Sue Schmidt Hinkle

Profile Updated: July 7, 2018
Residing In: Florence, KY USA
Spouse/Partner: William S. Hinkle
Tell us about your Children: Sarah June, DOB 2011.01.18 ~
She was just 2-1/2 at our 35th reunion and has grown up quite a bit More…since then! She is on the Hammerhead Swim Team so is in the pool almost every day in the summer. She was in the youth choir at church until May and is active in American Heritage Girls. In August, she will resume karate lessons and start 2nd grade. In September, she will resume horseback riding lessons.
Current occupation: Currently a Stay-at-home-Mommy and over-extended volunteer
From which Grade School did you graduate:

Blessed Sacrament

Do you have a favorite school story? Funny memory? This can be used for anything you'd like to share.

I vividly remember how overwhelming high school was compared to Blessed Sacrament grade school. On my first day, as I was rushing up the (left side of the) stairs between classes, a Senior (who, as it turned out, was the ACOSA President) sternly instructed me, "Keep to the right!" Believe me, I never forgot that!

Also on my first day, as I entered Clothing class with Sr. Althea, she greeted me with, "Oh, my! You must be Mary Ellen's daughter!" I couldn't believe that, not only did I have the same teacher my Mom did 20+ years earlier, but that she recognized me as Mom's daughter!

I have great musical memories...singing with the Triple Trio and Discords during Senior year, doing choreography in 4" heals, the silky dusty rose blouse with the big floppy bow and gray skirt and vest... practicing our "Father and Son" duet with Ralph Orcutt in the tuba closet and getting busted by Mr. Hahn... glorious 8-part harmony of "O Holy Night" with chorus, especially the "fall on your knees" part...

My passion, though, was Journalism and Publications. This journey started by wanting to follow in my Mom's footsteps. It was her favorite class, too. I loved writing, editing, layout, keylining... everything about working on the newspaper and yearbook. It was thrilling to be part of the team that exposed the cafeteria food service for selling expired food to us students in the vending machines. We once published the results of an Aquinas basketball game before the Tribune did because we went to press a couple hours later than they did.

We took great pride in being able to produce a deluxe edition of the yearbook as the Golden graduating class. We were able to have more pages because we saved money by doing all the keylining (which proved to be more work than we anticipated). I am, however, haunted by one error on the final page of our Senior yearbook. It is a poem I had written that I wanted to print as flush right, ragged left but the printer set it flush left. So, I sliced each line carefully and re-"flushed" it and in the process, swapped two lines, rendering the middle of the poem nonsensical.

I will always be grateful to Mrs. Bonnie Pickett for her friendship and tutelage. She instilled in me a passion that carried me 25 years into the workforce. She also had tough conversations with me about taking responsibility and meeting deadlines. Those project management skills have been transferable to every job I've held since then.

What have you been up to since you graduated?

After high school, I attempted college for Nursing but 3 years and thousands of dollars later, I decided it wasn't my thing. In the meantime, I had been following my love of journalism and was working 60 hours per week at the college newspaper, The Minnesota Daily. I segued from that experience into the printing industry where I worked for 25 years, primarily in purchasing and management.

I did return to college (at night) in 2000 and earned my BA in Management and Psychology in 2004. It was a much more enjoyable experience this time so I continued on, earning my MBA in 2009.

Residence-wise, I lived in Winona, MN for my first year of college; Minneapolis/St. Paul area for 9 years; and Milwaukee, WI for 17 years before landing in the Cincinnati, OH area in 2006.

Once in Ohio, I left the ever-changing printing industry for the healthcare industry and have worked as a Senior Business Process Analyst and a Director of Project Implementation and Process Improvement.

I always thought marrying one's best friend was a trite cliché but changed my mind after finally finding my soul mate in Cincinnati. (The whole courtship story is quite interesting so remind me to tell you at the reunion.) We were married in a small, candle-light ceremony on 2008.12.12@20:08. Through prayers, science and the help of several highly paid professionals, we welcomed Sarah June into our little family on 2011.01.18. (Funny side story: I received both my AARP card and a maternity catalog in the mail on the same day.) I'm sure raising a child would have been a lot easier 20-30 years ago but I wouldn't trade my life for a million dollars. She is a joy and a blessing and my husband is a wonderful Daddy. While most of my classmates are retiring and becoming empty-nesters and grandparents, I am blessed to be a Stay-at-home Mom.

