Susan Carlson

October 20, 1956October 10, 2013

Susan, a resident of Auburn for 23 years, was born in Sidney NE on October 20, 1956 to C.G. and Lois Carlson of Chappell, NE. As a young child, Susan's musical talent was evident, which led her to a lifelong dedication to teaching and musical performance. After graduating from Chappell High School in 1974, she attended Bethany College and graduated with her BA from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She attended the University of Arizona in Tucson and later received her M.M. in piano performance from California State University in Sacramento. As an accomplished musician, she enjoyed working in a multitude of musical endeavors such as teaching private piano lessons in her home, being keyboardist, organist and accompanist for various recitals, musical theater productions, professional groups and the Auburn Symphony Orchestra. She was also the music director for the Foothill Center for Spiritual Living in Auburn and taught in private and public school settings as music director and inspirational teacher during her career. She was a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, PEO, Music Teacher's Association of California and member of the Foothill Center for Spiritual Living. Susan is best remembered as a spunky, fun-loving, creative sincere person who loved her family and friends. Her zest for life, striving to look at positive possibilities in every situation, and quest for creating beauty wherever she could, was her mission. She loved co-creating with others and will be greatly missed by her loving husband, friends, family, students and fellow musicians. She made her peaceful transition on October 10, 2013 in her home in Auburn Calif., surrounded by loving family and close friends. She is survived by her devoted husband, Jim Nelson, her brother, James Carlson and sister-in-law, Pat Carlson, of Julesburg, Colo., and her sisters Janet Carlson of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Louise Geisert of Julesburg, Colo. Susan's surviving nieces and nephews include Kristen Arnold of Greeley Colo., Marla Jones of Colorado Springs, David Carlson of Julesburg Colo., Jeff Carlson of Denver and Shaun Geisert of Fort Collins Colo., Travis Geisert of Moorcroft Wyo., and Micheal Geisert of Cheyenne Wyo. She was considered "the Greatest Aunt" to her great-nieces and nephews, Kenton, Addison, Lauryn, Logan, Kamryn, Dalton, Nolan, Jaxon, Ryen and Brenna. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Foothill Center for Spiritual Living at 10:30 a.m.. in the DeWitt Center, 2945 1st St. Auburn CA 95603 on October 26, 2013. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to Music Dept. of Foothill Center for Spiritual Living 2945 1st St. Auburn CA 95603, or The Auburn Symphony P.O. Box 74 Auburn CA 95604.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, October 26, 2013

Susan Carlson

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November 8, 2013

Susan and I were friends for many years as well as co-piano players. I have lots of good memories of Susan. My condolences to her family.

Beth Marr

November 8, 2013

A beautiful person who brought so much good to all she knew. My prayers go to her family and friends. She was a shining light for so many.

Amanda Gardner

October 29, 2013

Susan was a beautiful, talented person and I was so sad when I heard this news. She was such a musical inspiration to many ... My heart goes out to Jim and the rest of their family

Sally Gardner

October 29, 2013

Susan played an enormous part in teaching my two daughters, Jaclyn and Amanda, the love of music; something that will last them a lifetime.

Linda Schureman-Staszek

October 28, 2013

"Susan has departed Her Earthly Journey...Yet Her Radiant Angel Lives in God's Heaven Forever...And, Tho not Seen, Her Graciously Silent Spirit Remains Alive Near Her Whole Family on Earth Smiling..So Feel Her Smile Thru God's Reflection...Godspeed..XO!"

Gregg Isett

October 24, 2013

My thoughts and prayers are with you Jim and Susan's family. She touched so many lives both young and young at heart.


October 23, 2013

Carlson family during this time of sorrow draw close to God and he will draw close to you through prayer. (James 4: 8) I would like to extend my condolences to the family during this time of sorrow.

Sarah Vargas

October 23, 2013

I miss her so much. She was an awesome piano teacher. I hope she can hear me whenever I play a song on the piano. Love Sarah Vargas

Donner Mine Music Camp

October 22, 2013

Susan Carlson was part of the Donner Mine Music Camp extended family. She graced us with her musical talent year after year. It was always an honor to hear her play. We will greatly miss Susan and send our condolences to her family.

In honor of Susan, DMMC has made a donation in her honor to Charity Music.

Lana Kerk McCoy

October 22, 2013

My mind is bursting with great memories of my childhood friend...riding bikes,digging snow tunnels for our Man from UNCLE secret headquarters, mowing/trimming the Carlson acreage, Girl Scouts, and lots and lots of piano practicing and later duets and duos and competitions and our little rock band (The Pentagon). You are a huge part of my childhood memories and I will miss you dear friend.Wishing comfort for your hubby and family and friends. Forever rockin' the heavens dear Susan!