Passed away in a tragic accident at home on May 9, 2011. “Susie” or “Jan”, was born on February 23, 1958 in Jackson County, Kansas City, Missouri. She was the daughter of Finis Keith Nash (1929-2005) and Rosemary Kathryn (Schmitt) 1930-1995. Her maternal grandparents were Joseph Mathias Schmitt (1901-1966) and Lillian Kathryn (Lyman) (1907-1982) of Alexandria, South Dakota and paternal grandparents were Herman Arthur Nash 1898-1962) and Iva May (Baker) 1894-1987) of Macon, Missouri.
Jan, or Susie, was raised on the family farm outside of Tonganoxie, Kansas and enjoyed exploring the hills and ponds with her brother Brian. As Brian was blind, she would spend many, many hours reading to Brian and leading him around in and out of trouble. She graduated from Bashor (Kansas) High School in 1976 and worked various jobs including a nursing home, a donut factory, waitressing in a Mexican restaurant and clerking in scary liquor store. Her dreams of going out west came true in 1980 when she went to work as a ranch hand on the Box “C” Ranch in Lewistown, Montana.
It was in Great Falls, Montana that she met Mike Robertson who was passing through going to Canada. After an airmail courtship, she married Mike at Our Lady of the Plains Catholic Church on August 15, 1981 in Grassy Plains, British Columbia. Immediately after the wedding they built and operated the Twodot Meat Shop in their land on Uncha Lake Road, which they operated for 5 years. During this time she also drove their own gravel truck for 6 years, she bull-cooked at East Ootsa Logging Camp, planted trees for Don Bahen and picked tons of pinecones for the Ministry of Forests. She also maintained 2 large gardens and grew numerous vegetables and flowers as well as planting hundreds of spruce and pine trees that you can see along Uncha Lake Road past the 6 kilometer sign. Susie and Mike also completed many fencing contracts for the Ministries of Forests and Highways from Ootsa Lake, to Richardson Lake to Six Mile and Hungry Hill to Houston and all the way to the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Susie had an incredible work ethic and could out work most men. Even though she was only 5’ 4”, she was very strong and had stamina of a work horse. She loved anything of the earth and cared deeply for the earth and all creatures big and small. She was a healer, a seeker, a dreamer. She was a fusser and was always worrying about other people and animals. She would sit for hours and watch the night sky looking for things that were fleeting or out of place. Susie was a very talented seamstress. She made all he own curtains and recently completed 25 moo-moo’s for her friends and family. Every year she was excited to scout for morel mushrooms and later visit her favorite berry patches picking buckets of wild strawberries, raspberries and her favorite huckleberries.
In 1994 Susie and Mike sold their old place and moved to the adjacent property on Mollice Lake, which they called the Diamond Teardrop. There she planted another huge garden with flowers throughout the property. She also helped harvest the hay each year. She cleared an opening on the shore of Mollice Lake and installed a dock with a diving board where she would spend her favorite summer moments swimming, sunning and studying the lake and everything in on and around it.
She was extremely proud of her work and loved to show the place to visitors, always making sure they had a box of vegetables and jars of preserves and canned food from her garden. She maintained a huge larder in the basement ‘coldroom’ where she stocked enough food to last maybe a year. She was prepared for anything. Because she was partial to all animals, she honored her cats and dogs. Among them were Choteau, Charlie, Tittle, Stoney, Pard, Lou and her favorite cats: Two and OJ. She fussed over her birds and kept them fed all winter long and gladly welcomed the red-winged black birds every spring. She had clouds of hummingbirds keeping her busy making sugar water.
She had amazing intuition and foresight. She was very spiritual and studied different realms of the world and the universe. She saw things that others didn’t see. She heard sounds that no one else could hear. She worked hard wondering about the why’s, ifs and becauses. Susie picked up a paintbrush in 2007 and created fabulous acrylic land and seascapes and her favorite of a school of fishes. He last painting was of a vast constellation somewhere deep in the bowels of the universe, of swirling stars and planets. Susie was a natural musician and played banjo, guitar, mandolin and fiddle. She could play any instrument and especially liked the piano. She was shy to play in public because she didn’t want people to fuss over her. From time to time she would write short lines of poetry. She was a voracious reader and loved to read everything from history, to romance novels to spiritual philosophy. She recently started reading Edgar Caycee.
In 2009, her friend John Hummell helped with her genealogy and she was thrilled to learn that she was descended directly from English, French and Scottish royalty, including Alfred the Great, and even found her way back past Adam. She forever after wanted to be called Princess Susie.
She leaves a legacy of caring and compassion for others. Folks will never forget to remember Susie. Susie is survived by her husband Mike Robertson, two brothers, Scott (Gwen) Nash of Spotsylvania, Virginia and Brian (Sue) Nash and Evelyn of Edwards, Missouri; three sisters Venita (Phil) Nash of Billings, Montana; Beth (Mike) Winne and Heather of Shawnee, Kansas; and Amelda (Cris) Self and Alexandria of Smithville, Missouri, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.
A Celebration of Life was held at the Grassy Plains Community Hall on May 13, 2011. She would have been humbled by the huge turnout of friends, family and neighbors that gathered to remember her. Everyone left after picking out a rock from Cheslatta Lake, as a keepsake to remember Susie’s passion for life and the environment. Another memorial was held at her sister Amelda home on May 21, 2011 in Smithville, Missouri. At her request, her ashes will be scattered to four winds across the lands she held so dear, from Mollice Lake, to the Pacific Ocean, to the Montana mountains to her Kansas frog ponds in Tonganoxie. Rest in Peace our precious Princess.
Susie was a teacher. She used to always say that you can’t understand the environment unless you understand the ground you walk on. Many times she would take visitors and ask them to sit on the ground. She’d look at the ground and challenge the person to look close at a square foot of ground and count how many species of plants and grasses there were, how many different rocks and pebbles they could see, how many bugs and ants there were. She asked the person to wonder how many people in the past had trod that spot, or had sat down and dreamed or told a story. She’d do this on any ground, in the bush, or even many times at the lake or on the shore. She’d say once you understand how special this one square foot of ground is, maybe people would respect the earth just a little more.