SarahSue “Sue” Nelson

SarahSue “Sue” Nelson

SarahSue “Sue” Nelson, age 82, of Dubuque, IA, completed her earthly journey on July 25, 2023, at home while surrounded by her loving family.


Sue was born on April 4, 1941, in Dubuque, IA, a daughter to Arthur and Loretta (Schmitt) Gross.  Sue possessed a sweet and gentle spirit and continually made friends wherever life’s journey took her.  She was united in marriage to the love of her life, Kenneth Nelson, and the couple was blessed with 44 years of marriage before he was sadly called home ahead of her in June of 2004.  Sue spent her working years as a hairdresser for over 53 years and worked faithfully in Iowa, Wisconsin and Florida before finally moving into retirement.  In her free-time, Sue enjoyed volunteering with the girl scouts and PTA, and later in life was quite often found joyfully working in her flower gardens, settling in with a good book, and working on her latest needle work creation.  She was also always excited to be invited to the school sporting events for her loved ones and was the best cheerleader any of them could hope to have in the stands.  The world is surely a lesser place today without Sue’s love and light shining vividly within the lives of those around her, and especially with those she loved and adored.  The abundance of beautiful memories all who knew her will hopefully help to ease the pain of her sudden absence from our lives and we are forever grateful for the 82 years the Lord was gracious enough to share her with us.  Thank you, Sue, for being a constant light in the darkness and for always loving without abandon all who came across your path.  May you find peace now from your earthly battles and comfort in the loving hand of your Lord and Savior until we see you again.


Those left behind to treasure the memory of Sue include,

her four cherished daughters,

Dawn Mari King, West Liberty, IA,

Ronda Schaefer, Mascott, FL,

Lori Ann (Dr. Jerry) True, Palm City, FL,

and Stacey Lynn (Salvatore “Sal”) Martorano III, Jacksonville, FL;


her eight grandchildren,

Sandy Burkey, Matt King, Jennifer (Joe) Paduano, Daniel (Kaylee) Schaefer, Nicole True, Kelli True, Christina (Brent) Gunn, and Salvatore (Emily) Martorano IV;


her five great-grandchildren,

Daisy Burkey, Rasta Fadale, Collin Gaffney, Liam Gaffney, Blake Gaffney, Lincoln Schaefer, and Penelope Gunn;


her siblings,

John Gross, Iowa City, IA,

Pat Gross, Racket, MO,

Debra (Tom) Slater, Benton, WI,

Linda “Lulu” Thompson, East Dubuque, IL,

Thomas (Jeri) Gross, East Dubuque, IL,

and Michael (Sandra) Gross, Dubuque, IA;


along with numerous extended family, friends, and neighbors.


Sue was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Richard Gross; her sons-in-law, Michael King and David Schaefer; her sisters-in-law, Lois Gross and Carolyn Gross; and her nephew, Marc Rath.


Sue’s family would like to thank the nurses and staff at the Rose of Dubuque, and Hospice of Dubuque for all of their professional and compassionate care.


To honor Sue’s life, a Celebration of Life will be held in the fall.


In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Sue’s name to Hospice of Dubuque, or the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


Online condolences may be shared with Sue’s family at

To honor Sue’s life, a Celebration of Life will be held in the fall.

5 comments on “SarahSue “Sue” Nelson
  1. Etta says:

    Lori, i am so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing. You are in my thoughts and my prayers. Etta Jackoniski

  2. Janine Kiely says:

    What a beautiful human being!! Her family adored her! All my prayers and sympathies to all that loved Sue!

  3. Linda Willet says:

    Sorry for your families loss. Sue and I became friends at Harrison Lofts. Sue was fun ! She was there for me when my mom passed away. ❤️

  4. Dawn Stelpflug says:

    Lori and family, So sorry for your loss, we will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

    Dawn and Slim

  5. Bruce and Nancy Hansbrough says:

    It is with great sadness that another angel left us to begin the journey into eternity. She will be sorely missed until the day we too shall be greeted by Sue in heaven and join her forever.

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