Varnita Merrie Bartholmae Witcher, known to most as “Susie”, “Mom” to her children, “Miss Susie” to some of her grandchildren and many others who knew her, but also “Gramma” to some of her grandchildren, passed away on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, in the care of her children and Willis Knighton Hospital, Pierremont. She was 84 years old. She was born on March 16, 1939, in Fredericksburg, Texas. She was the oldest of four children born to Varnell and Oneita Bartholmae. She attended Howard Payne University in San Antonio, Texas, before she married Dr. James A. Witcher on September 1, 1959. They celebrated 40 years together before his death in 2000.
First and foremost, Susie was a devoted Christian sharing her gift of faith to all she met. She loved to use her musical gifts in all of the churches where she has been a member throughout the years by serving as church organist, singing in the choir and ensembles, and leading various music groups. She found great joy in singing for her Lord. She could most recently be found “going to church” on Sunday morning in her chair at home singing along with local services on television during worship and especially loved the old hymns. Susie has been a member of North Acres Baptist Church in Minden, Louisiana, for the past 31 years and greatly missed being able to attend in person where she had a special love for all of her friends in the Hope Sunday School Class. She was also a proud mother and grandmother, homemaker, and a committed wife working alongside her husband in his veterinary practice and on their farms first in Texas and then in Louisiana, where they moved in 1980. They owned and operated Misty Bayou Farm in Heflin, Louisiana, where she continued after his death until 2007 before selling the farm and finally “moving into town”. Susie was an animal lover and has loved many, many fur babies of her own in her life leaving behind her current little love and constant companion, Lizzie. She loved working in her yard and the prayer garden at her church, keeping both so beautiful until she was no longer able in recent years. Susie is also well-known for her artistic abilities having created many beautiful pieces of art throughout the years in acrylics, water colors, and pastels, filling the walls of her homes, those of her family, and those of many friends with her masterpieces.
Susie is preceded in death by her parents, Varnell and Oneita Bartholmae, her husband, Dr. James A. Witcher, and her grandson, Jordan Andrew Witcher. She is survived by her daughter, Marcie Witcher Brown of Minden, Louisiana, and her son and daughter-in-law, Jay and Pam Witcher of Lenoir City, Tennessee; her five grandchildren, their spouses, and eight great-grandchildren: Garret Brown of Panama City Beach, Florida; Laura & Stephen Schaefer, Lilah and Micah of Port Orange, Florida; Davis & Maggie Brown and Theodore of Tyler, Texas; Joel & Madi Witcher of Clarksville, Tennessee; Amanda & Narell Haigler, Aiden, Mason, Maddox, Wren and Clara of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She is also survived by her siblings and their spouses: sister, Mary Lou & Gilbert Philippus of Cost, Texas; brothers, John & Melinda Bartholmae of San Antonio, Texas, and Jack & Lynne Bartholmae of Duluth, Georgia, plus many nieces and nephews, and their children.
A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at North Acres Baptist Church in Minden, Louisiana, on January 20, 2024, at 2:00 PM. If you are able to attend, please wear something colorful for Susie! If you would like to make a donation in her memory, the family asks that you consider doing so to the Prayer Garden fund at North Acres Baptist Church or to an animal rescue mission of your choice.