Susan Zabel Van Zele

Susan (Zabel) Van Zele, age 74, passed away on May 19, 2019, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The only daughter of deceased Plainview residents, Howard and Evelyn (Larsen) Zabel, Susan was born on October 4, 1944, in Rochester, Minnesota. She graduated from Plainview High School in 1962 and attended college at Valparaiso University in Indiana, graduating in 1966 with a degree in education. Her first year of teaching was at Riverdale, Maryland.
Susie married Michael Van Zele on July 29, 1967, in a ceremony at Immanuel Lutheran in Plainview, MN. The couple moved to Wheat Ridge, CO, and then to Albuquerque where she and Mike raised their two children, Courtney and Christopher. Susie will be remembered by many for her love for children and her service to the church. She taught preschool at the Lambs of Grace Preschool at Grace Lutheran Church in Albuquerque. Grace Lutheran played a special role in the couple’s relationship. Mike and Susie were charter members and worshiped at the church for over 40 years. Besides her church activities, Susie enjoyed playing bridge, attending her children and grandchildren’s sporting events, and traveling to visit her Minnesota family.
Although Albuquerque was her home, Susie never forgot her Plainview roots. Throughout her life, she traveled back to Plainview each summer to spend time with Howard and Evee and her extended family. She treasured days on the river, lunch with friends at Michaels, and shopping trips to Dayton’s. Those who knew her will not forget her smile or her hugs.
Susan is survived by her daughter Courtney (Triggs) Collins, and son Christopher (Rachel) Van Zele; four grandchildren Van & Hadley Collins, Maxton & Carsten Van Zele, all of Albuquerque. She is also survived by two brothers William (Carol Atkinson) Zabel of Rochester, MN and Larry (Valori) Zabel of Wabasha, MN, and several nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents, Howard & Evelyn and her husband Michael. A memorial service was held on Saturday, June 1, at Grace Lutheran Church in Albuquerque, NM.
The burial service with Rev. J. Philipp Augustine of Immanuel Lutheran officiating will be Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Greenwood Cemetery in Plainview. Family and friends are invited to this service and to The Eagle’s Nest for a reception following the ceremony. In memory of Susan, the family request memorials in Susan Van Zele’s name to: Lambs of Grace Preschool at


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