Susan A. Ruzek, 76

Published 7:16 pm Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Susan A. Ruzek, 76

Surrounded by family on Christmas Eve morning, Susan Ann Ruzek, age 76, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away December 24, 2023, at Mayo Clinic Hospital Rochester, Saint Marys Campus from a sudden brain aneurysm. Sue was born December 18, 1947, in Minneapolis to Russel and Mary Ann Helleckson. She graduated in 1965 from Richfield High School, and attended Luther College, where she met David Ruzek – both graduating in 1969. At Luther, they developed lifelong friendships and memories.

On March 22, 1970, she married Dave in Richfield, when he was home on leave from the U.S. Army/Walter Reed Medical Center. Following Dave’s discharge from the Army, they moved to Austin, where Dave started a career with Hormel Foods and Sue began 37 years of teaching with Austin Public Schools. She taught Kindergarten and first grade, showing an unwavering devotion to her students. She also went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Education.

Sue and Dave had three children and six grandchildren, who each held a special place in her heart. She treasured moments spent with family and creating lasting memories. Sue’s greatest joy was spending as much time as possible with her grandkids and supporting their interests.

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Over the past 20 years, Sue and Dave enjoyed hosting family and friends at their cabin on Big Sandy Lake. They also enjoyed traveling, including European river cruises, trips to Norway and three weeks in Florida in January. She loved spending time with friends, including her Bridge clubs, PEO group or Southgate retired teachers “Posse.” In retirement, Sue found a love for art that included watercolor painting and volunteering at Austin ArtWorks Center.

Survivors include her husband, David; children, Kirsten (Mark) Hayford, Jon (Marie) Ruzek, and Tim (Heather) Ruzek; grandchildren, Matthew and Karin Hayford, Walker and Harrison Ruzek, and Aubrey and Estelle Ruzek; sisters, Nancy (David) Glenn, and Janet (Robert Offringa) Helleckson; and beloved nieces, nephews, family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and parents-in-law.

A memorial service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Austin. The visitation will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 9, at Worlein Funeral Home in Austin, and will continue one hour prior to the service at the church. Private family interment at Oakwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Austin Public Education Foundation, Austin ArtWorks Center or the donor’s choice. Extra hugs to loved ones are encouraged.

Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at