Dr. Susanna B Wetsel, DC, CCN DABCN

Obituary and Tribute



On March 17, 2016 Susanna let go of the bonds to this earthly plane. 

I believe she is at peace, but don’t think she is resting. 


Born Susan Ann Schiffmacher, October 11, 1948 Buffalo, NY


High School Name Bishop Neumann, Williamsville, NY                Graduated 1966

College Name Canisius College, Buffalo, NY                             Graduated 1969

Life Chiropractic College, Marietta, GA                                     Graduated 1993

Graduated Summa cum laude from Life College with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and gave the Salutatorian Address 



Husband, Don Wetsel, Fairfield, VA

Son, Frederick Jason Boehmke and his wife, Cynthia, Iowa City, IA

grandsons, Frederick & Fletcher

Daughter, Jennifer Anne Boehmke, Playa Del Ray, CA

Step Son, Peter Wetsel and his wife Margaret, Apex, NC

grandson Harrison

Mother in law, Helen Moore Wetsel, Harrisonburg, VA

Brother Jim Schiffmacher and wife Diane Schiffmacher

Sister Laurie Kimble and husband Kevin Kimble

Numerous nieces and nephews


Preceded in Death

Mother Ann Madden Schiffmacher

Father Earl Schiffmacher


A memorial service will be held Saturday April 2, 2016 at Marlbrook Baptist Church, 6926 North Lee Highway, Raphine. It is 2.4 miles north of our home and office on route 11. From Intersate 81, take exit 200, route 710, and turn east towards Fairfield.  At the intersection of Route 11, turn left to go to the church.  

We will have the service at 3 p.m. at the church and then return to our home/office for those who want to visit, which is the “castle” on the hill right at the corner of route 11 and route 710, up behind McDonald’s.  

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Weston A. Price Foundation, Brain Gym International, or a charity of your choice.


Susanna was a Chiropractic Physician, an Applied and Specialized Kinesiologist, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist and fellow in the International Academy of Acupuncture. She worked for Health TLC in Fairfield and Staunton, Virginia, which she and her husband founded when they moved to Virginia in 1998. Their mission has been to support health, wellness, and satisfying lives filled with joy and peace.  She retired in 2015 after a spinal injury from a fall while hiking.

Susanna studied extensively outside of her formal education including the healing arts of Applied Kinesiology, Neural Organization Technique, Total Body Modification, Touch for Health, Brain Gym®, Zero Balancing, Esoteric Healing, Nutrition Response Testing (Master Clinician), Neural Linguistic Programming (Master Practitioner),


Susanna was an amazing bio mechanist who also understood the importance of energy as well as emotional and spiritual development. 


She loved the outdoors and enjoyed hiking and camping.  She and Don got to visit hundreds of waterfalls together. 

Susanna had a heart for people and worked tirelessly to help them through her work as a chiropractor and a nutritionist and was able to do so for years even with many challenges.



Carlton Fisk, American baseball player
“It's not what you achieve, it's what you overcome. That's what defines your career.”


Your career is what a lot of people saw your life as.  But, you were so much more.  LIFE brought you to your career.  Your career brought US together.  As strangers we met in a job interview.  Within an hour of knowing each other, we were hugging.  That day began a real and caring friendship.  I learned so much from you.  Your love, skills, abilities, and kindness will be a cherished memory I will keep with me always.


Farewell, for now, Susanna.

Love and blessings always,

Kim Clark


How beautiful Kim.

Susanna told almost no one that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995.  She did not want to be treated as if she were ill.  She just did the best she could each day to take care of herself and many others in her life. Even fewer knew that the car accident, where the seat belt trauma to the breast was the precipitating event for the breast cancer, also gave her a mild traumatic brain injury which also made it much harder for her to accomplish her goals. 

The fall she had when we were hiking in August 2014 and collapse of her L1 vertebra eventually led her to stop working entirely in February of 2015. 

That traumatic injury and subsequent surgery and spread of the cancer to her bones and entire body invited us to learn to live in appreciation and experience grace “all the time”. There were days it was hard to live in the appreciation, but even as hard as it was, we felt blessed and enjoyed our time together.  The longer I was with Susanna, the more I appreciated her. What an amazing woman who enjoyed her life here and fought to stay here for a long time.   

She stayed very private until she got ready for surgery last year. Then, she was willing to ask for prayers.   We both thank you for all your love and support.



Susanna was a woman who lived her beliefs and showed us all her great strength and courage. You always got a smile and a big hug from her when you came into the office.  

