Susan Anne Gelvin

Susan Anne Gelvin, our darling daughter, was born in Denver, CO on May 28, 1983. The joy that she brought into our lives is immeasurable. Susan’s childhood was spent in Lawrence where she brought delight into the lives of grandparents, Laskowski and Gelvin.

She attended Broken Arrow Elementary School, South Junior High and Lawrence High School from which she graduated in 2001. She attended both KSU and KU graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies and a Master’s Degree with Honors in Urban Planning. During her career she worked for the Doña Anna County Government in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and since 2013 for the City of Topeka’s Planning Department. She took great pride in her work and her ability to communicate with the various community groups and individuals in preparing neighborhood plans for their improvement. Her stories of meetings and people were a delight to us.

Her passions in life were family, horses, crafts and camping. It was during her most recent trip to Rocky Mountain National Park that she became injured. She was always a champion of anyone who needed help or healing from being a regular blood donor to ultimately becoming an organ donor, Susan constantly strived to make the world a better place. But now, she is together again with Grandma, Big Ski, and her beloved cats, Tigger and Fluffy. The extent of her good heart and love of life cannot be described.
She belonged to the American Planning Association and was a Life Member of the NRA. She attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Church since returning to Topeka.

Survivors include her parents Joann and Ralph Gelvin, Jr.; her brother, Matthew Gelvin; her grandparents, Donna and Ralph Gelvin, Sr.; aunts, Barbara Kosalka, Carolyn Jensen, Carol Laskowski, Sharylyn Lacey; uncles, Charles and Mike Laskowski, Stan Kosalka; and eight cousins. Her grandparents, Charles “Big Ski” and Anna Laskowski preceded her in death.

Mass of Christian Burial for Susan will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 30, 2016 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.

A Rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. with a visitation to follow until 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 29th at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.

Memorial donations can be sent to the Topeka Rescue Mission or St. Joseph’s Germanfest Fund and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

8 Condolences

  1. paula on September 26, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    I never met your precious Susan but know wonderful things about her through my good friend, Linda Bilyeu of Orlando, FL. Linda emailed me to tell me of this sudden and tragic loss. Her heart was so heavy, I could feel her pain. I know she only knew Susan for a short time but had already learned to love her. I could understand what a special, compassionate & giving person Susan was.
    I am saddened by your loss. Please know that even as a stranger, I can keep you in my thoughts and wish you healing.
    May you be comforted by your beautiful memories and the love you will always hold for your sweet Susan. My Sympathy, Paula

  2. Nick Pappas on September 27, 2016 at 9:58 am

    I knew Susan from our masters program at KU. I worked with her on a few projects and can attest to the quality and care she devoted to her work and the joy she brought to those around her. It was always a hope of mine that we would work together again. The world is definitely a darker place without Susan, especially since she devoted her life as a planner to improving it. My condolences to the family.

  3. Kathryn on September 27, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Dear Joann & Ralph,
    Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you. Susan was such a special person, such a blessing to all she met.
    With love.
    Lars & Kat

  4. Todd Seymour on September 27, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    JoAnn and Ralph
    I am saddened by your loss…You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Todd Seymour

  5. Todd Shuford and family on September 27, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Dear Joann and Ralph,
    Please know our dearest thoughts and sympathies are with you and the rest of Susan’s family. We live on Wabash Ave. across the street from where she used to live. I always considered Susan a kind, caring person and know a person like her will be missed very much. I’m very sorry for your loss and hope and pray that the Lord will comfort all of you in this time of grief.

  6. Carl and Joyce Burkhead on September 28, 2016 at 5:50 am

    It is with great sadness that we read about Susan and the grief which your family is experiencing. We cannot relate to this loss except to say that our hope is in Jesus and His promise that He would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, in times like this. Our prayers join many, many others who care for you. For sure, a great part of this promised hope is that you will see Susan again as you place your trust in Jesus. Lots of love, Carl and Joyce.

  7. Emily Mosher on September 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    I am so sad to hear this news! Susan was a friend at Lawrence High School. We both loved horses. It is my great loss that I did not keep up with her in college and beyond. She was always kind and the world is better for having had her in it. I am so sorry to all who are missing her now.

  8. Stephanie LaRue on September 30, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I am truly sorry for your loss. Since being with the City of Topeka, I did not have the pleasure of knowing Susan, but she must have been a wonderful person.
    Please know my thoughts are with you and I hope you can find a measure of comfort in this verse: Philippians 4:6, 7 – “Do not be anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.”

Leave a Condolence