Paul N. Susag 1967-2021
Paul Nathan Susag (53) passed away peacefully at the Sutter Medical Center in Roseville, CA. on September 15, 2021 after a lengthy illness. He was born to Pastor Byron and Dorothea Knudsvig in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Just a year later, he lost his father in a small plane crash in Morris, Minnesota. Dorothea married a Knudsvig family friend from Scobey, Montana, in June 1970, and they moved to the Susag family farm just 5 miles from the Knudsvig family homestead. In August, her husband, Sylvan Susag adopted both Paul and his sister Lori (Maxwell).
After they left the farm in 1971, and lived for 2 years in Bozeman, Montana, they moved to Fairfield, Montana where Paul grew up on a small “Sunrise” ranch 10 miles out of town. There he and his siblings would help with lambing, stacking bales of hay to feed livestock and carrying land-lines to irrigate the pasture. His dad would say, “you’ve gotta help me, Paul,” and he always would, albeit with some reluctance. Beginning in the 8th grade, he would work for neighboring farmers and friends, sometimes driving a pickup without a license. It was the country after all.
In junior and senior high school, Paul excelled in basketball and football, playing on Class B State Championship- level teams. The friendships he developed during those years lasted his entire life no matter the distance. At the same time, he sang in his high school select choir, sang in St. Paul Lutheran Church quartets, and he took baritone horn lessons, earning Superior ratings. He taught himself the saxophone and the guitar, and his high school music teacher said he was the most amazing musician he had ever worked with. He was an avid reader of novels, history (particularly Western history), often reading through the night because he couldn’t put a book down once he started. He knew this and would say, “Ma, don’t send me that book. I’ve got too much work to do.”
Paul attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, playing basketball as a freshman, graduating in 1990 with a degree in Communication and Business. He worked for Federated Insurance for a time in Minnesota, but then moved to California where he lived in San Jose, Santa Cruz, and ultimately, Roseville and Rocklin, California. At the time of his death, he was employed as a Sr. IOT Sales Executive for T Mobile, serving clients across the country.
He married Jennifer (Thompson) on October 9, 2004. Together they would ski at Whistler, BC and Lake Tahoe, and they’d camp and gather with their many friends. Both Jen and Paul played backyard football and baseball with their girls. But he never forgot Fairfield sports teams, so he could be counted on to know the latest scores. A self-taught master chef, Paul and his kitchen were known as the go-to place for dinners on any occasion.
More than anything, he adored his two girls—Addison (15) and Kate (10), and faithfully followed and supported them in soccer, water polo and softball, their studies and hobbies–and their dreams. He wanted them to know their aunts, uncles, and cousins, and their grandparents whether near or far.
In the summer of 2019, he took the girls to Scobey to visit his Grandma Clarice Susag (101) and the Susag farm, as well as Yellowstone Park. He had planned to bring them to Minnesota to visit his parents in May of 2020 and then again this summer, but Covid prevented those trips.
Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for the compassionate and attentive care of our father, husband, son, and brother at the hands of his caregivers in the Sutter Medical System over the last few years. Paul leaves his wife, Jennifer (Thompson), daughters Addison and Kate, his two sisters– Lori Maxwell (Hugh) of Gig Harbor, Washington, and Beth Susag of Little Canada, Minnesota; his parents, Sylvan and Dorothea (Dottie) Susag of Oakdale, Minnesota, and two nieces, four nephews and two great nephews.
Paul was preceded in death by his father, Byron Knudsvig, and his loving grandparents: Garth Knudsvig, Ralph and Clarice Susag, and Louise Harrisville, his aunts: Pat Susag, Diane Schweigert, Reba Hansen and Greta Stentoft, and his uncle Ray Susag. Services will be held at a later date.
The family is ever grateful for all family and friends who have reached out to him and to us over the years. We were so very blessed to have had him to love. He was witty and silly, with such a contagious laugh, the life of any gathering. His sensitivity to others spilled over, and this was especially evident with his girls. In the end as well as throughout his life, Love surrounded him. Paul lived and died by the grace of God. –Submitted by Dorothea and Sylvan Susag