Susan (Hertler) VanVranken

December 5, 1955 ~ October 9, 2021 (age 65)


Susan Hertler Van Vranken, of North Canton, passed away surrounded by her loving family on October 9th after a courageous battle with ALS.  A loving, dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and friend, Susie was passionate about her faith and service to her community. She lived by the mantra, “The happiest people are not those getting more but giving more.” 

Susie was born on December 5, 1955, in Canton, OH, the second of four children born to Nancy and Donald Hertler.  She graduated from Hoover High School in 1974, attended West Liberty State College, and graduated from Ashland University in 1978 with a BS in Physical Education & Health.  Susie married Thomas Van Vranken, also a lifelong North Canton resident, in 1983.  Susie and “Van” raised two sons, Jon and Ben.

Susie lived her life passionately, dedicated to family, friends, and her community.  She pursued a successful career as a teacher, coach, and District department chair, first in the Plain Local School District, then in the North Canton School District, retiring in 2011.

Through her passion and commitment, Susie advanced the work of many important local organizations.  She served as a member of the Aultman Hospital Women’s Board, North Canton YMCA Board, North Canton Parks & Recreation Board, North Canton Alumni Association Board, and North Canton City School District Board of Education.  She co-founded the North Canton Alumni Association and chaired their Hall of Distinction Banquet for many years.  She received their Distinguished Service Award in 2018 and was inducted into the Hall of Distinction in 2021.  She received the Character Counts Award and the North Canton Education Endowment Fund Citizen Award. Susie was active in the Ashland College Delta Zeta sorority, PTA, Viking booster clubs, the YMCA, North Canton School levy campaigns, and Zion Lutheran Church.

Susie found great joy supporting the activities and athletics of her sons and students, attending games coached by her dad and brother, and tailgating with friends. She was the reliable organizer for her many circles of friends.  Her interests were many; she especially enjoyed designing jewelry, traveling, and interior design.  Susie called Siesta Key, Florida, her “happy place,” where she enjoyed family vacations and wintered after retirement.

Susie was preceded in death by her parents, Don and Nancy Hertler, her sister, Melinda Hertler, and her in-laws, Jim and Charlotte Van Vranken. Susie is survived by her husband Tom, son Jonathan (Olga) of Boston, MA, and son Benjamin (Marisa), granddaughter Providence Jane (“PJ”), and grandson Barrett Hertler (born October 14) of Hilliard, OH, sister Rebecca Volkmann (Stephen) and niece Emily Volkmann of Worthington, OH, brother Donald Hertler, Jr. of North Canton, brothers-in-law Todd (Barb) and Scott (Linda), and nieces and nephews Tara, Jacob (Ren) and Emily.

In lieu of flowers and food, memorial contributions are suggested in Susie’s name to The Healy Center for ALS,, or Mass General Development Office, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston MA 02114 (checks payable to “Massachusetts General Hospital” designating “Healy Center in Memory of Susan VanVranken”), or to the Susie V Foundation,, or 2952 Limington St. NW, North Canton OH 44720.

There is  an informal “Gathering for Family and Friends” to celebrate her life at North Canton Memorial Stadium (Don Hertler, Sr. Field) on Sunday, October 31 from 1:00 to 6:00.  If the weather is bad, it will be moved to the Hoover High School building across the street.





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