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home : obituaries : obituaries
February 8, 2023

1/18/2023 1:47:00 PM
Suzanne Nelson

 Suzanne Nelson, of La Grande, Oregon, passed peacefully on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. A private family memorial is planned for this spring.

Suzanne was born Feb. 19, 1940, to Carl and Lorraine Lindblad in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was raised in Lindstrom, Minnesota, and with her family attended Trinity Lutheran Church. Suzanne graduated with honors from Lindstrom Center City High School in 1958.

Suzanne loved to read, write letters, collect recipes and celebrate holidays. Her family history was heavily influenced by Swedish culture and traditions. Her ancestors immigrated by boat to the United States in 1852 and settled in the Chisago Lakes area of Minnesota.

Suzanne attended Carthage College and graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota in 1963. She married the love of her life and high school sweetheart, Lyle Nelson, on July 10, 1963. Lyle and Suzanne loved to travel, camp, hike and sightsee. Suzanne taught elementary school in Minnesota and Idaho, and she worked for the La Grande School District before starting a family. She was also a substitute teacher and English as a second language tutor for the ESD.

Mom enjoyed photography and documenting Nelson family gatherings and special events. She made memory books for her children, grandchildren, relatives, special friends and Zion Lutheran Church and contributed to historical collections near and far. She loved and took joy in all things related to family history, heritage, antique glass, musicals and telling stories of Swedish traditions.

She taught us to know our strengths and build relationships with all kinds of people. She instilled in us the importance of education and a love for reading. She was kind and generous with those she loved. She had a heart of gold for the underprivileged, other cultures and those who struggled in life. She knew how to make the most of any situation and always had a story that allowed us to value what we had. She was a dedicated wife, mother and grandmother.

Suzanne is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Lyle Nelson of La Grande; their four children, Kathryn and Todd Kurns, Kyle and Wendy Nelson, Carrie Nelson and Connie and Derek Kruse. Suzanne was a proud grandma to Andrew, Livia and Hanna. She delighted in all their adventures and activities.

Our family would like to thank all her special friends, church members and relatives near and far for sending Mom gifts, cards, notes of love, support and prayers during her illness. The whole family was able to be together one last time the weekend before she passed, and it was truly a blessing.

Suzanne was very passionate about helping others who struggle. Our family has decided that the best way to honor her is to give back to our community. We are partnering with Grande Ronde Hospital Foundation to invest in a community mental health fund to help individuals in Eastern Oregon access behavioral health and mental health resources. If you would like to help invest in a life yet to be lived or someone in crisis, please go to www.foundation.grh.org and choose “Donate Now” - from the “I want to support” drop-down menu, choose “To be used for projects related to behavioral health.” Our family thanks you for your kindness in Suzanne’s memory.

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