Susan Bryan, age 71, passed away peacefully at her home in Omaha, NE on October 23, 2022. She was born December 2,1950 to T. Craig and MaryAnn (Martin) Simpson in Oak Park, IL.
Sue was the youngest of 4, with 3 older brothers who grew up together in Wheaton Illinois. As the only sister, Sue easily fell in step with an athletic upbringing that fostered a competitive nature and lifelong love of sports.
As a junior at Illinois State University, Sue fell in love with a younger man, Jim Bryan, in their shared chemistry class. She went on to receive a Bachelors degree in phys ed and health and Jim and Sue got married on April 21st, 1973.
Shortly after their marriage, Jim was drafted into the US Army and stationed in Osan, Korea, where Sue joined him and they lived together for a little over a year. As newlyweds in a foreign country where they didn't speak the language, they learned quickly to rely on each other and strengthen their bond of love and friendship as true partners.
Upon their return to the states, Jim and Sue moved to Iowa and tried their hand at farming before Jim started a career at Cargill in 1981, the company where he worked for 24 years. Settling in Oskaloosa in 1984, Sue had multiple careers that included being a Volleyball Coach, YMCA Director, Treasurer for United Way, but spent most of her career as Director of Community Based Services at Imagine the Possibilities. Every year she mentored college students who were just starting out in the social work field.
But her most beloved role was as a mother to Mike and Liz. Between summer camps, various sports, failed attempts at piano, trumpet, marching band, vacations, weekends at the Lake Rathbun on the sailboat and much, much more, she was their biggest champion and most vocal cheerleader.
When Liz graduated from college in 2006, she moved to Chicago to live with Mike and his then girlfriend - and now wife - Jennifer. Sue loved coming to visit her kids together in Chicago and see her favorite baseball team, the White Sox, play. And when Liz met her now husband, Brad, Sue continued to enjoy trips to the city to visit them as well.
Jim and Sue's retirement dream was always to move to Cape Coral, Florida to join their best friends, Steve and Nina Shrago in a life by the water. They moved in 2007 and there she enjoyed boating, shelling, golfing, gardening, watching college sports, bike riding, playing games and entertaining all the friends and family who came to visit.
Sue loved being a grandma to Sam and Jake. Between reading books and putting together puzzles and teaching them the art of finding seashells on the beach, she
revived her role as most vocal cheerleader watching them play baseball and football.
Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May of 2018, Sue defied the odds and put up a courageous fight against the aggressive disease for almost 5 years. Supported through every difficult moment by Jim, together they have showed us how everlasting a love that deep can be. She was a fearless woman with strong beliefs who was a role model to those who knew her and inspiration to many more.
She was preceded in death by father, T. Craig Simpson; mother, MaryAnn Simpson and brother, Stewart Simpson.
Susan is survived by Jim Bryan - husband, of Omaha, son Michael (Jennifer) and their two children, Sam and Jake, and daughter Liz (Brad) Kruizenga of Chicago.
Survived by brothers Craig (Barb) and Roger Simpson and many adoring nieces, nephews, other outlaws and friends.
Celebration of Life will be held from 2pm-4pm at Beth El Synagogue in the west atrium at 14506 California Street, Omaha, NE 68154.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations at the United Way of the Midlands, www.unitedwaymidlands.org