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Susan Dorthea (Schaefer) Birk

December 2, 2011

Susan Dorthea (Schaefer) Birk
Nov. 7, 1935-Nov. 29, 2011
PERU — Susan Dorthea (Schaefer) Birk, 76, of Peru,
died at 2:45 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011 at IU Med Center
in Indianapolis. She had been ill for the past year. She was
born Nov. 7, 1935 in Fort Wayne to Louis F and Evelyn
(Burdue) Schaefer. She graduated from LaPaz High School
in 1953 and was married to Ralph E. Birk Aug. 1, 1954. He
preceded her in death Dec. 27, 2008.
Susan and Ralph built their own home in Plymouth,
where they resided from the time of their marriage until
1967 when they moved to Peru after they purchased the
One Hour Cleaners. She was also part of Miami Computer
Services, Inc. for nearly 40 years, a business Ralph and
her started in 1968. She did the data entry (keypunching)
and made deliveries of finished work. Until her death, she
did bookkeeping for One Hour Cleaners. Having been born
during the Great Depression and living through WWII, she
was part of the generation that married in the 1950s and
found that opportunities were nearly endless.
After high school, she worked for Emmco Insurance in
South Bend, until the birth of her first son in 1958, when
she spent the next several years raising the two sons, being
involved in various school and scouting functions and such.
She bowled in a league for many years also.
She and her husband for many years planted a large garden,
to which she canned and froze numerous vegetables
and fruits. An avid baker, she made thousands and thousands
of cookies over the years whether it was a school
event when her sons were small or for the holidays. She
and her sisters-in-law and her mother-in-law would gather
and can homemade vegetable soups and would also work
on quilts. She also did a lot of sewing in the earlier years
including making many of her own clothes.
She is survived by her two sons, Christopher L. Birk of
Peru and Alan E. (June) Birk of Gilbert, Ariz. and grandson,
Regan E. Birk. She is also survived by a brother, John
(Betty) Schaefer of Plymouth and a sister, Judith DeFries of
Elkhart and by a very dear friend, Lori Lees of Bunker Hill.
She is also survived by many nephews and nieces.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband,
and by three brothers: Louis Schaefer, Thomas Schaefer,
and Richard Schaefer, all of Marshall County.
Viewing will be held Sunday, Dec. 4 from 2 to 6 p.m. at
the Flowers Leedy Funeral Home, Peru. Funeral services
will be at the funeral home Monday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. officiated
by Pastor Evan Strong, Bunker Hill United Methodist
Church. Burial will be in Springdale Cemetery in Bunker
Hill.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Bunker Hill
United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 487, Bunker Hill, IN.

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