In Memory: Susan Vogel of Conestoga Tile

Susan Vogel

Susan Vogel

Jim and Steve Vogel of Conestoga Tile, sent out this joint message to the industry on June 26, 2019.
“It is with great sorrow that we inform you one of our founders, Susan Vogel, passed away on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at the age of 80.
“Jack and Susan Vogel, along with Bob Banta, founded Conestoga Tile in October 1958. Although Susan wasn’t working for Conestoga Tile in the early years of the company, she helped provide support and outside guidance for the family business while she was involved in several other adventures.
“In 1981, Susan became actively involved in Conestoga Tile as the Director of Sales and Marketing and within years, was recognized as the Vice President of Conestoga Tile. Under Susan’s leadership, the architectural services program was developed, opening a new market for Conestoga Tile. Susan was well respected by the architectural community and had built many long term relationships. Susan also built many relationships with our vendors and the members of the Ceramic Tile Distributors Association and had many memorable business trips with them.
“After years of active membership in the local Construction Specification Institute (CSI), Susan was named the first female president of the Central Pennsylvania chapter of the CSI. Susan was never a passive member, she always jumped in with both feet to assist and be a part of a variety of programs throughout her membership.
“On July 3rd, we will be holding a memorial service for Susan Vogel at the Trinity Lutheran church in Lancaster, PA. Many of our employees will be attending the services and may be unavailable for most of the day.”
More of Susan’s life can be found in her obituary, below.

Susan S. Vogel, 80 of Lititz passed away on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at Brethren Village after a lengthy illness.  She was preceded in death by her father Charles Henry Sunderland and mother, Eleanor Quinn Sunderland.  She is survived by her loving husband, Jack R. Vogel, three sons Richard (wife Sarah) of Coronado, CA, James (wife Colleen) of Lancaster, PA and Stephen (wife Lesley) of Westminster, MD and eight grandchildren (Emily, Heather, Kate, Tyler, Dylan, John, Jaden and Zachary) and two nephews Jeff Banta, John Banta and a niece BB Webb (all of Bozeman, MT).

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio on September 9, 1938, Susan was ready to shine, and to this day, not much had changed.  While growing up in Pittsburgh, Pa., Sue’s stunning combination of brains, beauty, and wit, along with her thirst for adventure was enough to command the attention of the entire tri-state area. By day, Sue was often found organizing parties and planning events for her friends, an activity she greatly enjoyed throughout her life. Above all, however, Sue’s kind-hearted soul and charismatic spirit were what really set her apart from her classmates, not to mention her amazing leadership skills and “go-getter” attitude,  which guaranteed her a spot to achieving anything she set her mind to, which included becoming the first female student body president at a high school in Pittsburgh. Unsurprisingly, Sue’s popularity and tenacity didn’t stop there.

When Sue left for college, she was sure to bring her self-confidence, compassion, and ambition with her. Sue graduated from Penn State University and continued to be an avid Nittany Lion fan throughout her life. Not just because Sue always looked fabulous in blue and white and loved football, but also because Penn State was where she met so many lifelong friends including her Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sisters and soul mate, Jack Vogel. Sue was immediately attracted to Jack’s Frat-Star looks and the fact that he was much older. The two fell in love and got married soon after Sue’s college graduation.

Sue and Jack settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where Sue gave birth to three very handsome yet very wild and rambunctious boys who became successful. While other wives and mothers during this time were focused on homemaking and looking after the children- Sue knew that she was destined for more.

After pursuing a career as a teacher for four years, Sue landed her dream job working as the Public Relations Director for Gimbels, a high-end department store. During her time at Gimbels, Sue produced fashion shows, entertained visiting celebrities and brought new ideas to the marketplace- she was doing things in the corporate world before other women had even attempted to. After Gimbels she took her talents to Litton, Inc. where she introduced a new technology in cooking: microwave ovens.  Then she moved on to G.E. Richards and Savin office equipment where she was their first woman salesperson in the nation.  Sue ended her career working alongside her husband Jack at Conestoga Tile, as their Vice President, where she continued to make a name for herself as a powerful businesswoman.  In fact, Susan was the first female president of the local chapter of Construction Specification Institute (CSI) while at Conestoga Tile.  Because of this, Sue set the stage for generations to come, and especially for her grandchildren.

When not working, Susan enjoyed entertaining, gardening, socializing and being the proud grandmother of eight fantastic grandchildren. And, according to a very famous, very reliable source, who chooses to remain anonymous, Sue’s grandchildren are “The coolest, best-looking, most talented group of geniuses you will ever meet in the whole world.” The geniuses loved spending time with their Grandmother, who would often be found taking them on a wild adventure, buying them things their parents wouldn’t approve of, or just sitting around and visiting; everyone knew it’s always a fun time with Grandma Vogel.

There is no doubt that Sue has been the best role model, hero, daughter, friend, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and ultimately…The “Greatest Woman” of them All.  She will be dearly missed by all to whom she touched over the many wonderful years of her life.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 31 S. Duke St., Lancaster, PA on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.  Family will greet friends at the church on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service.

Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to: Hospice & Community Care, PO Box 4125, 685 Good Drive, Lancaster, PA 17604-4125

To donate online:    


Aaron’s Acres, 1861 Charter Lane, Suite 114, Lancaster, PA 17601   To donate online:

Celebration of life and burial arrangements for beloved industry member Steve Rausch

Steve Rausch

There will be a Celebration of Life Service for beloved member of the tile industry, Steve Rausch of Norcross Ga., at Perimeter Church, 9500 Medlock Bridge Rd, Johns Creek, Ga., 30097 on Monday June 17 at 11:00am. This will be followed by a reception at the church. The following day, June 18, there will be a burial service at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton at 9:00am. All are welcome who wish to attend.

Steven William Rausch, 67, passed away on June 8, 2019. Steve was born in Dayton, Ohio and graduated from Belmont High School in 1969, after which he joined the Army. He worked in sales and marketing development in the floor covering and ceramic tile industry for over 48 years.
He had been active in the Boy Scouts (including Wood Badge), Walk to Emmaus (where he served as a Lay Director) and Perimeter Church. He developed a love for flying and was an active member of the Silver Wings Fraternity. He also enjoyed boating, skiing and spending time with his family.
Steve is survived by his wife of 44 years, Christy; three children, Tim, Jill and Jen; and six grandchildren (Emma, Andy, Kaeden, Henry, Cooper and Lucy). The celebration of life on Monday, June 17 at Perimeter Church at 11:00 a.m. followed by a reception. Interment will take place on Tuesday, June 18 at Georgia National Cemetery, Canton, Ga., at 9:00 a.m.

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from June 13 to June 14, 2019. More information will be added as it becomes available.

In Memory: Richard M. Maurer

After 24 years as Director of Marketing & International Sales with The Noble Company, Richard Maurer moved to the position of Outside Consultant for the company in July. He passed away peacefully on October 30, 2018.

Richard M. Maurer 76, of Grand Haven, Michigan passed away peacefully on Tuesday October 30, 2018.

Richard was born January 30, 1942 in Burbank California. He graduated from UCLA in 1964 with a B.S. in Finance and has over 40 years of sales and marketing management experience between Dow Chemical Company and the Noble Company.

Richard was a veteran if the United States Army serving his country during the Vietnam War, earning a Purple Heart.

Richard is survived by his children a son, Michael Maurer of Grand Haven, daughter Vernice Branch of San Diego, California, along with her husband, Stephen Branch; grandchildren Tyrus and Cole, his sister Judy (Don) Sterner of San Clemente, California; nephew Mark (Dawn) Sterner of Aptos; nephew, Orian Stener; grand-niece Xena.

Richard was an amazing human being, an incredible father, wonderful grandfather, thoughtful uncle, loving brother and great friend to all who knew him. A Celebration of Life Gathering with a luncheon was held on Monday, November 19th at St. Patrick- St. Anthony Catholic Church from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. with Military Honors being bestowed at 1:15 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be directed to The Wounded Warrior Project, Catholic Charities of West Michigan or Hospice of North Ottawa Community.

To read how Richard touched the life of his friends and colleagues, visit

For service details or to leave a note of remembrance for the family, please visit

In memory: Alexander Peter Tarr, CSI, CDT, March 9, 1941- October 15,2018

Al Tarr


Born in South Bend, Indiana, Al attended Purdue University after graduating from high school. While in college he enlisted and served in the United States Air Force from 1960-64.  After completing his service, he moved to Arizona.

Al found his passion in the construction specification industry with MAPEI Corporation for tile and flooring installations.  Al could spice up the presentation of products with clever and entertaining ways that you’d never forget. For instance, once Al wore a giant chef’s hat to talk about the chemistry in grout!

Al worked at MAPEI from the mid-80s to 2000, after which he took the specifying reins and marched all over the USA with Noble Company as Western Region Architectural Manager. He spent nine years there until his retirement to his longtime Scottsdale residence.

The CSI board, with Al Tarr (center right) in 1996-97.












The Construction Specification Institute (CSI) was big part of his life, and Al was the life of the party at annual conferences and conventions.  He always stayed to the last at the events and was a great host.  He welcomed many new members, and served a stint as President of the Phoenix Chapter. He was consistently available there to lend a hand, or at least an opinion.



Al Tarr as the Lone Ranger in 2007

Al Tarr “cutting up” with Pamela Jackson circa 1996-97.













Al was feisty to the end but passed away peacefully on October 15, 2018 with many friends having visited in the last days.

Al is survived by his sister, Judith (Tarr) Mattei and her husband Frank, nephew Russel Mattei, grandniece Ashley, niece Deborah Kolber and grandnephews Kolby and Kory, as well as many cousins and lifelong friends.

Al wishes to spend eternity in his favorite beautiful place in Sedona, so his ashes will be spread at West Fork at a later date.

Al Tarr, 2017

A memorial reception will be held on Tuesday, November 6th from 3:00-6:00 at The Reference Library, 99 E Virginia Ave., #140, Phoenix, AZ  85004. Please RSVP to:  602-258-7499. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to: Funeral Home Angels Cremation & Burial 422 W McClellan, Mesa AZ  85201, to help offset funeral expenses. Contact: Pamela Jackson at [email protected].

In addition, Pamela is collecting stories and photos for a presentation to be made at the reception. Please send photos and stories to her at the email above.