November 23, 1943—March 9, 2019
Katherine Maria Suo, 75, of Iron River, passed away Saturday, March 9, 2019, at Baptist Hospital, in Pensacola, FL, due to complications from an aortic dissection.
She was born November 23, 1943, in Ashland, the daughter of Arne and Irene (Maki) Rautio, of Oulu.
She learned Finnish before English and had SISU ever since. Kathy attended school in Iron River before graduating from Northwestern High School in 1961. She united in marriage with Francis Guy Suo on Friday, December 13, 1963. She earned her degree in Elementary Education and History from the University of Wisconsin, Superior. She first taught in Harrisville, MI, before settling in Racine, in 1968. Kathy touched many kindergartners’, first graders’, and fellow teachers’ lives, in Racine, and always remained active in the Racine Educators’ Association. After long and rewarding careers, Kathy and Guy retired to their lake home in Iron River.
Kathy loved her friends and family. One of her great joys was to entertain and her prolific and excellent cooking is well known. Her favorite place to entertain was from the deck of a pontoon boat. She happily said yes when help was needed in the community. With the Iron River Foundation, she helped establish and staff the Senior Meals program in Iron River and a college scholarship fund for local students. She enjoyed reading the students’ essays. Kathy and her friends joyfully supported the Iron River Food Shelf by taking the stage at their talent show fundraiser. In the Lions’ Club, she celebrated the annual Blueberry Festival and volunteered on many other projects. She loved playing Mrs. Santa at the Iron River school and enjoyed her Red Hat activities too.
Kathy loved to travel and visited all 50 states, as well as China, Australia, New Zealand, her beloved Finland, and other northern European countries. She wintered with Guy on the Gulf coast of Alabama for many years, making many “snow bird” friends along the way. She also enjoyed birding, china painting, and gardening.
She is survived by her grandson, Davin; husband, Guy; son, Franklin; daughter-in-law, Jennifer; brother, John; nephew, Johnny; as well as many other family members and dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her mother and father-in-law, Marge and Don Suo; and many other relatives and friends.
Our loss is Heaven’s gain.
A celebration of Kathy’s life will be held 3:00 PM Saturday, May 4, 2019, at the Iron River Community Center. Visitation will be held from 2:00 until the time of the service at the Community Center.
To view this obituary online, sign the guestbook or express online condolences, visit us at bratleyfamilyfuneralhomes.com. Arrangements are by the Bratley Funeral Home, in Washburn.