Susan, a resident of Auburn for 23 years, was born in Sidney NE on October 20, 1956 to C.G. and Lois Carlson of Chappell, NE. As a young child, Susan's musical talent was evident, which led her to a lifelong dedication to teaching and musical performance. After graduating from Chappell High School in 1974, she attended Bethany College and graduated with her BA from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She attended the University of Arizona in Tucson and later received her M.M. in piano performance from California State University in Sacramento. As an accomplished musician, she enjoyed working in a multitude of musical endeavors such as teaching private piano lessons in her home, being keyboardist, organist and accompanist for various recitals, musical theater productions, professional groups and the Auburn Symphony Orchestra. She was also the music director for the Foothill Center for Spiritual Living in Auburn and taught in private and public school settings as music director and inspirational teacher during her career. She was a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, PEO, Music Teacher's Association of California and member of the Foothill Center for Spiritual Living.
Susan is best remembered as a spunky, fun-loving, creative sincere person who loved her family and friends. Her zest for life, striving to look at positive possibilities in every situation, and quest for creating beauty wherever she could, was her mission. She loved co-creating with others and will be greatly missed by her loving husband, friends, family, students and fellow musicians. She made her peaceful transition on October 10, 2013 in her home in Auburn Calif., surrounded by loving family and close friends.
She is survived by her devoted husband, Jim Nelson, her brother, James Carlson and sister-in-law, Pat Carlson, of Julesburg, Colo., and her sisters Janet Carlson of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Louise Geisert of Julesburg, Colo. Susan's surviving nieces and nephews include Kristen Arnold of Greeley Colo., Marla Jones of Colorado Springs, David Carlson of Julesburg Colo., Jeff Carlson of Denver and Shaun Geisert of Fort Collins Colo., Travis Geisert of Moorcroft Wyo., and Micheal Geisert of Cheyenne Wyo. She was considered "the Greatest Aunt" to her great-nieces and nephews, Kenton, Addison, Lauryn, Logan, Kamryn, Dalton, Nolan, Jaxon, Ryen and Brenna.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Foothill Center for Spiritual Living at 10:30 a.m.. in the DeWitt Center, 2945 1st St. Auburn CA 95603 on October 26, 2013. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to Music Dept. of Foothill Center for Spiritual Living 2945 1st St. Auburn CA 95603, or The Auburn Symphony P.O. Box 74 Auburn CA 95604.