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.

Posted Condolences:


  1. Sue Ellen was well taken care of at the St. Raphael Care Center. Thank you to all the staff from all of her family. God has taken her home. From her aunt Jean in Texas

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. May she rest in peace!

  4. I was a dorm counselor for Sue Ellen many years ago at NDSD. She was a person with a sweet spirit. My prayers are with her family

  5. The only thing that makes this not so sad is that she is up in Heaven with our Mom. They are once again reunited and I can only imagine the hug they must be giving one another. Rest in Peace Sue Ellen.

  6. So sorry for your loss. Our thoughts & prayers are with all of you. I remember going to a care conference in Valley City with her grandma Marie. She showed us her room. She was a very sweet young lady. May she rest in peace.

  7. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Sue at Open Door Center for many years. She was an amazing lady with a warm smile unless she disagreed with you. Then you got the look and stomp. She also used to have collection of bibles and phone books from hotels because if it wasn’t tied down it was hers. Rest in pease Sue. We will miss you!

  8. She was smarter than you’d expect. One time Grandma Marie brought her to my house. We were at the table talking about the popcorn air popper on the counter. Finally Sue got up and went to show us how to operate it! Her mother Arlene and Grandma Marie will be so happy to see her again!

  9. Beautiful tribute. My sincere condolences to family and friends~

  10. I remember Sue Ellen’s birthdate. I remember her journey from Grafton to Devil’s Lake to Valley City. Her smile was infectious, and her laughter contagious. Rest in Peace, Sue Ellen. Your struggle is over. Enjoy mom and grandma. The battle is over, the victory won. God bless you all and comfort you with the knowledge that she is finally home.

  11. I had the privilege of being Sue Ellen’s guardian through Catholic Charities ND for over 10 years and she will always hold a special place in my heart. Her staff at the Open Door Center knew her so well and how important her routine was. They treated her as family and was loved by so many. She loved to color and had a desk with all her supplies. I am assured Sue Ellen that you are welcomed with open arms by your loved ones in heaven.

  12. I had the immense honor of being Sue Ellen’s guardian, following Margaret. My visits to St. Raphael always made my day. One of my favorite memories of Sue Ellen was watching her get ready for a tea party. I had brought her some new accessories and she particularly loved the shiny headbands, instantly smiling and putting them on. When she looked at herself in the mirror, I had never seen her smile so bright. She really was a fashionista! My condolences go out to Sue Ellen’s loved ones. Thank you for letting me be a part of Sue Ellen’s life. She’ll always hold a very special place in my heart.

  13. So sorry to hear about Sue Ellen’s passing. I have fond memories of visiting her in Grafton when I was in high school and college and we would drive around Grafton. She loved to go for ice cream. Although it’s been many years, I have never forgotten her. So glad she had her friends and family to support her. Rest in peace from your Uncle Vince.


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