Family Login:


Share This Obituary
Mrs. Susan Kay Lerdal Obituary


Memories & Candles

“John, we extend our sympathy to you and your family. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Terry and Mary Lerdal ”
1 of 33 | Posted by: Terry and Mary Lerdal

“John, I send my deepest sympathies to you and Sue's mom. Sue was a wise, generous and enthusiastic mentor to me. She agreed to meet me, a complete...Read More »
2 of 33 | Posted by: Dru Frykberg - St. Paul, MN

“I met Sue after she "replaced" me at Drake. I was so glad and comforted to know that such a wonderful person was sitting at my old desk. Sue was a...Read More »
3 of 33 | Posted by: Lisa Stock - Glen Ellyn, IL

“I met Sue at ISU where she welcomed me as an adjunct teacher and supported me with her considerable Internet skills and curious mind. She continued...Read More »
4 of 33 | Posted by: Angela Renkoski - St. Louis, MO

“Susan brought energy and passion to Drake's Board of Student Communication during our service together. She embraced unfettered, responsible...Read More »
5 of 33 | Posted by: John Lytle - IA

“Every student who was fortunate enough to work with her was amazed by her passion for research and how generous she was with her time. Not only did...Read More »
6 of 33 | Posted by: Sean Bagniewski - Des Moines, IA

“John, Thom & I are so sad to know of your loss, You & Sue were meant for each other; we'll always remember how happy you were at your wedding...Read More »
7 of 33 | Posted by: Janice Hawkins

“John and family - I was so shocked to read about Susan in this morning's paper. I had no idea she had been ill. My thoughts, prayers, and sympathy go...Read More »
8 of 33 | Posted by: Suzanne Brown - Pleasant Hill, IA

“Sue was a force for goodness, truth, light, love and laughter in the world. We were blessed to have her at Iowa State for a few short years, and all...Read More »
9 of 33 | Posted by: Barbara Mack - Des Moines , IA

“John, I'm so very shocked and sorry to learn of Sue's passing. I remember both of you fondly from our days in library school in the late 80s and...Read More »
10 of 33 | Posted by: Becky Rolfe Donlan - Lehigh Acres, FL

“My sympathy to you, John, on the loss of your wife Susan. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. ”
11 of 33 | Posted by: Carol Bailey - Belmond, IA

“John, What can a person say to you? I'm so sorry that your time with Sue was so short. I remember well her trips to Iowa and the PHill Library before...Read More »
12 of 33 | Posted by: Pamela Blessman - WAukee, IA

“To all the family and friends of Sue---know that Sue will be missed. Sue and I went to Library School together in the late 1980's when we weren't the...Read More »
13 of 33 | Posted by: Diana Shonrock - Ames, IA

“I have only the best memories of Sue. We were friends during grad school and took many day adventures to remind ourselves that we still did have real...Read More »
14 of 33 | Posted by: Linda Vlaming - Des Moines, IA

“John: On behalf of the staff of Cowles Library - we will all miss a great colleague, and very professional librarian. Rod Henshaw, Dean, Cowles...Read More »
15 of 33 | Posted by: Rod Henshaw - Des Moines, IA

“Dear John, I am deeply saddened to learn of Sue's death. My heart goes out to you and your family. Sue was a person of her word, an extrarodinary...Read More »
16 of 33 | Posted by: Robin Martin - Pella, IA - Friend

“John, There just aren't enough words to convey my sympathies. Please know that our family is holding you up in prayer and thinking of you. I'm...Read More »
17 of 33 | Posted by: Cheryl Vander Hart - IA

“John- Our family is thinking of you. Please take good care of yourself. ”
18 of 33 | Posted by: sara

“John - my heart goes out to you. I know you hold dear each hour of your life with Sue. Please know I am thinking of you and sending brighter, lighter...Read More »
19 of 33 | Posted by: Betty Rolgers - Cedar Rapids , IA

“John we were so sorry to hear about Sue. She was a shining light in a lot of hearts and she will be deeply missed. i know there is nothing we can say...Read More »
20 of 33 | Posted by: Joe & Gale Rivas

“John - Our thoughts and prayers are with you and all of Sue's family at this time of incredible sorrow. We will all miss her cheerful smile and...Read More »
21 of 33 | Posted by: Don and Gleean Coates - Johnston, IA

