Susan Nileen Macumber, age 77, of Davenport, passed away on Saturday, January 27, 2024, at Genesis Medical Center, East Campus after a sudden cardiac event. Until that day, she had lived the last 14 years in the beloved family home she and her brothers grew up in.
The Visitation will be held from 4-6 pm on Thursday, February 1st, at Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, Davenport, where the family will greet friends, loved ones and anyone lucky enough to have known Sue. The Service will be held at 6pm in the same location, immediately following the Visitation. Loved ones are welcome to share their favorite Sue story at the Service.
Graveside Services will be held at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Davenport at 1pm on Friday, February 2nd. All are welcome to attend.
Sue was born on November 27, 1946, in Davenport, to Paul and Wilma (Minkler) Macumber, the first of three children. Her life was that of an old country song, encompassing true love for family, animals, poetry, adventure, music, and never meeting a stranger along the way.
Growing up, Sue was incredibly close to her great aunt Maude “Auntie” Prusia and raised in a house full of family. They would take summer vacations to Spirit Lake in Brainard, MN where she first started feeding squirrels, a beautiful act she continued through her final day. Her deep love for animals went beyond squirrels. In life, she raised many dogs and cats, some living to be 17 to 18 years old. She volunteered at the local Greyhound Rescue. She saved wounded bugs and birds. Sue’s name was synonymous with a love for all living creatures. Through life’s journey, Sue resided in at least 9 states, but her heart belonged to both Arizona and the green grass of home in Davenport, Iowa. All of this contributed to what Sue really was at heart – a poet. She had several poems published in local newspapers and poetry collections in the 1980’s.
Sue had a variety of professions throughout life. Those include candy striper, clerical worker at Sieg Company where her father worked, nurse’s aide and even as a technician in the QA Lab of a pork processing facility. Though, the job that meant the most to her and brought her the most joy was as a Job Coach at Empowering Abilities (f/k/a H.D.C.) in Davenport. For 16 years she assisted people with disabilities in finding jobs within the community. She helped the Participants fill applications, trained them, and transported them to and from work. She spent endless hours finding businesses that wished to employ individuals with alternative abilities. The sound of pride and accomplishment in her voice when she helped someone get a job was unforgettable. She was the only Job Coach to ever win Employee of the Year. She retired from Empowering Abilities in 2016.
Sue would tell you her favorite job and joy in life was being a mother. At which she was the absolute best. She devoted pure, unconditional love into being a mom. She and her daughter were like a team, getting through this world together, and they had a very special bond. Sue’s daughter was everything to her.
Sue did not waste retirement. She enjoyed yardwork, gardening, exploring Scott County Park, crafts, traveling, attending concerts, and going out with her girlfriends. She became reinvolved with Empowering Abilities as a volunteer Booster, and became the Vice President of the Boosters, so she could stay in touch with and help the Participants she loved so dearly. Her favorite retirement activity was simply spending time with her friends and family. Her door was always open, and no one ever left Sue’s feeling unhappy.
Sue was adventurous and embraced travel. Vacations included parasailing (which she loved), swimming, hiking, and getting to know the locals. She even visited a haunted hotel with her girlfriends. Last October, Sue and her daughter explored the seashores of old Mexico, cactus forests and mountainous terrain on the Sea of Cortez, the last of many beach and other types of vacations they enjoyed together.
Sue had a remarkable sense of humor; never afraid to laugh at herself or find amusement in the small things. Her bright smile and positive outlook were constant and contagious. She never missed an opportunity to brighten someone else’s day with a big smile, witty joke, or a shoulder to cry on. She will be deeply missed by so many people, and animals.
Survivors include her daughter, Melanie Nileen Pethtel (Kansas City); brothers, Richard (Kathy) Macumber (Silvis, IL), Steven (Kathie) Macumber (Gilbert, AZ) and several nieces, nephews and grand-nieces and nephews. She is also survived by many cousins, including Harleen (Jay) Brandon (Apache Junction, AZ), Henry Sanger (Tempe, AZ), Robert Macumber (Chicago), Judy Lewis (Palmer, AK), Lynn (Jim) Moore (Moline), Linda Macumber (Davenport) and Linda’s sons Ryan (Becky) Macumber (Minneapolis), and Tim (Jessica) Macumber (Davenport). Sue has six “mini-cousins” by Ryan and Tim who were like grandchildren to her and whom she loved very, very much. Her family brought her so much happiness.
Sue had asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Empowering Abilities (3402 Hickory Grove Rd. Davenport, IA 52806 https://empoweringabilities.org)