Cover photo for Susan Ellen Brown's Obituary
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1948 Susan 2024

Susan Ellen Brown

August 3, 1948 — May 31, 2024


It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our mother Susan Ellen Brown (nee Burdick) due to complications from Covid-19 and vascular dementia.  
On Friday, 05/31/2024 our Mother Susan (Sue) Ellen Brown of Las Cruces NM went to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  
Susan, an only child was born to her loving parents Harry Louis Burdick and Janet Moore Burdick on August 3, 1948, in Port Clinton, Ohio.  In 1955 her father was recruited to move west to work at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.  Although they had never imagined that they would live in the desert for the rest of their lives, they came to fall in love with the people and culture in New Mexico.  Susan graduated from Las Cruces Highschool in 1967.  Susan was a huge fan of music and loved to travel to concerts, she often talked of seeing The Beatles, Elvis, The Beach Boys, Rod Stewart, Glenn Campbell, Fleetwood Mac, and many others in her younger years.  She loved all things country music, and saw many acts including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, Dolly Parton  and Charlie Pride.  She would go on to serve her country honorably in the US Army during the Vietnam War.  Susan traveled the world during her time in the military and greatly enjoyed sharing stories of visits to her favorite places including witnessing The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona Spain, living in Germany, going to Copenhagen,  and falling in love with her favorite place on earth, Lucerne Switzerland.  After serving for 7 years mostly overseas in the US Army and achieving the rank of Seargent she would return home to her beloved Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Susan would go onto make her home in Las Cruces New Mexico where she worked at White Sands Missile Range as an administrative assistant in the Nuclear Effects Division for thirty years.  She raised her two daughters Amy and Marie as a loving single mother.  Taking them on adventures to different parts of the United States every summer.
In 2002 Susan would face her greatest challenge when a rare autoimmune disorder forced her to go into kidney failure unexpectedly and suffer a stroke as a result.  She would receive a lifesaving kidney transplant at the Mayo Clinic, Phoenix AZ on Friday May 31, 2005.  Spreading the word about organ donation became her life’s passion and work.  She would go on to help countless organ transplant candidates across the nation with the process.  Council them on what to expect from before, during and after transplantation.  She would become a kind ear to many during their times of need.  She would lift those around her by being an advocate for those who could not be their own.  Due to this philosophy, she was an integral part of  the Southern New Mexico Transplant Support Group a non-profit organization that assisted with the transportation needs of Cruceños and their families that are forced to travel outside of Las Cruces for transplant care.  She was a force in the Donate Life Community.  She loved getting the Donate Life Car Show off the ground and had articles written about her volunteer work within the transplant community. She worked closely with the American Association of Kidney Patients to press congress and any law maker that would listen to make transplantation more accessible by lowering the cost of anti-rejection medications.
Susan was a member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church for 67 years. She loved her church community and was still very connected to all of her church family. She loved being a part of the church sewing group and looked forward to working on projects for the babies at FirstStep, dialysis patients, people going through Chemotherapy and any other person who just needed a blanket to give them a warm embrace and let them know that they were loved. She served on the board of The St. Andrews Hospitality House playing an integral part of bringing it to life. Believing strongly that those that were less fortunate and traveling to Las Cruces from long distances deserved a nice place to stay with their families while they were healing from medical treatment free of charge. St. Andrews Hospitality House has been blessed to serve families from 35 different states, 51 places in New Mexico and three foreign countries.

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