“John -- Our thoughts & prayers are with you and your family. Sue contributed so much to the library profession, and she always had a welcoming...Read More »
22 of 33 | Posted by: Mary Heinzman - Davenport, IA

“Susan worked tirelessly for the Iowa Library Association Foundation projects. Whenever she was "in charge" things got done. She will be sorely missed...Read More »
23 of 33 | Posted by: Kay K. Runge - IA

“John & family--I am so sorry for your loss. I enjoyed working with Sue on the ILAF board and will miss her energy and attitude. ”
24 of 33 | Posted by: Wendy Street - Pella, IA

“John, I was so sorry of hear of the loss of Sue. She was a great person (lots of enthusiasm and dedication to library service). She worked so hard in...Read More »
25 of 33 | Posted by: Barbara Peterson - Council Bluffs, IA

“John & family- I was so surprised to hear of Sue's passing. I will miss Sue and send my condolences to you and your family. Hugs and prayers to...Read More »
26 of 33 | Posted by: Sheryl Bissen - Grinnell, IA

“John, My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Sue was so full of energy and support for ILA. I enjoyed working with her on Editorial and...Read More »
27 of 33 | Posted by: Jennie Garner - North Liberty, IA

“I am so sorry to learn of Sue's passing. She was a good friend and always ready to share a laugh. I'll miss our rides back and forth to Iowa City for...Read More »
28 of 33 | Posted by: Kay Kelly - Des Moines, IA

“Sue was an amazing source of inspiration and motivation to me. She touched my life and made it better. My deepest sympathies to her entire family. ”
29 of 33 | Posted by: Meg

“Sue had such a vibrant personality and she will be missed. She was so passionate in all that she did, from making sure someone understood the...Read More »
30 of 33 | Posted by: Heather - Des Moines, IA

“I am so sorry John. I never saw Sue without a kind smile and alot of enthusiasm behind it. ”
31 of 33 | Posted by: Karla Pfaff - Friend

“Sue was the librarian when I began teaching in Laurel Junior High. While at Laurel, she guided me and was a close personal friend. We spent a lot of...Read More »
32 of 33 | Posted by: Mike Michunovich - Laurel, MT

“John, When I think of Sue, I always smile. What an incredible individual. My life is a little brighter having known her. My sympathies to you, Audrey...Read More »
33 of 33 | Posted by: Deborah


Susan Lerdal, 63, died Saturday, March 20, 2010 from complications of leukemia. Sue was born on September 11, 1946 to Theodore “Thede” and Audrey Nissen in Lewistown, MT. She grew up in Harlowton, MT and graduation from Harlowton High School in 1964. She attended the University of Montana in Missoula and graduated in 1968. She was a school librarian, first in Kalama, WA, then in Laurel, MT. She received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Montana. She worked as the Legal Librarian for the Montana Power Company in Butte.

Sue attended the University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science earning her Masters Degree in Library and Information Science in 1990. In 1997, Sue married John Lerdal in Deer Lodge, MT. Following their marriage, they moved to Des Moines. Beginning in 1998, she worked as the Library Associate for the Journalism Department at Iowa State then began work as a librarian in the Drake University Law School Library in 2001. She earned tenure as an Associate Professor of Librarianship in 2006. She retired from Drake in December 2008.

While in Montana, Sue served a term as President of the Montana Library Association and was very active in professional library organizations both in Montana and Iowa. Her interests included scrapbooking, genealogy, cooking and spending time with her family. She was an avid reader and enjoyed watching the Food Network.

Sue is survived by her loving husband, John; mother, Audrey Nissen; aunts, Marge Lewis and Jean Nissen; mother-in-law Ruth Lerdal of Humboldt; sister-in-law Lois James (Bruce Guyer) of Iowa City; brother-in-law Jim Lerdal of Des Moines; niece, Sarah (Jeff) Smith and their daughter Brooklynn of Des Moines; nephew, Jeremy James of North Liberty. She is also mourned by her many cousins, friends, and colleagues. She was preceded in death by her father Thede and her infant brother Glenn.

A memorial service will be 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 24 which will precede a visitation from 4-7 p.m. at Merle Hay Funeral Home (4400 Merle Hay Road) in Des Moines. A gathering of family and friends in Deer Lodge, Montana will be on March 28. The library communities in both Montana and Iowa have lost a strong advocate. Memorial contributions may be made to the Montana Library Association or to the Iowa Library Association Foundation.