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Sue Ellen (Benedict) Laxdal

1942 – 2023

Sue Ellen (Benedict) Laxdal, age 81 passed away at her home in Palmetto Hall, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina on September 11th, 2023.


Sue was born in Ionia, MI and grew up in Lyons, MI.  Sue later moved to Medicine Lake, Minnesota, where she lived for 30 years.


Sue received her bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University in MN and went on to get her master’s degree in organizational development from Pepperdine University.  Sue worked 10 years as a management facilitator for the Department of Administration at the State of Minnesota and worked as a consultant for many years.


Sue was often described as being a kind and generous soul by her friends, family, and coworkers.


In addition to being a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, friend and mentor, Sue volunteered with Global Volunteers, an organization that she passionately served for many years.  Through her time with Global Volunteers, she traveled to more than 17 countries and touched countless lives as a volunteer, team leader and Board member.  Sue also worked with the Institute of Cultural Affairs in Chicago for several years.


Sue loved to spend time with her husband Steve, drink tea, read, golf, play bridge, and to visit with family and friends.


Sue was preceded in death by her parents, Jane and Albert Benedict, siblings Judi Vanderveen and Alan Benedict, and nephew Scott Fell.  She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Steve Laxdal, daughter Wendy (Brian) Johnson, son Chris (Kimberly) Laxdal and grandchildren Stefanie, Dylan (Katie) and Samantha (Kyle) Johnson, Kaylie (Daniel) Reyes, and Kassidy and Chase (fiancé Alicia) Laxdal, and one great-grandchild, Orion Reyes.

Dear Beret and Paul, With you we share the loss of a dear colleague and a very special friend to you through the years.  You and Virginia and Sue were a fearsome trio.  Nothing was impossible for you women from Minnesota.   You gave hope and courage to so many of us.  I can only imagine the loss it is for you.


When I read Sue’s maiden name of Benedict, the song came to mind from John’s college concert choir which ended their tour performances:  Lutkins’ benediction The Lord Bless you and Keep You  with the Sevenfold Amens.  John carried the bass part which was made it more dear to my heart. The Lutheran National Choir sings it in the link below.  I like their image of Light into Light.


We give thanks for the amazing life that Sue lived and that we were able to share a small part.  I never get in a car for a trip without thinking about her story of getting caught in a snowstorm on a Town Meeting foray and having to walk in the snow for help without benefit of boots or heavy coat.


John and I were fortunate to meet with Sue and Steven in Hilton Head several years ago when we visited with the Doves wintering there then.  We were intrigued about their work with Age-ing and Sage-ing.  I’ve thought of that work in conjunction with The Last Chapter work that is going on.

Our care and sympathy are with you.

          ~~  Lynda and John



Dear everyone on the list, I am very sad to hear of the death of Sue Laxdal. For me, a ‘foreigner’ I always found colleagues from Minnesota were a little mysterious and very gracious. Sue to me was vivacious, and charming. I remember being in Minneapolis ( not sure why)- I suppose for a Town Meeting. I just remember the energy of the people around me. Vale Sue With love from

          ~~  Isobel Bishop


Dear all, I too grieve the passing of dear Sue.  On my first trip to India for a Maharashtra Month in about 1978, I had the wonderful treat of traveling with Sue, Virginia, and Lee Early — all more seasoned travelers than myself.  Our flight was delayed for a day and we spent a night in NYC.  This gave them more time to pass along their pearls of traveling wisdom.  My life was transformed by that Maharashtra Month which eventually turned into a 4 year assignment in India.  Sue, Virginia, Lee — all had a role in that highlight of my ICA experiences. In loving memory,

          ~~  Nancy Trask


A 53 year friendship with Sue is treasured.

          ~~  Beret Griffith