Mom was born in December of 1937, preceded by one older brother, and raised by both of her parents. She outlived them all. Her mother was a nurse, LPN, and her dad was a carpenter, farmer, handyman, and at one time a policeman. He was an outstanding fiddle player and could also play the guitar and other instruments. They moved around quite a bit during mom's childhood because of his range of work to make ends meet. Still, their doors were open to anyone in need and mom always said her dad never met a stranger. Throughout her childhood, she always had dogs and farm animals, and especially ponies and horses - her favorite. She loved horses even until her last days and would even ask if she could have another!
Around her senior year in high school in 1956, she met my dad. That summer she began working in a camera store in town, earning a small scholarship and working until Fall when she headed off to Lees-McRae College in the mountains of Banner Elk, N.C. to enter the two year Associates program for Medical Secretary. Playing basketball there, she was the co-captain of the girl's team and was also voted homecoming queen with dad as her escort. I also learned... the boy's basketball team voted and awarded her "Prettiest Legs" and her basketball coach later attended mom and dad's wedding. During college, she also gathered a few girls to approach the dean and ask that he allow girls to wear pants during winter because of the snow, to which he approved! She graduated in 1958 with an Associates Degree.
Returning home from college, she married my dad in June of 1958. Following their honeymoon to the Outer Banks, she entered the Internship program for Medical Secretary at our local hospital for almost one year. When she finished in the summer of 1959, they packed up and moved to Florida where mom worked for a doctor and dad worked for a printing company until April 1961 when they learned they were expecting. By that May they headed back home to N.C. and moved in with mom's grandmother, living on the cash saved while in Florida until dad found work at a printing company. They rented an apartment house and in January 1962, my oldest brother was born. Building plans began on their permanent home in the country beside of her parents and they moved in with them that same year to save for their house. In September of 1963, my second brother was born and they were able to move into their home at the end of '63. Mom stayed home and sold Tupperware and dad continued in printing. I was born in May 1968 and by 1973 she returned to work at a doctors group in town. In 1976, she completed the training and education required at the time for Certified Medical Assisting and worked for the same doctors until 1989 when the practice closed. Mom found a job at our local hospital and spent most of her career in Pathology as a Medical Transcriptionist, retiring in 2002 at age 65.
My mom is affectionately remembered by so many as "Sweet Sue" and as "always smiling and playful." Even in her late-stage Alzheimer's she would say something funny and make us all laugh. Those moments stood out most of all and although she had times of struggle and frustration, mostly she put on a brave face. She would tell me, "I hope and pray you never get this (Alzheimer's)." She was a sweet soul -she gave tough love but open arms -she was a Godly wife and mother and friend -she was all of this without waiver, always. She was adored by those who loved her well.