Tell us about any Grandchildren:

Hopefully, it will be 20 years or so before I have any grandchildren!

Tell us about your Parents:

Sadly, I lost my dear Mom (Mary Ellen Nontelle Schmidt, class of 1955) to lung cancer in 2006. She was diagnosed January 1st with a 7-10 month prognosis. I sold my house and quit my job to be able to spend time with her and I am so glad I did. She died a mere 4-1/2 months later on Mother's Day, 2006.05.14. It was then that I moved to Cincinnati to live with my sister since I was technically homeless and unemployed! I miss Mom every day and wish she could've met Will and Sarah.

I travel back to La Crosse a couple times a year to see my Dad (Rudy Schmidt, Class of 1954) who still lives in my childhood home on Irish Hill. He enjoys NASCAR and going to the casino in Black River Falls. He has an Old English Sheepdog named Sam who is as big as a pony but Dad lets him be a lap dog. In the summer, you might see Dad cruising Riverside in his black and white '57 Chevy which he spent nearly a decade restoring.

Have you changed careers over time?

I was in the printing business for nearly 25 years, primarily in either management or purchasing. Most recently I had been in the Health Care Insurance industry. One constant theme, however, has been Process Improvement. That's been a life-long passion of mine, living out the 4-H theme: To Make the Best Better.

How did you meet your spouse or partner?

On a not-so-blind date on May 29, 2007, I met the man who is now my husband – William Smith Hinkle. We were introduced by my sister’s hairdresser who had heard me whining about all the weirdos I had met through online dating. Her husband worked with William and she thought I might be interested since “smart and funny” were my top two criteria. (He is both, by the way!)

We had a wonderful four-hour first date and didn’t want the evening to end but agreed that we were not aligned to continue dating. I was “churchy” and he wasn’t. He was 10 years younger than I was and still hoped to have kids. We agreed to be friends and to continue our search for soul mates.

If I could sum up the next 17 months in one word, it would be “conflicted.” William and I continued to spend time together and definitely became best friends. Sometimes it felt like we were a couple but not in an outwardly traditional sense. I was in love with him but he never used the “L” word to me.

In September 2008, I start dating a gentleman and as we grew closer I eventually felt I needed to tell William about the relationship. He was caught off guard and apparently devastated. One week later he surprised me with a romantic dinner, roses and the announcement that he didn’t want to move on without me. It was everything I had hope and prayed for since I fell in love with him. The following week (after I had the chance to break it off with the other guy) he gave me a beautiful engagement ring with the sweetest proposal.

Seven weeks later I donned my Mom’s wedding dress and married my best friend. It was an intimate candlelight ceremony surrounded by immediate family and a few close friends.

What hobbies or interests do you enjoy?

I enjoy traveling, though most of our vacations have been to spend time with family lately. I enjoy entertaining friends, computer work, event planning, making (and crossing things off of) "To Do" lists, reading, writing, research, Bible studies and faith sharing groups, keeping in touch with people via Facebook, cooking. I used to enjoy camping but this old body can't handle the amount of work it takes to pack/schlep/set-up.

Where have you traveled (for work or pleasure)?

As a member of a Printing Association for many years, I was able to travel for the annual convention: Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Des Moines, IA; Buffalo, NY; Chicago, IL; Jacksonville, FL; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; St. Louis, MO; Rochester, NY; Seattle, WA; Reno, NV; Albuquerque, NM; Los Angeles, CA; and finally an inside passage Alaskan cruise.

What hobbies or interests does your spouse or partner enjoy?

Photography, selling things on eBay, entertaining friends, computers, watching SciFi, online gaming. He is also a very talented artist but doesn't usually have time to do any.

Of what accomplishments or adventures are you most proud?

* Returning to school as an adult.
* Sarah!

What items are on your Bucket List?

