Cover photo for Suzanne K. Oberhauser's Obituary
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1933 Suzanne 2024

Suzanne K. Oberhauser

March 6, 1933 — January 9, 2024

Madison, WI

Suzanne (Sanny) Kennon Oberhauser passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 9, 2024 with family at her side.

Sanny was the youngest child of the late Ralph and Mabel Kennon. She was born on March 6, 1933, “the day the banks closed”. She was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and spent many summers with her family at Beautiful Bass Lake (BBL) in northern Minnesota. Sanny and her Washburn High School sweetheart, Peter Oberhauser, enjoyed camping, canoeing, and adventures in and around the Midwest. She graduated from Washburn as valedictorian, and traveled east to Vassar College in New York where she earned a degree in Social Work. After returning to Minneapolis, she married Pete in December 1954 and worked in the Twin Cities as a social worker.

Their life journey led them to Berlin and then Clintonville, Wisconsin where Pete worked as a veterinarian. In her tradition of jumping in to get to know new people, Sanny developed successful City Hostess businesses in Berlin and Clintonville. The family grew with the birth of four daughters - all within 5 years and 2 months! Sanny and Pete maintained a strong sense of community through their generous involvement with Girl Scouts, Navarino and Mosquito Hill Nature Centers, elementary schools, the public library, and The Nature Conservancy.  Foreign exchange student Irène from Switzerland joined the family for one year and became a beloved fifth daughter.  After raising their daughters, Sanny earned a Master’s degree in elementary education and counseling and worked as a counselor at Hortonville Elementary School. 

During retirement, Sanny and Pete enjoyed traveling the world with friends and family, adventures with their grandchildren, and savoring the four seasons at Haleakala on the Embarrass River in rural Wisconsin. Her volunteer activities with children involved Junior Great Books groups, a poetry club, and nature lessons. To promote environmental education, Sanny and Pete started the “The Natural World for Kids’ Fund” that will support nature activities for Clintonville students in perpetuity.  Sanny was a talented poet and through this passion enriched many lives. In her ‘down time’, she was always up for a game of scrabble (teaching everyone those sneaky 2-letter words), bridge and other card games. Sanny’s time at the Oakwood Retirement Community in Madison was filled with family and activities alongside new and old friends.

Sanny is preceded in death by her husband, Peter J. Oberhauser. She is survived by her daughters Karen (Mike Reese) Oberhauser of Madison WI, Amy (Marty) Ball of Charleston SC, Ann (Howard Guth) Oberhauser of Ames IA, and Sara (Tim) Babcock of Cambridge WI; grandchildren Peter Babcock (Catherine), Amy Alstad (Eric), Benjamin Weiner, Sarah Ball (Natalia), Leah Alstad, Bridget Babcock, Frances Weiner, and Alexa Ball; two great grandchildren, Frank Alstad and Ezra Babcock; her sister, Judy McGoldrick; and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Sanny's life will be held at 11:00 am at the First Unitarian Society Landmark Auditorium, 900 University Bay Drive, Madison WI 53705, on February 3rd, 2024.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites donations to The Natural World for Kids Fund through the Clintonville Area Foundation, or an environmental or educational  organization of your choice.

Service Schedule

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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