Evans Funeral Home
"Compassionate Funeral Service"
Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911
Secondary Number ~ 701.650.9937
Sue Ellen Bergstrom
Sue Ellen Bergstrom, age 61, of Valley City, ND passed away on Saturday, January 13, 2024, at SMP Health- St. Raphael, Valley City.
Sue Ellen was born in Jamestown, ND on June 28, 1962, to Neale Bergstrom and Arlene (Nelson) Bergstrom Warren. As a baby, Sue Ellen was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome and it was later discovered that she was also deaf. The best advice that doctors had at the time was to place her in a special education school in Grafton, ND. She attended the school there until she was later moved to Devils Lake, ND for a life more suited to her health at the School for the Deaf. Sue Ellen graduated from high school in 1983 and found her forever home at the Open Door Center in Valley City, ND, where she had her own apartment with a caretaker and a roommate, who also worked at the work center. It was there that she found happiness and friendship in many activities that she took part in with help from numerous staff members, who became some of Sue’s best friends.
Sue Ellen, also known as Suzie Q by many, had a love for adventure. She loved attending any concert that she could. You could find her every year at the winter show ready for the annual concert that she had anticipated for weeks. Sue also took enjoyment in the simple things in life, such as going out for coffee or lunch. She loved swimming and would look forward to staying in hotels just for the pool. Sue Ellen was a part of the Philanthropic Organization for Women and she made many friends through the chapters. She enjoyed getting many letters, cards, and gifts from these women throughout the years. Sue Ellen was a loved member of PEO and was considered a “little sister” to the chapter DX in Virginia, MN. Fashion was something that didn’t go unnoticed by Sue, as she had to have the flashiest jewelry to show off to everyone. Her love for fashion and animals combined to make her favorite sweaters to showcase her love for birds. One of Sue’s most fond memories was participating in Special Olympics. Her favorite activities were bowling and running track.
As we all know, there were many things that Sue Ellen couldn’t do. She wasn’t able to do the things that we take for granted each day. When some people, who didn’t know her personality looked at her, that’s what they saw – the things that she couldn’t do. Sue Ellen was persistent in showing the things that she could do. She had a love for others that she could show with her warm smile. She had a wit that she showed with a firm stomp or serious face. To know Sue was to love Sue as she had such a kind heart that will forever touch those who cared for her.
She is survived by a brother, Eric Bergstrom, sisters, Jeneale Bergstrom and Teresa Warren Piel, and brother, Joshua Warren, all of California; an uncle, Dennis Nelson, Fargo, ND; aunts, Janet Fanning, Sun City Arizona, Ardis Manelis, Framingham, MA, Nola Mack, West Fargo, ND, and Jean Bonaventure, San Angelo, TX; and six nieces and nephews all living in California.
Sue Ellen is preceded in death by both her parents and grandparents and she will be buried next to her grandparents, Ray and Marie Nelson, and mother, Arlene at the Prairie Home Cemetery in New Rockford, North Dakota.
The family wishes to thank all of the Staff at the St. Raphael Care Center in Valley City, ND, and all of those who helped over the years with Sue Ellen’s care. A special thank you to Marlene Munig, Margaret Rundelett-Doom, and Katie Germain.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Prairie Home Cemetery, 108 8th Street North, New Rockford, ND 58356; the Open Door Center at 129 3rd Ave NE, Valley City, ND 58072; or the St. Raphael Care Center at 979 Central Ave North, Valley City, ND 58072.
Her Funeral Service will be held on Monday, January 22, 2024, at 2:30 PM at SMP Health – St. Raphael Chapel, Valley City, ND.
Her Burial will be on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 1:00 PM at the Prairie Home Cemetery, New Rockford, ND.
Condolences are reviewed by staff.