Trips to Hawaii, Ireland and New Zealand some day (but not in the same trip!). I would also like to do the Alaskan inside passage cruise again, this time with my husband.

Tell us about your spiritual journey since our Catholic education:

After high school, I pretty much took a self-imposed 18 year hiatus from the church. Not because I had any issues with it, but because no one was "making" me go any more and there always seemed to be something "better" to do on Sundays. When life got challenging, I would return with my hand out for an extra dose of Grace but would quickly resume my secular routine when things normalized again.

I returned to the church in my 30s and have enjoyed many small group bible studies and prayer groups, including Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) several times. I am active in my church as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister.

What are your retirement plans?

I would love to do consulting work and teach undergrad business courses as an adjunct instructor, preferably online.

2013 Highlights and/or Christmas Letter:

From the Hinkles

Dear Family and Friends ~

We hope this holiday season finds you all well.

Sarah, the light of our lives, continues to blossom into a spunky, energetic, funny, sweet, joyful little girl. She loves our cat Sofie, her Kindle Fire & Netflix, cars & trains, dragons & dinosaurs and now also has several imaginary robot friends. She has been home with Mommy all year (for the most part) and they are great buddies. We are still working on potty training but are hopeful for success in the New Year.

We were blessed to welcome a new niece this year; William’s sister Millie gave birth to Ava Rose on May 3rd. We can sure see the family resemblance in her cute little face. It was a joy to see the mutual admiration the little cousins had for each other this summer when we visited Clyde, OH for William’s 25th class reunion.

We traveled back to Wisconsin several times this year, including a trip in July to celebrate the very full life of Great Grandma Marty Nontelle. Grandma died on July 4th, just 22 days before her 100th birthday. We are grateful for the time we had with her and the wisdom she leaves behind.

In his career as Senior Web Middleware Engineer at Vantiv, William is often sought out as an expert trouble-shooter, even in situations which are not part of his normal areas of expertise.

Sue stayed busy in the first half of the year as Co-Spiritual Director for St. Tim’s Christ Renews His Parish program. After the retreat weekend in May, she turned her focus to helping organize her 35th class reunion, including building a website to reconnect classmates in advance. The reunion brought us back to Wisconsin again and was a big success.

That vacation, however, was interrupted with a surprise medical emergency for Sue. Struck with sudden drop-to-your-knees pain, she went by ambulance to the hospital in LaCrosse and had surgery to repair a perforated duodenal ulcer. Recovery (and complications) turned into a 14-day hospital stay. Daddy and Sarah stayed an extra week in Wisconsin but then returned to Kentucky without Mommy. Sue spent her 53rd birthday at Papa Rudy’s and then flew home that following Saturday. Recovery at home included a wound vac for 2 months, home nursing visits and many doctor appointments. It also meant Sarah’s return to full-time “school” at Rainbow Child Care for a few months and that Daddy had to be caretaker/housekeeper in addition to being the full-time provider.

We were incredibly blessed with the help of many friends during this time. Sarah was able to go to Sue Ann (Mitley)’s Play House in LaCrosse while Mommy was in the hospital. Sue’s sister Jeanne even made a special trip to Wisconsin to help. Papa Rudy was a good caretaker during post-hospital recovery. Back home, we gratefully welcomed meals every other night for more than a month, delivered by neighbors and church friends. And of course, we are grateful for the many prayers.

Happily, Sue is back to 100% physically and has recently started a new part-time career as an adjunct instructor at Brown Mackie College. This month she is teaching Introduction to Business and hopes to be asked back to teach again next month.

In other news, we participated in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University at St. Tim’s this fall. Though we were already doing most of what Dave advises, the experience was eye-opening. We’re now trying to adopt a simpler life-style and focus on what is truly important in life: family, friends and making memories – not stuff.

We’re grateful for all our family and friends and hope you have a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

William, Sue and Sarah Hinkle

Goals and/or Resolutions for 2014:

* Spend more personal quiet time in prayer.
* Get back to the YMCA, now that I'm fully recovered.
* Continue to make progress with "A place for everything and everything in its place" with the goal of always having the house acceptable for drop-in visitors.
* Continue to fine-tune the personal budget process; pay down student loans.
* Be a better steward of my time, including limiting screen time.
* Officially launch my consulting business.

