Obituary of Susan Rabe
Susan S. Rabe, 87, of Geneseo, passed away peacefully on October 26, 2018 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY, after a brief illness, surrounded by her loving family. Susan was born on November 20, 1930, in New Bremen, Ohio, to Cade and Norma Schulenberg. At the age of ten, she met her future high school sweetheart and husband, Valentin “Val” Hanno Rabe, a German immigrant. After she graduated with a B.A. from Miami University, she married the love of her life, Val Rabe, in 1952. They first raised their four children in Boston and Philadelphia while Val attended Harvard and Tufts Universities, and then taught at Drexel University. During this time, Susan was a Head Start teacher and active with the League of Women Voters and Unitarian Universalist Church. In 1967, they moved to Geneseo, NY, where Val was an American History Professor at SUNY Geneseo. Susan was Executive Assistant to the SUNY Geneseo Migrant Center Director in the 1970’s, and then worked as the Executive Assistant to the President of the University of Rochester until her retirement in the early 1990’s. Susan was a strong advocate for social justice, equality, peace and applied her energy to many campaigns and projects. She was an active volunteer and Board member of many organizations, including the Livingston County Democrats, ACLU Rochester Chapter, Geneseo Food Pantry and Wadsworth Library. She helped start a group home for troubled youth in the 1970’s. She was a supporter of theatre, music and the arts, and was a Geneseo Community Players actor for many years. Susan left her mark through her public engagement, community service and activism and was honored as a Livingston County Volunteer of the Year. She was a superlative writer of short stories and poems, and gave many presentations at gatherings of friends and family, as well as literary events. She was also a talented seamstress and cook, and loved to socialize with friends and family, organize events and projects, and read books. Susan was a woman of intelligence, passion and kindness who never stopped learning and growing throughout her life. She was best known for her quick wit, warmth, generosity, storytelling, and energetic and engaging personality. She had a tremendous enthusiasm for life, family and all people and a true spirit of joie de vivre.
She is predeceased by her husband, Valentin and her sister, Bonnie Crain. She is survived by her children, Anne (Randy Weinberg) Rabe of Castleton, NY, Matthew (Terri) Rabe of Lexington, SC, Callie Rabe of Lima, NY, and Meg (Margaret (Barry)) Stemper of South Deerfield, MA; her grandchildren, Cassie Rabe, Simone Stemper, Misha Stemper, and Maxwell
Rabe; her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Andreas and Suzanna Rabe; and her nieces and nephews, Cindy Crain, Charles Crain, Jonathan Rabe, Julia Rabe and Jennifer Rabe.
No prior calling hours. A Memorial Service and Reception will be held on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 12:30 p.m. at the Interfaith Center, 11 Franklin St., Geneseo, New York. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the ACLU Rochester Chapter, 121 Fitzhugh St. N., Rochester, NY 14614 or the SUNY Geneseo Migrant Center Scholarship Fund, 3 Mt. Morris-Leicester Rd., Leicester, NY 14481.