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Suzanne M. Nelson

March 20, 1922 ~ October 3, 2018 (age 96)


Suzanne  Marie “Meme” Nelson, 96, passed away on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, at the Brookside Retirement Community in Overbrook, Kansas. Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, November 2, 2018, at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown, SD.


Burial will be at Oldham Cemetery, Oldham, SD. Honorary pallbearers will be her great-great grandchildren: Cayden Paulsen, Carson Klatt, Carighan Klatt and Cambrie Klatt.


Meme was born March 20, 1922 in Paris, France. She was one of three children born to Henri and Louise Quignon.  Shortly after World War II ended, she married an American G.I. named Gilman Nelson on November 10, 1945 in Paris.  Meme left her family and everything she knew when she followed Gilman to the United States. Meme came across the ocean on the ship USS President Tyler on November 7, 1946, where her and Gilman would then reside in Lake Preston, South Dakota. To this union two children were born; Jacquie and Patricia. Meme became a US citizen on July 22, 1952. After Gilman passed away in June 1957, Meme started her career. While raising her two girls, Meme worked as a waitress at the Lake Preston Cafe and as a cook at the local nursing home. Meme moved to Watertown, South Dakota in 2002 to be near family. She later moved to Topeka, Kansas in 2017.


She was a wonderful cook, loved to read, sew, and knit, and was an excellent crossword puzzle solver. Meme loved to play games with her family, drink tea with her friends, and cheer on the French national soccer team. Meme was well known for her crepes and took pride in teaching her grandchildren how to make them. Meme taught herself to read, write, and speak English by doing crossword puzzles and reading the dictionary. Meme was a seamstress  by trade.  She had lovely handwriting and a remarkable youthful spirit and inner strength. Her pleasant personality was contagious, as evident by the many friends she made along her journey.


Suzanne was given the name "Meme" by a simple mistake. Her granddaughter, Traci, could not say grandma in french as a young child and "mémère" became "Meme." Suzanne became known as Meme to those that she met. 


Meme stayed true to her faith and after waiting 61 years, she has reunited with her husband in their eternal life.


Survivors include her two daughters, Patricia Johnson of Watertown, SD, and Jacquie (Jon) Nystrom of Topeka, KS; four grandchildren: Traci Paulsen, Danny Nystrom, Chantel (Eddie) Blasche, Tamra (Casey) Simpson; eleven great-grandchildren:  Ashley (Ben) Klatt, Colin Paulsen, MacKenzie Dally, Sheridan, Bryson and Pierson Blasche, Hannah Nystrom and Abby Sharp, Tatum, Carly and Tyler Simpson and four great-great grandchildren: Cayden, Carson, Carighan and Cambrie Klatt.


She was preceded in death by her parents, Henri and Louise Quignon; brother, Henri Quignon; sister, Jacqueline Dutit; and her husband, Gilman.











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