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Susan Sellheim Beanblossom, treasured family matriarch, a resident of Lake Forest, IL, passed away peacefully in Naples, FL on April 22 at the age of 80. Known as Mimi by her grandchildren, she was deeply loved and adored for her fun-loving spirit, generosity, and “can-do” attitude about life.
A native of Detroit who grew up in Grosse Pointe, Sue was an only child born to Ruth and William Sellheim in 1942. Sue spent her early years playing with her cousins and enjoying the small pleasures of life with her extended family. One of her favorite activities was spending time with her grandma in the kitchen. It was here that Sue’s love of cooking was nurtured. She learned to perfect everything from her legendary hollandaise sauce to her most famous German cut-out cookies for Christmas. Sue was a natural entrepreneur, and as a young child she could be found pulling a wagon of Coca-Cola to sell to thirsty golfers with infectious enthusiasm. Like her father, she loved business and idea creation. Throughout her life, Sue never lost that entrepreneurial spirit and was a proud small business owner and a successful real estate agent in Lake Forest.
Sue graduated from the University of Michigan and never missed an opportunity to cheer her favorite team with a proud exclamation of “Go Blue!” Her success as a student led her to take a job in Chicago where she eventually met the love of her life, Bill Beanblossom. Sue was a spontaneous young woman and always up for anything, so when Bill asked her to go on a canoeing trip in the rain she agreed without hesitation. A little more than a year later, Bill and Sue were married and began to establish the roots of their new life together.
Motherhood was Sue’s most treasured gift. She and Bill welcomed three children, twins Brad and Christie, and younger brother Blake. She had an open-door policy, and it was typical for loads of neighborhood kids and friends to spontaneously congregate in the Beanblossom home. She was always ready to add additional seats at the dinner table and had the gift of making people feel welcome. As everyone knew, Sue kept a freezer full of ice cream and an endless supply of frozen Girl Scout cookies ready to share. Eating and serving dessert for breakfast was her personal favorite. She created an inviting home, and she enjoyed everything from casual entertaining to elegant gatherings set with her favorite china patterns and special stemware. An elegant desert was always waiting, and no one made a better homemade chocolate sauce or Baked Alaska than Sue.
As a mother, Sue taught the importance of hard work, perseverance, love, and faith with regular reminders to live life sunny side up with a smile. Her faith was central in her life, and she loved attending regular bible studies and Sunday church services at Christ Church. Sue loved to vacation on Marco Island, FL and it was there that she enjoyed many of her favorite family memories including long walks along the beach, dolphin watching, and legendary late-night card games. While Sue was a serious hearts competitor, she never found the same luck playing Old Maid. She couldn’t resist laughing every time the Old Maid landed in her hand, which provoked uncontrollable laughter around the table, especially among the young ones. She was always ready for fun and found it in many places, but most especially surrounded by her family.
Living in the Chicago area, Sue and Bill developed many close friendships through their children, neighborhoods, and at Exmoor Country Club. One special friend group fondly named, “the Scotland group” still exists today, and many others blessed their lives through their steadfast companionship and loyalty. Sue loved to travel and play golf, and certainly never missed an opportunity to shop. Much to Bill’s chagrin, Sue was undoubtedly a “power shopper” and loved everything from antiques to her favorite Lily Pulitzer shops.
Of all that she did and enjoyed, Sue found the most joy in being known as “Mimi” to her seven grandchildren. She was happiest surrounded by family and relished in the joy of trips to Sweets for ice cream, sitting poolside on Marco Island, and watching homegrown plays created in her basement. She had many traditions with her grandchildren like annual shoe shopping, Easter egg dying, seashell polishing, celebratory lunch dates, and holiday shopping days in the city. Sue cherished her grandchildren and specially celebrated each of them. Sue lived a wonderful life and is deeply missed by her family. We know that she is at home in heaven and her spirit lives with us each day. She was preceded in death by both her parents, William and Ruth Sellheim. She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Bill, children: Brad(Lara), Christie, and Blake; seven grandchildren: Kenleigh, Caroline, Brooke, Amy, Ali, Schon, and Jonah.
In lieu of flowers please donate to Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago