Susannah Jane Kist of Palatine, Ill., was born to eternal life on Dec. 4, 2009.
Susannah was born in Milwaukee on Dec. 8, 1961. She moved to West Bend at a young age and graduated from West Bend East in 1980. After graduating from Hope College in Holland, Mich., Susannah taught general music and chorus at Hamilton Junior-Senior High School, Hamilton, Mich. While in Michigan she performed with Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, Holland Community Theater and the Holland Civic Chorus.
In 1989, Susannah moved to Chicago. For 12 years she was the director of Lathrop Music Center, a mission outreach of the Church of the Good News. While at Church of the Good News, Susannah taught Sunday school, led Bible studies, served as church musician and also served as an elder. She was involved in several community theater productions in the Chicago area and taught an enrichment class for teens at De Paul University.
Music and drama were her passions. She was always involved in both, sometimes as the piano accompanist, sometimes as a participant, but more often as a teacher. In 1994, she moved to Palatine, Ill. and taught piano and/or voice at The Music Room, Emmanuel Lutheran School, Northwest Music Academy and Crystal Lake High School. She also taught Kinder Music classes. Susannah taught drama classes for the Palatine Park District, directed several productions for the Second Suburb Players, directed the Palatine Allegro Chorus and was the founder/director of Wood Street Theatre.
Susannah’s career in the performing arts started at an early age writing and producing “Kist Kids Productions” in the basement of the family home. She went on to teach, coach and mentor individuals who are now performing and involved in all areas of the arts. Her students can be found in productions on Broadway, off Broadway and in numerous other production companies around the United States. Many of her students have also become music teachers.
Susannah was a member of First United Methodist Church in Palatine and enjoyed being part of the Women of God Bible Class. For the past year she served as director of children’s ministries and began the Young Women’s Choir.
Susannah is survived by her parents Susan Crysdale Kist and Roger and Denise Kist, all of West Bend; her grandmother Susan Crysdale of Dousman; her siblings and their families, Abraham (Sayuri) Kist-Okazaki, Tokyo, Japan, Akio and Haruka; Isaac (Tamara) Kist, Jackson and Shenandoah, Palatine, Ill.; Sarah Beth Kist, Cryssanne and Helena Jane Wittlief, Mt. Horeb; Jacob (Beth) Kist, Ellie and Ethan, Downers Grove, IL; Jeff (Megan) Kist, Downers Gove, Ill..; her partner Glen Jackson, Palatine, Ill.; other relatives and friends.
Celebration of Life services are being planned in Palatine, Ill. The dates will be posted on caringbridge.org/visit/SusannahKist.