Suzanne Kaderka, 76, passed away Nov. 30, 2017, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, after a brief but valiant battle with cancer. Suzanne was born Oct. 2, 1941, in Los Angeles, Calif., to Dorothy Lemmon Bodo and Clarence Henry Bodo. She was raised in the small town of Altadena, Calif., and graduated from John Muir High School in 1959 before attending Pasadena City College.
In 1962, she met and married Roger Kincel and together they had two children, Lisa and Eric. After they divorced in 1969, Suzanne moved back to Altadena and worked as an executive secretary to the president of Avery Label Co. in Azusa, Calif.
Suzanne met the love of her life by chance in 1970 at a dance hall in Monterey Park, Calif. She was filling in for her mom at the ticket booth. He was filling in for a friend tending bar. Their co-workers kept the new couple out all night and when the sun rose in the morning, he exclaimed that her face was covered in freckles. “Don’t worry,” she said. “They’re not contagious.” Suzanne and Frank Kaderka were married on Sept. 26, 1973, in Las Vegas, Nev. After living in Glendora, Calif., they moved to the beach community of San Clemente, Calif., in 1976. Suzanne earned her real estate license and Frank worked as a car painter.
When the volatile real estate market had reached a low, Suzanne transitioned into a successful retail career. She sold fine jewelry at Bullock’s (now Macy’s) and was promoted to buyer, taking the train to Los Angeles every day to buy jewelry for the entire chain.
In 1991, Frank and Suzanne decided to leave the rat race of Southern California and explored the country looking for their “forever” home. They drove into Coeur d’Alene on a beautiful fall day and discovered their paradise. After relocating to Coeur d’Alene, Suzanne applied for the open director position with the Downtown Association. Williene Gagnon, former owner of Wiggett’s and Downtown board member, was impressed. “I told the board that she was the one we should hire. I had a good feeling about her from the beginning.”
In the early 1990s, Downtown Coeur d’Alene was just starting its revitalization program. Suzanne’s job was to get shoppers to buy downtown. She was instrumental in kick-starting fledgling events, including the Holiday Lights Parade, Car d’Lane and launching the Taste of Coeur d’Alene in City Park.
When her children and grandchildren moved up to this area, they were also put to work, marking out booth spaces for the Street Fair, judging entries in the Fred Murphy Days Parade and lining up classic cars for the Friday Car Cruise. She had the ability to get people involved and her legacy with the downtown was chronicled in the “Portraits of a Town” exhibit.
Frank and Suzanne bought Norm’s Auto Body in 1996 and renamed it Norm’s Downtown Auto Body. It was important for them to keep business downtown instead of moving it to the outskirts. In 1993, Suzanne also partnered with Gagnon and Sandi Bloem to open a lifestyle store called, fittingly enough, Partners. After two years, they closed the store, but the partners remain friends to this day.
Suzanne enjoyed opening her furniture consignment store, Encore, in the basement of Wiggett’s in 1997. Eventually she returned to her roots in real estate, a job she loved until the day she died. She was truly a “concierge Realtor,” long before there was such a thing.
Suzanne and Frank were active in the arts community and Suzanne was on the board of the Lake City Playhouse in the early 2000s. They helped it stay afloat during tough times with her ability to connect the right people to the right cause.
She loved good food and wine, and the couple were often seen at many of their favorite restaurants, including Michael D’s, Breakfast Nook, Daft Badger, Fort Ground Grill, Bistro on Spruce, Moontime, and others who are not even in business anymore. They easily became friends with the staff as it was impossible not to know Frank and Suzanne.
Suzanne was a beautiful lady, inside and out. She enjoyed her champagne and mimosas, spoiled her kids and grandkids, loved her husband to no end, and cared about friends near and far. She will be greatly missed by many as she dances into the sunset. Coeur d’Alene is a better place because of her. In her words, “Thanks a million!”
Suzanne is survived by her husband of 44 years, Frank B. Kaderka; her daughter, Lisa (James) Lyon; son Eric (Brittany) Kincel; her grandchildren, Katharine (Dylan) Johnson, Elizabeth Johnson, Andrew Johnson, Dana Lyon Blackwell and Raymond Lyon; and her sister, Janene (Edmund) McGrail.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, at Yates Funeral Home, 744 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of North Idaho.
You may visit Suzanne’s online memorial and sign her guest book at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com.