Susan Jackson van Ee1953 - 2023
On Friday, October 20, 2023 at 12:35 PM Sue Jackson van Ee, “Jackson” passed away peacefully, at her summer home overlooking the Straights of Mackinaw with her husband Chris van Ee and brother-in-law, Rene van Ee, holding her hand.
Sue Jackson van Ee (known as Jackson), born Susan Carol Jackson on October 14, 1953, at 12:50 AM to childhood sweethearts Elden Neal Jackson and Wanda Marilee Jackson (nee Shellenbarger) at Pennock Hospital in Hastings, Michigan outside of their home in Lake Odessa in Ionia County Michigan. Topping out at 6 lbs 12 oz, she didn’t get much bigger than that. She was the second child, after her brother Michael, and the family's first girl and she owned that fact. Her younger sisters Shellie and Sally came soon after to round out the family of six. Sue graduated from Lakewood High School in 1971 where she played basketball, softball, volleyball, and soccer, and was on the track team. She served as Secretary, Vice-president, and President of the Girl’s Athletic Association. Sue entered Eastern Michigan University where she majored in Occupational Therapy while playing starting point guard on the women's College Varsity Basketball team. As a Junior at Eastern Michigan, she was awarded “Outstanding Student” for her academic and athletic accomplishments and obtained her undergrad in 1975. During her later years at Eastern, she was introduced to a graduate student, Chris van Ee. Married on June 25, 1977, Sue and Chris started a whirlwind of a life as a true power couple before the term was popular. Sue and Chris moved to Georgia for the first time in the early 1980’s. Sue attended the University of Georgia for her master’s degree, and graduated in May 1983. During this time, Sue was managing a division at Athens Regional Hospital where she was affectionally given the name “YB”. IYKYK Quickly after receiving her master’s degree, and a move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sue was hired on as a Vice President at Camden Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey where she was an instrumental part in the development and implementation of the first all-encompassing physical rehabilitation center in the state of New Jersey that bridged the gap between physical and occupational therapy to best serve their patients. Sue and Chris welcomed their first child, a daughter, Mary Kathryn on May 27, 1983 and on April 9, 1986, welcomed their second daughter, Allison Rene’. In 1988, Sue and her crew made the move again to Atlanta, Georgia, and this time it was for good. In February 1989, they welcomed their third and final daughter Christina Ann “Nina”. Sue worked for Baptist North Medical Center where she again formed and headed the OT/PT division of the hospital and rose through the ranks to Hospital Administrator and was there till her retirement in 2003 becoming the stay-at-home mom that her Three daughters never knew they needed. Sue found delight in her garden but refused to call it anything other than “farming”. Traveling the world with her husband and on occasion her daughters, Sue was a frequent patron of any bakery, chocolatery or gelato stand where ever her travels took her. An avid lover of sports, her daughters would know what sport she was watching simply by her stance in front of the TV. Sue coached all three of her daughter’s basketball teams among the many other sports the girls were into. Not one for frills or material items, Chris would frequently go shopping for Sue so she would have new clothing. He does have a better eye for it. She cooked. Not great but every time she set the three-inch-thick cutting board on fire, Chris wouldn’t say a word and just ensure the flames were out and walk the board down to his shop, sand off the crispy parts and place it back in its spot. Jackson had a unique since of humor, as in she thought she was hilarious. She inherited this from her mother and all three of her daughters and one granddaughter have inherited it from her. We are proud to see the legacy live on. Jackson did not know how to quit. As a survivor of breast cancer, a major stroke and her first grand mal seizure all before the age of 50, she never let any of it slow her down. She may have put a dent in her avalanche truck a time or two but she did not do
it slowly. She operated at a capacity that even neurologist were in awe of. She was a woman woven from hard work and grit that came off as snarky but to her close circle, it was inspiring. If you were lucky enough to be in her circle, you knew. Jackson was tough. A tough that can only be explained by the stories of her childhood, the love and steady foundation she had with her wonderful parents and the early responsibilities of a child on a farm. She could do anything the boys could do, even if that meant running over a sheep at the age of four hauling hay bales from one pasture to the other. Strength was infused so deeply in her spirit that it found root in her bones. She admired
women that also exhibited this strength, Coach Pat Summit of the University of Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball Team, Celin Deon, Shania Twain and most importantly Reba. She was surrounded by strong women especially her sister Shelly, her sister-in-law’s Bonnie, Pam, Susan and Katie, cousin Joanna and so many aunts, cousins, nieces and granddaughters as well as her dearest best friend Pam Sessions. The world was better with her presence in it and those who had the opportunity to know her are blessed for it.
Jackson is survived by her loving and devoted husband of nearly 50 years Chris, three daughters who thought the world of her (even when we all knew she wanted sons), Kate (Jonathan) of Cumming, GA, Allison (Josh) of Canton, GA and Nina (Zach) of Woodstock, GA; 11 grandchildren she was so proud of, Noah, Noelle, Jack, Vaeh, Emma, Van, Penny, Charlie, Ryland, Gracie J and Grayson. Siblings Shellie (Ron), Michael (Susan) and Sally (Greg). Along with a gaggle of nieces and nephews, God-sons, aunts, uncles and cousins.
She is proceeded in death by her mother, father and son-in-law AJ Anderson (Kate).
She was the strongest woman I have ever met and she did not go without a fight. I want to thank my father who has been her primary caregiver these past couple of years. You truly made her life spectacular, all the way till the end. Also, to the wonderful Shirley Houle who was my mom’s nurse and friend in her finally years. The care you, your husband and son gave my parents is worth more than I can put into words. We would also like to say thank you to the amazing hospice staff of Cheboygan, Michigan. Your care was so appreciated in this last year.
In lieu of flowers, we ask you to donate to the Cheboygan County Humane Society of Michigan. Contact Us | Cheboygan County Humane Society (cheboyganhumanesociety.org)Send Condolences Back to Obituaries