top of page

Susan Kelly
CIBA Director, CIBA Queen/Ambassador Program Director, Mom, Friend

Susan Kelly.jpg

Tragically, our beloved Susan Kelly, a CIBA director, as well as the Queen and Ambassador program director, passed away last week after sustaining injuries in an automobile accident in Des Moines.  Susan not only was passionate about bees and honey, she was a good friend to many, and on my top 3 list for Best Mom of the Year.


I will always think of Susan as a vivacious, generous, loving woman that would do anything for anyone if they were in need.  I will personally miss her vibrant personality as I continue to serve on CIBA's leadership team.  She was typically the first person to volunteer for whatever the need, and the last one to go home at a function as she cared for the needs of the event.  She will be irreplaceable as our organization's Queen and Ambassador director, and as a result of all of her efforts, our program is the best that Iowa has to offer.  

Visitation and services for Susan can be found here.  

Valerie Just, CIBA director

The following is a communication that was sent by our President, Jamie Beyer:

This email is difficult to write but our membership and the Iowa beekeeping community need to know of the passing of our beloved Susan Kelly from injuries sustained in a car accident in Des Moines earlier this week. Yes, it is extremely bad news.

Words cannot express the wonder of Susan’s life that touched so many people she knew. In the few years that CIBA members and I knew her she did soooooo much. It was her children who guided Susan to be a great volunteer for CIBA and the Iowa Honey Producers Association (IHPA). They became the best beekeepers because Susan decided to get involved in these organizations.

Her dedication to her children was impressive. She not only brought them into this world, she also guided them in many ways. She was the best home schooler I have ever known. I remember when she first got involved with CIBA, she told me how much this group meant to her children and the impact it had on them. That statement still
drives me to make CIBA the best beekeeping club in Iowa.

I will try to list all of the volunteer activities that Susan did for CIBA and IHPA (I know I will miss a few because she did so much). When she showed up at any function, her entourage of children came with her to help with whatever needed to be done. Mostly her wonderful daughters, but occasionally one of her sons and husband Sean would be
there. She served on the CIBA board of directors and chaired CIBA's Royalty committee (and wrote our queen guidelines that have been copied by other groups). She was on our food committee and her advice was critical in in having well-run meetings. Susan also was instrumental in IHPA behind-the-scenes work at the Iowa
State Fair as well as fall conferences and she always helped the IHPA Queen Committee.

All of this is in addition to being the best mother and raising the most wonderful children who are part of our CIBA family.

Anyone who attended our meetings will have known Susan and her girls. She mentored me as a CIBA officer and helped me become a better leader.

There is a GoFundMe page set up for contributions to the family. That link is:

Her church has set up a link to provide meals for Susan’s family (2 members were hospitalized):

Thank you, Susan, for your wonderful family and all that you have given me, CIBA, IHPA and the beekeeping community. You will be missed dearly.

Your President, Jamie

Susan and family.jpeg
bottom of page