Marilyn “Sue” Pipher

Published 8:32 pm Monday, April 8, 2024

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July 14, 1939-April 6, 2024

Marilyn “Sue” Pipher Bevill died at home April 6, 2024 after a life full of cooking, baking and gardening, a rewarding career as a nurse’s aide, and enjoying loving, hands-on relationships with her six grandchildren, all of whom she adored.

Until she was struck by a series of illnesses that began just months ago, Sue could run circles around those her age and much younger. She loved her “little house” in South Bend, a villa that she and her husband, Bill, moved into five years ago. She kept it immaculate, buzzed around in the kitchen, which she decked out in a lemon-yellow motif, and tended to lots of flowers, a small vegetable garden and gobs of birdhouses and feeders outside.

Her mental faculties never diminished. Sue was a woman who called situations as she saw them. It could be off putting to some, but those closest to her appreciated her frankness. Even in her 80s, she had the ability to impart wisdom and advice relevant to almost any circumstance.

A nurse’s aide at the former Pawating Hospital in Niles for 20 years, Sue had a strong work ethic. She took pride in caring for her patients. During a month-long December 2023 stint at a rehab center in South Bend, she often remarked about how the profession has changed and wasn’t shy about telling the CNAs there how things used to be when patients received lots of hands-on care, including daily head-to-toe baths.

Sue was born July 14, 1939, the youngest of four kids, to Hazel (Taylor) Doogan and Roy Pipher in Cale, Ind. Her family moved to Michigan when she was a teenager. She graduated from Niles High School in 1958, was a gifted artist and craftsperson, and excelled at athletics, playing basketball in high school. She met her husband, Bill, in 1954. They were introduced by a mutual friend and married in 1960. They would have celebrated 64 years together this August. They built a home together on West Park Drive in Niles in the ‘70s and remained there until moving to their “little house” in South Bend in 2019.

Sue is survived by her husband, Bill, children Melinda (Chris Fielding) Konrath and daughter Kim (Jay Sieradzki) Kilbride, along with grandchildren Liam Kilbride, Kian Kilbride, Anna Konrath, Eilis Kilbride, Isabelle Fielding and Olivia Fielding. She’s also survived by her sister, Betty Echols, and special nieces and nephews Debra Davis, Duane Chastain, Linda Lewellen, Dean Mills and Jeanette Kessinger. A very special sister-in-law, Mary Clemans, survives, as well, along with high school friends Shirley Bell, Bonnie Huffman and many others.

She was preceded in death by numerous friends and relatives, including her sister, Beulah Quackenbush, brother, Ermal Pipher, and special niece, Barbara Newkirk. Sue’s best friend, Betty Flick, also preceded her in death. They’re undoubtedly laughing, playing euchre and drinking wine in heaven now.

A celebration of life service will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 13, at Palmer Funeral Home’s Bubb Chapel, 3910 North Main St., Mishawaka, with a visitation with the family one hour before the service. Refreshments will be served at the funeral home after the service. Per her wishes, Sue has been cremated. We think she’d love it if those who are able to come wear something yellow or cheery in her memory.

We, Sue’s family, will desperately miss her and always be inspired by her love of flowers and food, grit and determination, and her genuine, no-BS personality. Her legacy will endure beyond her body, which wore out far too early. When a difficult situation arises in our lives, we’ll think to ourselves, “What would mom/grandma/Sue do?”