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Susan Palo Cherwien dead at 67

December 30, 2021
Susan Palo Cherwien
Susan Palo Cherwien

Susan Palo Cherwien died December 28, 2021. Born May 4, 1953, in Ashtabula, Ohio, she was active in music in school and at Zion Lutheran Church (Finnish-American) LCMS. Her undergraduate degree in Church Music and Voice was from Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio, in 1975. The junior year was spent at the Berlin Church Music School in Spandau, Germany. After graduating Wittenberg, she returned to Berlin to complete the graduate degree at the Berlin Conservatory of Music. She was also active in the American Lutheran Church in Berlin, a mission church of the Lutheran Church in America (currently a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).

It was through this church in Berlin where she met David Cherwien, who came in 1979 to Berlin to study at the Berlin Church Music School in Spandau. They returned to the U.S. in 1981 and were married on August 8, 1981, at Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis. Two weeks later they moved to Seattle where David served at First Lutheran Church of Richmond Beach. It was here that both sons were born, Jeremiah in 1983, and Benjamin in 1986. In 1987 the family moved to the Chicago area for David to serve at St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church in Park Ridge. During these years, Susan earned a master’s degree from Mundelein University and began her career as a writer. Since 1990 the family has lived in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a part of the community at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, where Susan served in many capacities as volunteer, sacristan, and soloist.

As a poet, Susan wrote extensively, especially in two areas: hymn texts and reflections for hymn festivals, published by Augsburg Fortress and MorningStar Music Publishers. Her hymns are now included in hymnals of many denominations, including the Evangelical Lutheran Book of Worship and their newest supplement hymnal, "All Creation Sings."

Susan Cherwien is survived by her husband, David; sons and daughters-in-law, Jeremiah and Karen and their children Hannah and James Cherwien in Batesville, Arkansas, Benjamin and Angel and their daughter Gabriella Hull Cherwien in Blaine, Minnesota; brother John Palo (Freddie) of Lenexa Kansas, sister Nancy Bukowski of Sacramento, California; many other relatives and friends.


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