Jane C. Suddendorf


Jane Carolyn Suddendorf, 65, died peacefully in her home on Sunday morning, July 4, a year and a half after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Jane was born on Sept. 20, 1955, in St. Cloud, Minn., the only daughter of the Rev. Ray and Ruth Boehlke.  

She grew up in Minneapolis and St. Paul and had the challenging experience of attending three different high schools.

Jane graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.  It was there that she met her husband Jeff.

They were married in Golden Valley, Minn., on Aug. 6, 1977.

Jane and Jeff lived in Minneapolis, New York City and Missoula, Mont., before moving to Port Washington in the fall of 1989. They lived in the same house on Milwaukee Street for the past 32 years.

For many years, Jane worked as a practicing artist before returning to school to earn her master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  

She taught art at Port Washington High School from 1997 to 2016. No one knew, herself included, how much she would love teaching high school students. She hoped her students would learn to experience art-making as a process of self-discovery.

In the summer of 2011, she founded Gallery 224 in downtown Port Washington, followed a couple years later by Studio 224.  In December 2019, the gallery celebrated its 50th exhibition, having featured the work of over 600 artists.  

Three years ago, she established an artist residency program called ARTservancy in partnership with the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust. The program was hugely successful and has now expanded to include five partner organizations.  

As the director of the gallery, she especially enjoyed curating the exhibits.  She was thrilled by the community of artists who made the gallery and the studios come alive. She was incredibly grateful for the support she received from gallery patrons and all those who believed that art galleries and studios are an essential part of every community.

For her entire life, Jane sang in church choirs. At St. Olaf, she sang in an all-women’s choir called the Manitou Singers.  For almost 30 years, she was a member of the Chancel Choir at First Congregational Church in Port Washington.

One of Jane’s finest features was her cooking. Being in the kitchen with music playing was her happy place. Although she loved to read recipes and had binders full of them, she rarely followed their directions and preferred to cook intuitively, adding her own twist to almost everything she made. She was especially fond of mustard, pickles and dill. Nothing was more important to Jane than preparing food for her family and sitting down at the table to share a meal.

Jane is survived by her husband Jeff and her two children, Nicholas (Melissa) Suddendorf of Port Washington and Sarah (Drew) Richter of Whitefish Bay, along with four granddaughters, Leena and Cody Suddendorf and Gracie and Lydia Richter.

She is further survived by her three brothers, Steve (Mary) Boehlke of Wayzata, Minn., Tom (Linda) Boehlke of Bronxville, N.Y., and Peter Boehlke of St. Paul, Minn.She also leaves behind numerous neighbors and friends who she dearly loved.

The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses of the Aurora St. Luke’s Bone Marrow Transplant Program who gave their best to Jane, along with the nurses at the Aurora Cancer Center in Grafton and Aurora at Home.

Tax deductible memorials are suggested to Gallery 224.

Interment will be at Holden East Cemetery in Port Washington.  

Eernisse Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.



Click Here to Send a Letter to the Editor

Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


User login