She was born August 15, 1946, in Omaha, Neb. to long time cattle business ranchers, Jack and Meg (Meyers) Ressegieu. Her father, who “was the best man I ever knew” named his eldest, Susan Mary Ressegieu.
Always one of the top students in her classes, Susan graduated in 1964 from Alliance St. Agnes School as valedictorian. She also was a Regents scholar of Nebraska and won the 1964 Betty Crocker Award, for which she was very proud. She decided to leave home and attend the San Francisco Women’s College immediately following High School. She had fond memories of the road trip, from Alliance to San Francisco for college that she took with her mother and her mother’s friend in her baby blue convertible GTO. While in San Francisco, Susan became very involved in the Haight Asbury Counter-Culture movement of the time and even met singer Janis Joplin at a laundromat. She loved to quote Janis Joplin’s, “I’m just singing for today” and often equated her own life philosophy of living for today and making the most of it, with the great singer.
On a trip home from college she saw the play, Death of a Salesman and fell in love with the lead actor, Richard Johnston. They were united in marriage July 22, 1966. Two daughters, Anna and Serapha, were born to this union. After living together in San Francisco, Omaha and Denver, Richard passed away February 5, 1971, in Canyon Plaza, New Mexico. Susan was remarried in New Mexico to Bernie Reed and the two were blessed with two more children, Juniper and Dustin, born in New Mexico and Montana.
Susan attended a nursing program in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and received her LPN license. She returned to her mountain home in Thompson Falls where she lived for twenty-eight years with long-time companion Bob Reeser. She loved being a traveling nurse, employed by Prairie Travelers, and driving through all of beautiful Montana.
Proceeding Susan in death were her father Jack Ressegieu, husband Richard Johnston and grandson Brady Larsen.
She is survived by her companion, Bob Reeser of Thompson Falls; mother Margaret (Meg) Ressegieu of Ogallala, Neb.; sister Therese and husband Steve Dunn and family of Cottage Grove, Ore; brother Matt and wife Rachel Ressegieu and family of Lenexa, Kan.; daughter Anna and husband Marty Larsen and grandsons Jesse, Cody, and Corey Larsen of Arthur, Neb.; daughter Serapha and husband Leandro Cruz of New York, N.Y.; daughter Juniper Hill and grandsons Dillon and Braden Hill of Stillwater, Minn.; and son Dustin Reed and grandson Derek and only granddaughter Courtney Reed of Helena, Mont.
Throughout her life she loved adventure and nature. In her youth she loved being on her family’s ranches and riding horses. As well, she was a topnotch markswoman, graduating as an ‘expert’ from the NRA. During her young adulthood she jumped trains and traveled the West, lived in the mountains of New Mexico without electricity or water, and helped to build the beautiful log home in Montana, while living in a teepee. Until her last days, she still loved motorcycle rides and taking walks to the creek on her property. She always loved coffee and conversation, music and dancing, and said she “wouldn’t change a thing” about her life. Her infectious laugh will always be in our memories.
As you always said, Susan, this is “not goodbye, but see you later.”
Memorial service will be held at Thompson Falls Christian Church Monday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. The service will be officiated by Pastor Bob Crowder.