Susie Frances Nelson

Susie Frances Nelson (Gale) was born in DeKalb, Texas on November 10, 1923, to Zeddie Newton Nelson & Usrley Bell Moore Nelson.  She passed away on March 13, 2020, at her home in Safford, Arizona with family by her side.  Susie was the 5th child of 6 siblings and also the youngest of 4 sisters.

When Susie was 14, her family moved to New Mexico where her father worked in a sawmill.  A couple of years later, they moved to Duncan, Arizona and later settled in Franklin, Arizona.  She met the love of her life, Ira Arvon “Butch” Gale while in Franklin and they were married on February 5, 1940, in Lordsburg, New Mexico. They were blessed with 4 children; Sarah Beth, Joseph Bart, Ira Keith, and Charlotte Lee.

Susie was a stay at home Mom and enjoyed cooking, sewing and taking care of her family.  Whenever someone came to visit, the first thing she wanted to know was if they had eaten or wanted something to drink.  She always wanted to feed her guests.  Susie & Butch loved to dance and joined a square dance club and it was nothing for them to travel all over the state of Arizona an into parts of New Mexico to attend a square dance festival.  Another of their favorites was the western dances at Apache Grove.

Susie loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time camping, fishing, and hunting.  She also loved to travel.  She and Butch made several trips to different parts of the country, from California to Florida, and Mexico to Alaska.  One of her cherished trips was when she took her 4 children and their spouses, her brother and niece on a 6 week trip across the country.  They traveled from Arizona to Washington DC, saw the Statue of Liberty, Niagra Falls, all of the Great Lakes, Mt Rushmore and lots more.

Susie was a very active member of the VFW Auxillary in Thatcher, Arizona.  She held several offices and attended all meetings and conventions.  She loved selling raffle tickets, playing bingo, and sewing.  She made hundreds of lap quilts for the VA Hospital in Tucson.  She also was Mrs. Santa Clause for the children at Christmas parties.

She is survived by her 4 children; Sarah Elkins, Bart (Roberta Gale, Keith (Beverly) Gale, Charlotte (Buddy) Reynolds, 11 grandchildren, numerous great and great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

Susie was preceded in death by her husband Butch Gale, her parents, all of her siblings, 1 grandson, 1 great-grandson and 1 son-in-law.

A memorial service for Susie will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2020, at the VFW Post located at 3481 W. 8th Street in Thatcher, Arizona with a visitation at 10:00 a.m. and a Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m. A luncheon will be held at noon following the services and the burial will be in the Franklin Cemetery at 2:00 p.m.

Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory.  Online condolences may be extended at