• Date Of Birth: November 23, 1959
  • Date Of Death: April 23, 2021
  • Spouse: Stephen Cole of Chugiak
  • Resting Place: Anchorage
  • City: Bethel
  • State: Alaska

Lifelong Alaskan Susan Margaret Wagnon, 61, passed away on April 23, 2021, at home with her husband by her side. Diagnosed with cancer in January 2018, she battled the disease courageously, seemingly not passing until it was on “her terms.” Susan was born in Bethel, Alaska, to George and Margaret Wagnon on Nov. 23, 1959. With her father working for the Native Health Service, the family moved around, with stops in Shiprock, N.M., and Mt. Edgecombe, Alaska, before settling on Lake Spenard in Anchorage in 1968. She graduated from Dimond High School in 1978.

In 1971, Susan started mushing dogs in the Junior program of the Alaskan Sled Dog and Racing Association. This began one of her lifelong passions, training and racing sprint dogs. As the family didn’t own sled dogs, she ran their German shepherds, Bear and Nuga. This resulted in lots of sportsmanship awards rather than wins! Her first husky was named Choco, who quickly became her constant companion.

From an early age, Susan wanted to be a veterinarian. She attended Colorado State University in the fall of 1978, with her best friend Donna Cowart. Susan graduated from the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1985. Upon returning home to Alaska, she became the veterinarian for the Fur Rondy Open World Championship Sled Dog Race; a position she held through the 2020 race season. In 1990, she opened her own practice, Ravenwood Veterinary Clinic in Eagle River. She helped design her clinic’s new building which they moved into in the fall of 2008. Susan enjoyed hiking, horses and gardening. She loved her job, reading and helping others, but most of all she loved her family. She is survived by her husband, Stephen Cole of Chugiak; son, Nicholas Cole of Chugiak; sister, Edith Bennett of Casper, Wyo.; niece, Dorothy Brown of Casper; and Dorothy’s children, Jacqui and J.J.; brother, Bertram (wife Sally) of Anchorage; and nephew, Joseph (wife Jill) of Phoenix, Ariz.