Cover photo for Suzanne Kay Schoen-Harju's Obituary
Suzanne Kay Schoen-Harju Profile Photo
1971 Suzanne 2020

Suzanne Kay Schoen-Harju

June 30, 1971 — September 7, 2020

CARBONDALE - One of Heaven’s brightest lights descended upon earth June 30, 1971 in the form of Suzanne “Zan” Kay Schoen-Harju. Her parents, Paul G. Schoen and Janice S. Henry found themselves the privileged vessels to bring forth such a special soul. What better present could a parent receive than to be born on her father’s birthday?



It foretold the imparting of her many gifts to this world. Suzanne embodied the three greatest lessons of The Wizard of Oz many take a lifetime to learn in this life~ an amazing brain, a giving and joyous heart and a bounty full of courage.



In her early years, her brilliancy captured the respect of both teachers and students, so much so that she received a standing ovation during her Carbondale Community High School graduation.



She consciously chose to use her healing spirit to heal others and embarked on an educational path as a nurse, graduating Magna Cum Laude in Biological Sciences along with being one of the top 25 students from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and Summa Cum Laude in Nursing from Murray State University. There she received three of the most honorable and coveted nursing awards—(1) Outstanding Senior Nursing Student, an honor decided by both faculty and peers, (2) Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society Outstanding Senior Award and (3) The Nightingale Student Professional Student Nursing Award given to a student that exhibits “strength, integrity, dedication and heart” in the field of nursing.



Her excellency graced the mantles of the many departments she touched. She fought for children in her role as a Shawnee School District nurse driving hundreds of miles providing those in impoverished neighborhoods assurance they would receive compassionate healthcare. She was called a “bull dog” in ensuring their safety and protecting them from abuse and neglect. Whether she helped shepherd lives into the world during labor and delivery or guided those crossing over into the next which she did as a hospice nurse, Suzanne always helped others navigate the waters of life.



At Memorial Hospital of Carbondale she fulfilled many roles including case management, interventional radiology, labor and delivery, and emergency room nursing duties.



With an empathic and caring heart, she served as a volunteer for the Red Cross, the United Way and the Juvenile Diabetes Association and was Vice President of the Association for Glycogen Storage Disease. In addition, she participated in the Southern Illinois Safe Halloween for disadvantaged students and mentored those disadvantaged in Jackson County. Her love, encouragement and guidance inspired one mentee to be the first college graduate of her family, obtained a Master’s Degree and become a social worker. It is not just a relationship, but a friendship cherished throughout her days.



It would not seem possible for such a heart to further expand, but it did with her union to Craig Harju on October 23. 2004 and the adoration of their beloved child, Ella Suzanne.



From a little girl her love of caring for puppies held a special place. They were her best friends and lifelong companions. Her love lead to her working as a high school student at a Du Quoin, Illinois kennel.



And she did all of this with a courage few could muster while facing innumerable lifelong health challenges. She refused to allow those infirmities to define her days. In spite of everything she would live life, life would not live her.



How appropriate her physical body took its earthly rest on Labor Day, September 7, 2020, returned to forever on the wings of angels leaving her eternal imprint on the grateful hearts of her husband, Craig Harju, Junior; her daughter, Ella Suzanne; her parents, Paul Schoen and Janice Sirles Henry; her mother-in-law, Claudia Harju; father-in-law, Phil Embree, along with many aunts, uncles, cousins, colleagues and friends.



Both sets of grandparents, Sidney and Marian Schoen, along with Dr. Wayne Sirles and Helen Sirles met her with open arms.



Visitation will be 9 –11AM on Monday, September 14, 2020 at Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale. Due to COVID-19 health concerns, the visitation will be limited to 50 people at a time in the building, along with the requirements of wearing a mask and social distancing from one another. Graveside services will held at noon on Monday in Alto Pass City Cemetery with Samuel Goldman officiating. For those that cannot attend a video of the graveside service will be available on the funeral home’s website (www.meredithfh.com) after the service.



In lieu of flowers donations are suggested to: St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation P.O. Box 955423, St. Louis, MO 63195-5423; Glycogen Storage Disease 1b Research, University of Connecticut, Attn: Natalee Martin, 2390 Alumni Drive, Unit 3206, Storrs, Connecticut 06269, ; American Kidney Fund 11921 Rockville Pike Suite 300 Rockville, MD 20852; Wright Way Animal Shelter 8459 Old Highway 13 Murphysboro Illinois; St Francis Care, 6228 Country Club Road, Murphysboro, Illinois 62966





To leave a story or memory of Suzanne, visit www.meredithfh.com.

To order memorial trees in memory of Suzanne Kay Schoen-Harju, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, September 14, 2020

9:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Due to COVID-19 health concerns, the visitation will be limited to 50 people at a time in the building, along with the requirements of wearing a mask and social distancing from one another.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside

Monday, September 14, 2020

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Alto Pass Cemetery

, Alto Pass, IL 62905

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Alto Pass Cemetery

, Alto Pass, IL 62905

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 2

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree

Send a Gift

Send a Gift