In Memory of




Obituary for Susan J. Kinkelaar

Kinkelaar, Susan J. age 73, of Kennebunk, died peacefully on March 23, 2023, at Avita of Wells after a five-year journey with Alzheimer’s disease. Susan’s greatest love was her family and she spent her entire life in the service of taking care of others. She was a mom to two children, tirelessly advocating for special needs children like her son and at the barn as the biggest cheerleader as a horse show mom for her daughter. She was overjoyed to help raise her grandchildren and couldn’t wait to take them on adventures and cultivate their love of wildlife, the outdoors, and Maine. She relished her visits with her sisters in the Pacific Northwest.

Susan’s trade was nursing. After growing up in Ohio and graduating from nursing school, she worked as an RN in Trauma, Intensive Care, and Coronary Care units around the country. She made lifelong friendships with her sister nurses in Philadelphia; she earned her BSN from the University of San Francisco and continued nursing there and through moves to St. Louis, Fort Bragg, and El Paso. When her family moved to Maine, she continued to work and volunteer service to enhance the lives of others.

Susan loved to travel and went on adventures with AMC Maine and many travels with friends and family. She loved music and could be found dancing or singing along anytime. She had a passion for animals, loving all dogs and never missing a chance to tell you about her first horse, Wally. She spent time quilting, creating beautiful blankets for the children in her life, and her homes were adorned with her handsome wall hangings. She loved the quiet of Islesboro, Maine, having built a summer house next to her parents in the 80’s and spending as much time there as possible, making it a sacred spot for the entire Kinkelaar family. She was a prolific reader and loved discussions with her Sanford-area book club for over 20 years. She hosted a grand Thanksgiving for friends every year and all were welcome. She was modest, classy, reliable, unassuming, and even-keeled, yet she was fiercely independent, capable, and brave. Coming out later in life, she found her community and her chosen family - she made her home in Kennebunk and enjoyed her best years with a great group of friends, throwing beach parties, bowling, celebrating each other, eating and drinking and laughing, in Seacoast Maine, the way life should be.

Susan was predeceased by her parents, Robert Emmett and Dorothy Jean (Given) Kinkelaar. She leaves behind her partner Debbie Marathon of Kennebunk, Maine; her children, Anne Meade (Brielle) of Lexington, Massachusetts and Michael Meade of Scarborough, Maine; her sisters, Carol “Sparky” Skully and Patricia Kinkelaar of Graham, Washington; and the lights of her life, grandkids Ellie and Emmett Meade.

Friends are invited to visit with the family on Tuesday, March 28 from 4 to 6 PM at Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME. A beach party celebration of Susan’s life will follow this summer. For details about Susan’s Celebration and full obituary, visit

Contributions in Susan’s honor may be made to the Animal Welfare Society, PO Box 43, West Kennebunk, ME 04094, or to the Appalachian Mountain Club, 10 City Square, Suite 2, Boston, MA 02129.