. Paul Catholic Church, S38W31602 Highway D (highways D and 83), Genesee Depot, WI 53127. The burial will immediately follow at St. Paul’s Catholic Cemetery. The Rev. Mike Hammer and Rev. Mark Molling will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to St. Paul Catholic Church (see address above), Three Holy Women Catholic Parish, 1716 N. Humboldt Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202; St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 401 Mill St. Wilton, WI 54670; or a charity of the donor’s choice in Susan’s name would be appreciated.

Cesarz, Charapata & Zinnecker Funeral Home, Cremation and Pre-Planning Services is serving the family. For an online obituary or to leave a message of condolence, please visit, or call 542-6609.