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September 3, 2020

Susan Sam

Susan Sam, age 66, passed away on Friday, August 28, 2020, at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, due to complications from an aneurysm. She was born on March 6, 1954, in La Crosse, WI.

On her 22nd birthday, March 6, 1976, she was united in marriage to Gary Sam at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Monona, WI.

Susan took pride in her role as the Head Cashier at the State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections, where she worked for 20 years until retiring in 2009. When she wasn't working, she kept busy with many hobbies. She was an avid reader, a talented cook and a brilliant seamstress. She could make anything, including upholstered dog chairs out of an old leather sofa.

Susan held a special place in her heart for all small, furry, four-legged creatures. Her house was often home to more pets than people. Every cat, dog, and even ground squirrel that got to live at the Sam household was possibly the luckiest animal in the world.

Of all Susan's hobbies, traveling was her favorite. She and Gary would take multiple trips each year. In her travels she visited five continents and over 25 countries – most of those being tropical locations. Last November, she spent a week in Mexico with her daughter and grandchildren. She also cherished the many trips she took with her dearest friends.

Along with her many hobbies, Susan will be remembered most for her friendship. She was always there with open arms, an open mind, an open door, and an open heart. Even though she had a small immediate family, she was a mother and sister to many. In Susan's house, everyone was always welcome, and everyone was always accepted.

Susan is survived by her husband, Gary; daughter, Jessica (Stephan) Esser; grandchildren, Samantha and Ivan Esser; brother, Jim (Lisa) Hagen; close friends, Cindi Cushman and Connie Olson; and her faithful animal companions, Nova and Harley.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Larry and Jean Hagen; and her in-laws, Carl and Margaret Sam.

A celebration of Susan's life will be held at a later date when it will be safe for all of us to gather together.

The Becker-Beal Funeral Home of Belleville is assisting the family.

Memorials are suggested to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

An online memorial with guestbook is available at


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