Life Story / Obituary
Susan Nelson’s sisters nicknamed her the “energizer bunny” for her curiosity, never-ending creativity and entrepreneurship. Sue was an avid student of history, genealogy, antiques and jewelry-making and loved to share her wealth of knowledge with others. One of Sue’s earliest business endeavors was her Burkid Candles and Crafts shop on Main Street in Frankfort where she sold her handmade carved candles. Once Sue found her creative niche, she never quit designing and creating necklaces, bracelets and key chains made from Petoskey stones, Leland Blue stones and beach glass found on the shores of her cherished Lake Michigan. In high demand, her jewelry was sold to countless stores in northern Michigan.
For many people in the Frankfort area, Sue’s role in founding the Frankfort Art Fair is a large part of her legacy. The Frankfort Art Fair has impacted thousands of artists’ lives throughout the course of its existence.
Sue enjoyed fishing but especially relished cooking. When the Cabbage Shed in Elberta decided to serve meals, Sue was hired as their first chef. She will be remembered for her love of music, especially the blues, country music, the Benzie County Playboys and Michigan artist Billy Strings.
As a child, Sue spent time with her family at their Congregational Summer Assembly cottage near Frankfort. Summer days meant swimming and sunbathing at Crystal Lake while summer evenings often involved family beach picnics and sing-alongs with her parents, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Susan Burrows Kidder Nelson, a longtime resident of Frankfort, was born March 7, 1940, the eldest of five girls, to Parke Wolcott Burrows and Virginia Allen Burrows. Susan passed away April 3, 2020.
She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Mary Burrows. She is survived by her sisters, Anne Burrows of Aspen, CO; Cheryl Heineman of La Quinta, CA; and Elizabeth (Craig) Jackson of Frankfort; niece Katie (Andy) Christie and daughters Abbey and Lily; nephews James Ibbotson (Alyssa Franklin) and son Owen; Kris Heineman (Kristin) and children Aubrey, Kendall, and Lucas; Jesse Heineman (Kimberly Sheldon) and daughter Louise. Extended family members include cousins Margaret Burrows-Getz (Tom) and daughters Meghan (Mike) Metzger and daughter Rose; Lara Getz (Girardo Ferrara); Diana Nelson and son Daniel; Cally (Frank) Williams and daughters Wendy and Luisa. Sue leaves behind J.J. Swander of Frankfort, Dan and Kim Kidder and their family members who affectionately called her “Grandma Sue” and many friends who had the good fortune to know her.
A celebration of Sue’s life will be held at a future date. Contributions may be made in her memory to Benzie Area Christian Neighbors (BACN) in Benzonia, MI or Benzie Senior Resources in Honor, MI.
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