Susan E. Werner, 69, of Epworth, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 5, at her home in Epworth.

Sue survived Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and breast cancer, and passed away due to adrenal cancer. Susan often quoted, “The greatest gift you can give someone is yourself” and her generosity continued as she made plans to donate her body to Department of Anatomy at the University of Iowa for research purposes.

A memorial mass for Susan was held at 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 9, at St. Patrick’s Church with Rev. Michael Schueller officiating. The services were live-streamed and may be viewed on the St. Elizabeth Pastorate Facebook page.

She was born July 2, 1951, in Cascade, daughter of Ralph and Loretta (Hirtz) McCarthy. She received her education at the Western Dubuque schools. She was employed as a receptionist at Mercy Hospital, Medical Associates OB/GYN and Dubuque OB/GYN from 1969 to 2012, when she retired. Aug.14, 1971, she was united in marriage to Edward J. Werner at Holy Family Catholic Church in Peosta.

She enjoyed gardening in her vegetable garden and flower beds, canning, and making grape jellies and zucchini bread for holiday gifts. She shared her mother’s passion of enjoying the slots at the Diamond Jo. She also enjoyed her bowling league for many years.

She was a member of St Patrick’s Parish in Epworth, and served on the parish council. She also served on the Epworth Park Board.

She is survived by her husband, Edward Werner of Epworth; two children, Jason (Christi) Werner of Sedro Woolley, Wash. and Kellie (Josh) Kluesner of Dyersville; two grandchildren, Brianna and Josh Werner; her siblings: Pat McCarthy of Dyersville, Tom (Maureen) McCarthy of Sherrill, Bob (Julie) McCarthy of Peosta, Bill (Jan) McCarthy of Cascade, Millie McCarthy of Milwaukee, Wis. and Ron (Judy) McCarthy of Epworth; brothers and sisters-in-law: Jackie (Arnie) Merkes of Manchester, Richard (LaVerne) Werner of Apache Junction, Ariz., Bob (Cheryl) Werner of West Des Moines, Sue (Ron) McDermott of Mt. Vernon, Steve (Linda) Werner of Dyersville; two sisters-in-law, Marilyn Werner of Hopkinton and Beth (Edwin) Whisler of Dubuque.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Mary Jane (Don) Ruff and Marjorie McCarthy; her father and mother-in-law, William and Rose Werner; her sisters-in-law, Kate McCarthy and Janet (Dave) Mescher; two brothers-in-law, Dan Werner and Pat Werner.

Anyone who was unable to attend the funeral may send memorials to Reiff Funeral Home, P.O. Box 250, Epworth, IA 52045. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

The family would like to thank the staff of Hospice of Dubuque and the doctors and staff at the University of Iowa Hospital ad Clinics for their kindness, care, and support.

Memorials may be given to Adrenal Cancer Research through the American Cancer Society or to the Deeded Body program at the University of Iowa.