Susan M. Rose, of Victor, Idaho, formerly of Ada and Grand Rapids, Michigan, died March 22 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 63. Her family provided the following.
Susan graduated from Forest Hills Northern High School, where she participated in track, cheerleading, marching and concert bands and was senior homecoming queen. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from Michigan State University and did doctoral study at Montana State University.
Susan taught K-12 art in the Forest Hills public schools for nearly 30 years. Following her retirement, she was a docent at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and also interim director of indoor education. Following her husband’s retirement, the couple relocated to Teton Valley, Idaho, to be surrounded by Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, which she so loved.
Susan was an acclaimed artist whose beautiful work won many awards and was featured in numerous shows and galleries in the West, Jackson Hole and Michigan. Her ability to create amazing pieces through her magical use of color, light and composition made her art highly sought after by collectors.
She was an active member of the Teton Plein Air Group, and her favorite subject matter was capturing the beauty of Jackson Hole and the Tetons.
Susan used her art to support a variety of community nonprofits, and she also served on the board of directors of the Community Foundation of Teton Valley. She also participated in the View 22 event to support the Jackson Hole Land Trust.
She was the leading force in establishing the “Preserved!” event to benefit the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. In that event the Land Conservancy partnered with local artists to raise awareness of conserving west Michigan natural areas.
In addition to her passion for teaching and art, Susan loved nature and was an active hiker, camper and fisherwoman. She traveled widely throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Japan, Mexico and the Caribbean. Susan was an exceptional chef with a talent for creating wonderful meals.
Susan was preceded in death by her parents, John “Jack” and Joan (Weldon) Rose. She is survived by her loving husband, William “Bill” Rietscha, of Victor; sisters Niki Widmayer, of Burleson, Texas, and Sandra Rose, of Clifford Lake, Michigan; and brother Jon Rose, of Big Sky, Montana. Susan had three stepdaughters and eight step-grandchildren; a beloved dog, Riley; and beloved nieces and nephews.
Honoring Susan’s wishes there will not be a formal funeral. Celebration of life events are planned for Teton Valley and Grand Rapids when COVID restrictions permit. A charitable fund has been established to honor her passion for education and art. Contributions can be made to Susan M. Rose Charitable Fund, Wells Fargo Bank, P.O. 1340, Driggs, ID, 83422
Condolences may be sent to the family via Valleymortuarydriggs.com.