Suann A. Degenhardt

Suann A. Degenhardt, 76, of Norwalk, Wis., passed away Saturday, July 9, 2022, at the Serenity House in Tomah, Wis.

Suann was born in Hillsboro, Wis., to Russell and Beulah (Vieth) Thompson.  She grew up on the family farm outside Elroy, Wis., and attended the Millard’s Prairie country school.  Suann graduated from Royall High School in 1964 and went on to college at UW-La Crosse, where she earned a degree in Music Education in 1970. 

In 1970, Suann married Arnie Degenhardt; both were students at UW-La Crosse. To this union, three wonderful daughters were born: Kathy, Jill, and Kristi. Suann taught music in the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton Schools and became the band director later in her career.  The highlight of her teaching career was receiving “The Mr. Holland Opus Foundation Award” in 2005 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The award was presented by Richard Dreyfuss for excellence in band instruction. Many area children also started their musical education on the piano at her house.

Retirement was enjoyed in her craft room making quilts on her sewing machine and in her flower and vegetable gardens. Suann loved making handmade Christmas presents for her children and grandchildren. She was involved with a quilting group in Norwalk and the Elroy Homemakers Club.  

Suann was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Wayne.  

She is survived by her brother, Dale (Mary Jo) of El Paso, Texas; her husband, Arnie; her daughters, Kathy Degenhardt (Roger Clark), Jill Drye (Wes), and Kristi Degenhardt (Daniel Marcou); four grandchildren, Russell and Nick Drye, Grace Clark, and Oscar Marcou; along with many nieces, nephews, and friends.

There will be no services or visitation. Memorials may be made to Brookwood High School music department or to a charity of your choice in Suann’s name.

Suann’s family would like to thank all of the family and friends who offered their love and support this past year. Special thanks for professional and compassionate care go out to her medical team at Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse, the dialysis team at Gundersen in Viroqua and the hospice team at the Serenity House in Tomah. As we go forward, Suann’s impact and legacy will be forever shared by her students and family.

The Torkelson Funeral Home of Cashton, Wis., is assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences may be offered to Suann’s family at    

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