Lots and lots of love and prayers your way, Marty and Dave Baker


I loved Susanna and met her shortly before she decided to become a chiropractor.  I was participating in a program where we each got to choose our team leader and yes, guess who I chose!  Susanna stood out to me with her vivacious demeanor and a smile that lit up the room! 


We became friends immediately and our relationship was one of the highlights of my life!  We had so much fun together and her infectious laughter was so refreshing!  Throughout our times of laughter as well as tears, Susanna was a joy to be with. I remain grateful to this day for her support and compassionate ways during a profound time in my life. She was a gem and blessing for our world. 


Reverend Carol Lee MacKay


Susana will always be a strength in my heart. She was such an amazing women and I feel so blessed to have shared some time with her and learn from her. Her spirit lives on in all of us.

Sharon Cline


What a journey, what a soul she is, how she made a difference in my life.  Colleen Small


Susanna was my friend. 

I first met her when I inquired about renting office space at Wetsel Wholistic Center/Health TLC in Fairfield.  I was starting a private practice as a Holistic Nurse and was new to non-conventional methods for addressing chronic health issues.  I really needed a friend and mentor at that time in my professional life.  Susanna introduced me to the wonders of chiropractic adjustment and to many of the concepts around functional medicine. 

The most impressive thing about Susanna was her determination to find the best way to help her patients.  She was constantly learning and she invited me to join her in attending a conference on nutrition in Tampa, FL in the year 2000.  We made a wonderful road trip together and discovered we were of like minds in this emerging world of alternative healing.  Even after we no longer worked in the same office we would run into each other at conferences and I knew her path and mine continued to parallel. 

Susanna shared some of her secrets with me including that she was facing a major health challenge.  I was amazed.  I had never known anyone who rejected conventional treatment for breast cancer and was, instead, choosing to manage the problem using nutrition, protection from ever-increasing environmental toxins, exercise and a daily detoxification regime.  I could actually watch someone walk a path I condoned and thought I would choose if ever I was faced with this same condition. 

It was not an easy path and I could see during that trip to Florida that she was a very determined woman.  The van in which we traveled was loaded with organic food, a juicer, water, supplements, special air filter for the hotel room, her own bedding and pillows AND A TRAMPOLINE!  I had a small suitcase, a water bottle and a purse. 

I watched Susanna remain healthy and vibrant for 14 years knowing she had been dealing with this challenge long before I met her.  I continued to be amazed that she worked tirelessly beside her husband, Don, opening a second office in Staunton and helping her patients daily to address their pain and mobility problems.

When her fall in September of 2014 triggered a spread of the cancer, Susanna was in the midst of using new ways to address the cancer and was seeing an amazing resolution of the tumor. She showed me the progress and we celebrated that together!  But the trauma she sustained changed the course of that progress and her journey back to perfect health.    

Susanna didn’t just talk the talk – she walked the walk in her personal life and I will forever be grateful for that example. 

Mary Lynn Lipscomb


To Susanna

Our dear daughter in law

Always a joy to experience her many greetings of smiles and her kisses

God bless her life her and with thee. 

Helen Wetsel


Susanna Blessed All whose lives she touched during her time here.  I have no doubt whatsoever that she continues to Bless us all from her new vantage point.

Paula Martin


Such a gifted, loving child of God.  Dr. Ed and Sandy Castro


All week long I've been struggling. When I do sleep, it's riddled with nightmares, and when my mind isn't focused on a specific task, I start crying and don't know why. I've felt like part of me is missing, but couldn't reason why.
Today I learned that one of my soul mothers has left this earth and I think she took part of my heart with her. The Shenandoah valley has lost a powerful healer, and all I can do is find comfort that she is no longer fighting her cancer.

Kristi Strong

I am very grateful for my husband and family. 

 Then I remember the time I met you and Suzanna in Raleigh at my first class.  You have been my friends since then.  She is remembered fondly in my heart like a sister I  never had.  You guys moved to Virginia and I met the best Chiropractor in my life.  Her techniques just agreed with my body.   Every time I visited you guys she was always there with open arms and a big hug, just like you.  Her friendly smile and caring  on how I am feeling each time I came for a visit made me feel special. You moved several times and opened several offices and I was with you both on  these journeys. I learned about green smoothies, walking on the mountains in your area looking at the property you were dreaming of building a home on.  Suzanna was always there by your side being her wonderful self.

One day Kristi decided she wanted you both at her wedding.  You were the other parents in her life.  You both watched her grow into a woman and now she has a child who said she will miss Suzanna too and was understanding why I was sad when I got the news about her passing.

