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Susan Varenhorst, 1947-2020

Susan Ann Varenhorst of Albert Lea died Friday, March 13, 2020, in her home. Due to the current  restrictions  on gatherings and travel, the family will postpone a memorial to take place in her home for her family.  Information will be updated at a later date.

Susan Varenhorst

Susan Ann Varenhorst was born Sept. 9, 1947, to John Frederik Varenhorst and Barbara Ann Mowery in Deadwood, South Dakota. She attended school at Central High School in Albert Lea.

After school she married Raymond John Hemenway.  Sue and Ray had a daughter, Kelly Rae Hemenway, and a son,  Raymond John Hemenway III.

In the 1970s,  Sue  relocated to the Twin Cities area and worked at St. Paul Companies. Sue met and then married William G. Barnes. Sue and Bill had a son, Alexander Phillip Barnes. Sue became a stay-at-home mom after Alex was born. Bill and Sue spent the early- to mid-’80s in Detroit, and then returned to Minnesota. Sue was quite a decorator, always painting and repainting. She reupholstered furniture and collected dolls, antiques, dinnerware, vintage fabrics, jewelry and loved kimonos. She had a flare for combining beautiful pieces together, and loved color. 

In her last years she returned to Albert Lea. She lived with her son, Ray, and his wife, Melissa. Sue suffered for many years from COPD.  She was homebound, but despite her  condition she lived as best she could. She loved her silk pajamas, murder mysteries, putting puzzles together with her son, Ray, and time with her family. Her family has heavy hearts as they say goodbye to their beautiful, eccentric, brave, bold and unique mom, grandmother and friend. 

She is survived by her brother, Reid Varenhorst; her three children and their spouses: Alexander Philip Barnes (son) and his wife, Kristeen Bullwinkle, Raymond John Hemenway (son) and his wife, Melissa Madson, Kelly Rae Hemenway (daughter) and her partner, Lorin Flemming; grandchildren Nastassia Misgen and husband, Daniel Misgen, Taylor Hemenway,  Jesse James Woodson  and Caleb Madson; great-grandchildren Kinley and Sloan; nephew, Dylan Reid Varenhorst; and cousins  Cindy Truan and Courtney Davidson.