Suzanne’s funeral will be held at Vista Evangelical Covenant Church on Sunday, May 30th.
The address for the church is 14679 275th Ave, New Richland, MN 56072.
There will be a viewing at 1pm.
The funeral will be at 2pm, followed by a short burial service and a light lunch.
Suzanne Lynn Nelson (Bengar) was born to Judith (Pierce) and Donald Bengar on Feb 18, 1963. She passed away on May 19, 2021 at the age of 58.
Suzanne was a person of deep faith nearly her whole life, embracing the simple message of Christianity at the age of 5 in Fulton NY, where she grew up.
Graduating from G. Ray Bodley High School in 1981 she moved to college near the Twin Cities where she met Eric Nelson. Despite being from different subcultural parts of the country, they shared a common college major and life goals and deep commitment to Jesus. Eric and Suzanne were married January 2, 1983 while they were still full-time students at St Paul Bible College (6 weeks before Suzanne turned 20!).
They settled in the Los Angeles area, living in Pasadena, Culver City, and finally Carson CA. Suzanne did enjoy short-term missions trips to Mexico and Ghana West Africa.
Suzanne's professional employment included administrative positions in the Executive Assistant and Human Resources realm. She worked for 23 of her nearly 30 years of employment at GNM Financial Services in Culver City, CA.
In 2006 Suzanne was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. Two years later in 2008 she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer when her cancer had spread to her sacrum area and fractured her S1/S2 vertebrae. She was told she had only a 20% chance of living 10 years, and that it would not be a good 10 years either.
After riding 10 years straight in the Los Angeles Marathon Bike Tour, riding up to 70 miles nonstop, she had to stop because of the broken spine. That's when she discovered the fantastic sport of Dragonboat Racing. The Los Angeles Pink Dragons, a breast cancer survivor team, had a booth at a health expo on the UCLA campus. She went one day as a guest paddler and was hooked! She blossomed with the physical activity and emotional comradery of her fellow breast cancer survivor team members. She was able to travel to competitions across the globe, from Florida to British Columbia and on to Taiwan.
Suzanne continued to work full time for 8 years despite living with advanced breast cancer, often thriving and inspiring others as she travelled this difficult path.
In late 2016 Suzanne finally quit work and went on disability. In early 2018 Eric and Suzanne sold their condo where they had lived in Culver City for nearly 24 years and moved to Carson CA.
A few months after the move Suzanne went through another progression of cancer, this time in her left glute muscle. After chemo and surgery everyone thought she would heal and bounce back like she had always done. However in January of 2019 she had a seroma burst through the weakest point of the incision, after which she struggled a great deal and was unable to return to her beloved sport of dragon boating with the Los Angeles Pink Dragons.
In spite of her medical difficulties, Suzanne and Eric took the dream vacation of their lifetimes with Eric's cousin, Scott Stensrud, hosting them from his home in Hawaii, the 49th state they had visited.
The core of her being has always been to love and serve Jesus, her friend and savior. She did this as a good and faithful wife and mother, Sunday School teacher, worship team member, Kids Club leader, women's ministry leader, breast cancer seminar leader, cancer support team member, creative writing group member, etc. In all of these things, she wanted more than anything to be a good witness of her Savior's love for her and you. She wanted to share with everyone the peace, love and purpose that accepting the love of Jesus and following Him had brought to her and everyone who truly loves and follows Jesus as Savior and Lord.