Suzanne Lee Pilgrim Kittelson, of Golden, Colo. and formerly of Decorah, drowned in Lake Pend Oreille near Sandpoint, Idaho while vacationing with family Wednesday, June 24, 2020. She was 63.

A memorial service for family will be held in Decorah. The service will be recorded and available afterwards on YouTube on the Good Shepherd Decorah channel. Friends are invited to join the family at the Whalen Cabin pavilion in Phelps Park Tuesday, July 7, at noon. A lunch will be served. Masks will be provided and distancing is encouraged to keep everyone safe.

The firstborn of six daughters to Dr. Donald and Virginia (Fuhrman) Pilgrim, Suzanne was born June 4, 1957, in Madison, Wis.

She attended Decorah Public Schools, graduating from Decorah Senior High in 1976. Suzanne earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in psychology, from Luther College, in 1984.

In 1975, Suzanne married Randal Kittelson of Decorah, son of Carleton and Sandra Kittelson. They were blessed with two sons, Jeremy Anders and Joshua Randal.

Suzanne was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for her first 28 years and served as church secretary for five years. She was a preschool teacher in Garland, Texas. In Cedar Rapids, she embarked on her career working with homeless and disadvantaged youth. She served as a Supervised Apartment Living Counselor for Hillcrest Family Services, and then for many years at Foundation 2 as shelter director and program coordinator and later as Youth and Family Services director.

In 2002, Suzanne and Randy moved to Colorado. She worked for many years serving homeless youth with Urban Peak in Denver, as housing and case manager supervisor. She worked as a housing assistant at Bayaud Enterprises, and most recently as a veteran specialist, serving homeless veterans with Volunteers of America of Colorado in Denver.

Suzanne was a member of Lutheran and Presbyterian churches, most recently at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Lakewood, Colo., where she served on the Church Council and Mission Committee.

Suzanne adored family, especially her sisters, sons and grandsons. She spoiled many dogs over the years. She loved to travel and had a fondness for the Rocky Mountains. She enjoyed making fairy gardens and decorating the house with her “little pretties.” She enjoyed evenings in her pajamas sitting in front of the fireplace in the home she made “cozy.”

She is survived by her husband of 45 years, the Reverend Randy Kittelson of Golden, Colo,; her sons Jeremy and his partner Heather Schwede of Denver, Colo. and Joshua and his wife Allison (Meier) of Battle Ground, Wash.; grandsons: Bodin Randal, Jack Steven, Gunnar Joshua, Ryder Lee, Abel Jagger and Callan Carleton of Battle Ground, Wash.; her sisters: Kim Huinker and her husband, Mike, of Decorah; Paula Jewell and her husband, Bobby, of Decorah; Julie Hjerleid and her husband, Gavin, of Mallard; Mary Pilgrim Helzer of Fayetteville, Ark.; Martha Pilgrim and her husband, Joshua Brown; and a legion of nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

Suzanne was preceded in death by her parents, Donald and Virginia Pilgrim.

Resurrection awaits.

Memorials may be given to: Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 701 Iowa Avenue, Decorah, IA 52101; or Volunteers of America Colorado, 2660 Larminer Street, Denver, CO 80205. goodshepherddecorah.org, voacolorado.org.