Susan "Sue" Burnikel, 75, passed away on April 4, 2022, in Twin Falls Idaho with her family by her side.
Sue was born in Rumford Maine on May 11, 1946, to Steve and Mildred Mickeriz. Sue was an avid swimmer growing up, taking many trips to the lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. While in high school she was picked to attend the aquatic school which led to her first job as a lifeguard.
Sue graduated from Rumford High School in 1964 and then moved to Washington D.C. where she started working for the U.S. Government as a secretary. Sue's very first job was working in the White House for Ladybird Johnson. Her next assignment was working at the Water Gate business office followed by a position at the Pentagon for the Department of Navy.
While living in Washington D.C. Sue decided to take a weekend trip to Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, where she happened to meet a young Marine named Tom Burnikel celebrating his 22nd birthday. She would go on to marry Tom six months later on October 8, 1966, and spend 55 years of marriage together.
In June of 1968 Sue gave birth to her first son Marc in Washington D.C. before moving to Twin Falls, Idaho in 1970 where Sue had her second son Brian in November. Sue was very active in her two sons' upbringing before returning to the workforce where she worked in various capacities around the Magic Valley.
Sue enjoyed volunteering as a Cub Scout leader, with the American Red Cross, as well as with the local school board.
Sue retired on her 62nd birthday and began to enjoy many family vacations. She often spoke of her family trips to Butchart Gardens in Vancouver Canada and her all-inclusive vacation stay on the island of Isla Mujeres in Mexico where she fulfilled her lifelong dream of swimming with dolphins.
Seeing her sons and making memories meant the world to Sue. The highlights of her travel were visiting her son Marc in sunny Florida and the wedding of her son Brian in tropical Maui where she fearlessly parasailed.
As a die-hard New England Patriots fan, Sue enjoyed taking summer trips back to Maine both before and after her retirement. She was able to see her mom and family. Sue also enjoyed spending some winter months in Yuma Arizona. Her most frequent trips were her journeys across the southern border to Jackpot Nevada.
Sue's favorite place was the beach. After many wheelbarrow loads of sand, she was able to enjoy beach time in her very own backyard that her husband Tom had created for her.
Sue is preceded in death by her father Steve, mother Mildred, and sister Sally. She is survived by her husband Tom, son Marc, son Brian, daughter-in-law Candace, and sister Pam.
Sue especially will be remembered for her larger-than-life personality, her vivacious spirit, and for being a second mom to so many of her sons' friends. Some of Sue's favorite moments were spending time with the many Burnikel family members, their children, and grandchildren. She was always engaged in their many activities and supported them in person when possible.
The family would like to thank the Twin Falls Paramedics and EMTs as well the St. Luke's medical team who provided exceptional care.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 9th, at 1 p.m. at the Rosenau Funeral Home in Twin Falls.