Longstanding Marion neighborhood president, Sue Burnsworth, is an exemplary citizen who shows care for her community through dedicated volunteerism and leadership.
Born and raised in Marion, Burnsworth went to Bennett High School when the St. Paul parish was 1st through 12th grade. She then taught 1st grade elementary at various schools in Marion. In 2003, she retired after 38 years of teaching.
In 2007, she got together with some neighbors and formed the Andrew Manor Neighborhood Association in coordination with the City of Marion. Although the association had initial advocacy to improve their roads, it since grew to serve a bigger purpose for their overall neighborhood.
Burnsworth and a small group of neighbors hand out flyers door-to-door to share news and promote efforts. She coordinates monthly meetings at a local church from March through October where they host speakers, serve refreshments, swap books, and share news and fellowship. They use other connection tools such as Nextdoor.com. She leads regular efforts including collecting food for St. Martin’s Community Center, and donating wishlist items for the Marion Animal Care & Control Shelter. Burnsworth’s property hosts a ‘little library’ to also encourage neighbors to share books. She and her association also coordinate luminaries for the neighborhood which residents enjoy during the holidays.
“I’m thankful to have good neighbors who take care of their properties. We have a couple dozen active association members, but I would love to see more young people get involved. There is no fee, and it’s a great way to connect and get involved in your community, even just by going to a meeting,” Burnsworth expressed.
City of Marion Neighborhood Association Coordinator, Kayla Johnson, said Burnsworth exemplifies many needed qualities of a neighborhood leader. “She looks out for her neighbors, shares resources, and looks for creative solutions to problems, not only in her neighborhood, but throughout the community. Her intentionality to build and maintain her neighborhood as a safe, welcoming space makes our community a better place.”
Burnsworth is also involved through St. Paul Catholic Church, has served on curriculum summer committees for Marion Community Schools, and volunteered with the Grant County Literacy Council.
She is married with two grown daughters, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.