Susan Maeske, 78, of Penn Yan, NY, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 5, 2023, being comforted by her family.
Calling hours will be held from 11am-1pm on Saturday, March 25 at Weldon Funeral Home, 102 East Main St., Penn Yan, followed by a small service. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Wagner Restaurant, 124 East Elm St., Penn Yan, at 2:30 p.m. after the service.
Sue was born in Johnstown, PA, to Bob and Elma Williamson. She was a 1963 graduate of Conemaugh Township High School in Davidsville, PA, where she participated in several singing groups and stage plays and was National Honor Society Secretary and the editor of her school paper. After high school, Sue migrated north with her first husband. They had two sons, Matthew and Michael Sheldon and eventually settled in Dundee, NY. In Dundee, Sue pursued her passion for acting, performing in several local theater productions before becoming a founding member of the Pennsylvania Yankee Theater Company (PYTCo) and acting in the company’s very first productions. Sue would continue performing with PYTCo for many years, notably as Bloody Mary in “South Pacific” and the starring role of Dole Levi in “Hello, Dolly!”, among dozens of other roles. She also wrote and directed several variety shows for the company, including “Pats and Pans”, a fundraising production for Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital which helped establish the hospital’s Peppermint Parlor café and gift shop. In PYTCo, Sue met the love of her life, Art Maeske. The two entertainers quickly fell for each other and were married, with their son Robert born in 1985. In 1992, Sue was hired as the Penn Yan Elementary library clerk, a position she held for 20 years before retiring in 2013. She is survived by her son Robert (Sarah) Maeske of Penn Yan; sister, Sally Gavin of Davidsville, PA; sister-in-law Toby (David) Bond of Penn Yan; three grandchildren, Tia (Ben) Powers, Josh (Mackensie) Sheldon and Hunter Maeske; and two great-grandchildren Orion and Ely. She was predeceased by her husband Art, sons, Matt and Mike Sheldon and sister, Rebecca Ribaric.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to remember Sue may consider making a donation to PYTCo and their efforts in restoring the Sampson Theater in Penn Yan.