Susanne Wickes Nelson, 79, a sculptor who was a former teacher and docent and who had lived in the Washington area and then in Charlottesville since World War II, died of emphysema Nov. 30 at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville.

She came to Washington to work for the Red Cross.

In the 1960s, she helped found the children's Saturday art workshop at the Corcoran Art Gallery and served as art program director of St. John's Child Development Center in Washington.

Over the years, she also had shown her scultures at area galleries and shows.

Mrs. Nelson, who was born in Saginaw, Mich., studied sculpting at the Stuart School of Design in Boston and the Cranbrook Art Institute in Michigan.

Before coming to Washington, she had taught art at the Shady Hill School in Cambridge, Mass.

She had lived in Bethesda and served as a docent at the Corcoran before moving to Charlottesville in 1990.

Her husband, Dr. Robert B. Nelson Jr., whom she married in 1948, died in October.

Survivors include two daughters, Page M. Nelson of Wheaton, and Susan S. Nelson of Charlottesville; a son, Robert III, of Crozet, Va.; a brother; a sister; and a granddaughter.