Susan (Sue) Kerrigan Nelson passed away on November 27th, 2022 surrounded by the love of family and dear friends. She was born on May 21st, 1951 in Yakima, WA to Lena and John T Kerrigan. Susan grew up on Manzanita Rd on Bainbridge Island and graduated from BHS in 1969. After high school, she attended the University of Washington where she discovered her love for classic Turkish tile under the mentorship of Dr. Jere Bacharach.
Dr. Bacharach encouraged Susan to leave the comforts of the Pacific Northwest. She decided to travel abroad in Europe with her lifelong friend Bill and then solo to the Middle East. Upon returning, Susan ventured to the east coast and attended Museum School at Tufts University in Boston, MA, where she earned a Master’s in Fine Art. During this time, Sue met and married her late husband, Bruce, and they had 3 children. After living in Boston for 20 years, Susan and Bruce moved their family back to Bainbridge Island.
Tragically losing her son, Jacobain, in 2003, Susan worked to create greater public awareness about the dangers of statin drugs. She bravely testified in Washington DC before a Senate subcommittee. She believed in justice and passionately fought for her son’s story to be heard.
Susan was an incredibly creative and talented artist. She worked with a variety of mediums and created thousands of unique pieces of art. From ceramics to murals, cards, dolls, purses, jewelry, drawing by hand, drawing digitally… The list goes on. Susan was always working on a project. Her latest was cards with felt pens, embellished with sparkles. Although she might not have realized it, Susan inspired numerous people throughout her life. She had a powerful soul and touched the lives of many.
Susan lived her life with optimism and never gave up. She endured a lifetime of loss, but you would have never known it. She taught her kids how to love unconditionally and without judgment, and was the glue that held their family together. A constant, loving mother, grandmother, and friend who will never be forgotten.
To those who knew her, Susan was stoic, noble, generous, compassionate, and always had an abundance of love. Favorite pastimes include taking trips to Lake Crescent and the coast, combing the beach for agates, and watching the sunset across the sound behind the Olympic Mountains. Her laugh, warm smile, and stunning green eyes will always be remembered and missed.
Susan had an extremely special bond with her children and most recently, her first grandchild, Addison, was born in 2021. Susan is survived by her son, Zachary, and daughter Sophie, and Sophie’s husband, Tony, and their daughter Addison; her close friend, Bryan Garoutte; her brother, John Kerrigan, his wife, Sue Kerrigan, and their three daughters, Haley, Katrina, and Faith.
Susan is preceded in death by her husband, Bruce; sister, Patricia Kerrigan; and her son, Jacobain Nelson.
A celebration of life will be held in the spring. Donations can be made in Susan’s name for breast cancer research and or suicide prevention.