You married a wonderful woman and I will miss her too.  I love you both so much.  Let us know how we can help you at this time.  We will see you next week.  We will talk then.
Hugs, Jackie



If there ever was an angel on earth, it was Dr. Susanna Wetsel. I am shocked and saddened at her recent passing. But when I found out she lived for over 20 years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, I was blown away. Without her generous help, partnered by her husband Don Wetsel, I would not be here. Lydia Coyner


I feel truly blessed to have known her and received the benefits of her skilled and loving care.

More importantly, she was a kind and generous friend and I always enjoyed our visits and conversations. Cindy Sites


So thankful you two found each other. She was one special lady.  Diana Ferguson

Susanna helped each of our family members so much over the years.  Truly she was a gifted healer.  Marcia and Mac 


January 31, 2013 was a pivotal moment in my life, though I could not have anticipated how meeting the soul and spirit of Dr. Susanna Wetsel would change my life.  I was very ill and ignorant of how to heal naturally.  Susanna taught me so much, inspired me, and strengthened me.  Never before did anyone LOVE me back to health.     I am thankful to continue learning through Don, from the love and gifts that he offers his clients equally as Susanna did.   I love your dearly, Susanna...forever.  Emilie Mehrtens


Susanna had such a beautiful spirit. She always made you feel warm and comfortable. She also made you feel like you were the most important person in the world to her. I regret that we didn't get really close until this past year. We were both busy. If I learned one thing this year, it was to take the time to slow down. Never be too busy to enjoy the important things in life. I am sure that there will be times when I forget this but I hope to hear Susanna's voice in my head reminding me. I will miss her very much and will always treasure the times that we had.  Jeanine Ruggieri


Dear Don,

Please accept my condolences -- on behalf of your entire UNS family --- upon the passing of your wonderful wife and partner in life, Susanna. 

She contributed greatly to so many and has our eternal respect and admiration for what she accomplished by setting such a wonderful example -- not just talking the talk -- but fully walking the walk. 

I am grateful to have known Susanna.  Because she lived, many others have lived who would not have. 

I count knowing both of you as worthy colleagues amongst my many blessings since we embarked upon our crusade to reshape the current predominant false "health care" paradigm to one of maximal health and wellness restoration while improving the quality of life. 

I fully agree with you that she is quite busy even now.  She is quite a spirit, your Susanna. 

Now she has her work and we have ours. 

Looking forward to seeing you in the not too distant future. 

God bless you both. 

Dr. Freddie Ulan, Founder Ulan Nutritional Systems (Nutrition Response Testing)


I have always said,  since the first day I met you, and I will keep saying it, until the end of time, that you were an "AMAZING" woman.  I have learned so much from you,  sitting with you,  talking with you,  learning what made you the woman you were.......What made Susanna so special..... You were an inspiration to so many people,  and I for one,  will always keep your memory close to my heart.  I know now that you are in no more pain,  and you are flying high with the Angels,  teaching them all your special tricks of the trade.  Keep smiling pretty lady,  until we meet again.......  Donna Gregory


I had no idea that Susanna had breast cancer.  She never spoke to me about it.  God bless the many years she helped my back.  She never said a thing about her illnesses.   Anne Miller

How many times have I sat on your porch with one or the other of you connecting, really connecting, holding space for me when I could only must up fragile fragile hope.  . .  My healing, ability to take the work of you both to hundreds of providers of preschool children. . . because you both did your work.     Coleen



It was my privilege to be treated by Dr. Susana Wetsel. She was a positive and energetic healer who helped many people. What a loss it is to our region to no longer have this gifted woman among us. I am thankful to have known Susana, and am so glad that her equally gifted husband is still practicing here and helping so many to better health. I have seen medical miracles! Thank you, Susana and Don....   Laura Holt


I’m blessed to have known Susanna.  She is one of the people in my life that gave me a wake-up call which triggered the beginning of me finding - what I call - “my authentic self.”  After a chiro session with her, she told me I was on a path of physical challenges with the way I’ve been handling stress.  That’s when I started to come to Staunton for periodical balances.  She also recommended a book by Sanaya Roman called “Living with Joy.”  I read that book along with several other written by Sanaya that also assisted me towards my authentic self.  For that I will always be grateful for Susanna.  Denise

Sorry it is not set up as a blog, but feel free to contribute to this page by emailing dewetsel@gmail.com

I’ll post more information on memorial service and keep up this page as I can.