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Remembering Beloved Rheem Racing Team Member Sue Karli

Remembering Beloved Rheem Racing Team Member Sue Karli

Remembering Beloved Rheem Racing Team Member Sue Karli

Susan (“Sue”) Karli who hosted hundreds of Rheem Racing hospitality events for over a decade lost her battle to pancreatic cancer.  The entire Rheem family and the thousands of guests she served send condolences and prayers to her husband Jerry, daughters Kelli and Kim, her mother, brother, sister, family and friends.

Sue was a founding member and a vital part of Rheem’s motorsports program. She was a familiar face and known and loved by many in the NASCAR community for over two decades. The hood on the #20 Rheem car will pay tribute to Sue with her initials in a purple heart, her favorite color and the color representative of pancreatic cancer awareness at this weekends race at Iowa Speedway. Her name will also be above the right-side door of both the JGR #19 and #20 cars and several other NASCAR drivers have chosen to honor her as well.


Susan (Sue) M. Karli, 63, of Lebanon, passed away Sunday, July 21, 2019 at the Bob Fryer & Family Inpatient Center, Hospice and Community Care, Mount Joy, PA. Sue bravely fought a recent pancreatic cancer diagnosis. She was the wife of Gerard (Jerry) J. Karli.

Born in Lebanon, PA on August 1, 1955, Sue was the daughter of Janice (Wise) Burkholder and the late George Burkholder. She graduated from Cedar Crest High School in 1973 and was married in and attended Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Cornwall, PA.

Sue worked in public relations for The Hershey Company for 23 years. Since 2007, she was embraced by the NASCAR community as the Rheem Racing team’s motorsports marketing manager. She and Jerry lived in Charlotte, NC, and enjoyed racing, the beautiful weather and made many close friends and colleagues. In 2014, they moved back up to Cornwall PA, where Sue continued to travel to NASCAR races over 20 weekends a year with her event management staff and best friends. She donated to many charities and lived her life to help others. She loved her work and family time and she made a lasting impact on all who knew her, especially the connection she had with her grandchildren. She also loved to snuggle with her two dogs, Noah and Fannie Mae.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Kelli Grace (Andy), Stevens, PA and Kim Cuomo (Ryan), Towson, MD; four granddaughters; brother Jim Burkholder, NC and sister Beth Miller, CO; and many nieces and nephews.

Sue’s team and colleagues will be honoring her contribution to Rheem racing on the #20 Rheem Car in the Iowa Xfinity race on Saturday, July 27, 2019 on NBCSports channel.

A private life celebration will be held for Sue. In lieu of flowers, donations in Sue’s name may be made to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at Please share your memories with the family at our online guest book at