Sue's official title was Office Manager, though it could have easily been Mother Hen the way she took care of us grad students. Every question we had, every time we felt lost in bureaucratic hoop-jumping, it was "Go to Sue. She'll know what to do." She cared about each one of us. No matter how fast the family grew, she kept up, even asking us senior students about alumni, "What's So-and-so up to? Did So-and-so's wife have the baby? How's Dr. So-and-so doing at the new job?" She organized the holiday parties and the summer picnics (and made sure we never ran out of beer!). And since she went into the hospital, diagnosed with cancer a couple months ago, us chicks have been lost.
It was nearly six months ago now that I was sitting in her office, giving her details of Randy's memorial service, directions to the funeral home, where to send donations so she could pass information to faculty and students. Both of us still in shock, we proceeded to do what too many of us do nowadays. We exchanged stories of people we have known who have succumbed to this horrible disease, not knowing it was killing her as we spoke.
She was one of the first people I met in Florida, one of the only people who truly made me feel like there were people watching out for me in this big, new scary city. As such, I am certain she is still looking out for somebody, somewhere. But right here, right now, Sue is missed very much.