Are you planning to attend our 40th Reunion in 2018? What suggestions or requests do you have regarding the format, venue, cost, etc.?

The Hinkles will be there!

What were the highlights of 2017 for you and your family? (Feel free to upload a new family picture or your Christmas letter, if applicable.)

From The Hinkles

Dear Family and Friends ~

We hope this holiday season again finds you all healthy, wealthy, and wise. This year most certainly had its highs and lows but overall we are grateful, especially for family.

Our New Year started with the lowest of lows when William’s mother June Carol Chafin Hinkle passed away on January 9th suddenly and unexpectedly. Many extended family members recounted tales of June’s gracious hospitality, always welcoming people into her home and always being ready to feed them. She has been greatly missed this year and Christmas without her will be difficult. She really loved showering her children and grandchildren with gifts. Over the years, she collected elephants of all sizes. In her honor, this Christmas we will be adopting/sponsoring a pair of elephants through the World Wildlife Fund.

On a happier note, we ventured to Orlando in May with William’s brother Joe, sister Millie and our nieces Samantha and Ava to celebrate Samantha’s high school graduation. Sue’s sister Jeanne and nephew AJ joined us at our rental condo where Sarah loved having our very own swimming pool. At the Magic Kingdom, Sarah and her cousins enjoyed breakfast at the castle with several princesses. Our favorite park was Universal Studios followed by Epcot and we hope to go back again someday. We did enjoy some down time, too, just hanging around the condo.

Over the summer, Sarah was active with horses, swimming and camp. She “bought” several riding lessons with chips she has earned for doing chores around the house. Sarah learned how to put the tack on her pony Calvin, how to mount, walk and “post” and how to brush him before and after each ride.

She also swam with the Hammerheads Swim Team through the Florence Aquatic Center and competed in several meets. She continues to work on her technique through swim lessons and looks forward to also being on the dive team next summer.

Sarah experienced her first overnight at the YMCA Camp Ernst in August and enjoyed an action-packed day of horseback riding, swimming, zip lining, ropes course, campfires, S’mores and sleeping in the top bunk. She has been back twice for short stays and will be there for a full week next July. Her favorite part was receiving a letter from home!

Sarah is now in First Grade and again has a wonderful teacher. Though she likes it now, after the first week she complained that “it takes so long to be done!” Full days, apparently, are substantially harder than half days.
Now as a Tenderheart in American Heritage Girls, Sarah is excited to be able to earn badges. So far she has earned the Hiking, Creative Crafts, Kid Care and Swimming badges and has started working on Cake Decorating, Ancestor Detector and Fishing badges.

As for us, life is status quo: William is still at Vantiv and Sue is still a homemaker/volunteer. We are very grateful for all our family and friends and their love and support. We hope you have a joyous holiday season and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

William, Sue and Sarah Hinkle

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Posted on: May 03, 2018 at 9:04 PM

WELCOME! Hope to see you July 14th!

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Jan 08, 2018 at 7:19 PM
Sarah with Grandpa Rudy
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Sarah June Hinkle, 2017.08.16
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Sarah June Hinkle, 2017.11.04
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Hinkle Family, 2017 Christmas card picture
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Seeing Santa at the Cincinnati Zoo, 2017.12.16
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Magic Kingdom, 2017.05.10
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Sweet kisses from my sweet Sarah June Hinkle, 2017.11.04
Aug 08, 2017 at 4:33 AM
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Posted: Jul 07, 2018 at 1:24 PM
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Hinkle Family, 2017 Christmas card picture
Posted: Jan 08, 2018 at 7:09 PM
Sarah June Hinkle, 2017.11.04
Posted: Jan 08, 2018 at 7:13 PM
Sweet kisses from my sweet Sarah June Hinkle, 2017.11.04
Posted: Jan 08, 2018 at 7:11 PM
Seeing Santa at the Cincinnati Zoo, 2017.12.16
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Sarah June Hinkle, 2017.08.16
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Magic Kingdom, 2017.05.10
Posted: Jan 08, 2018 at 7:19 PM
Sarah with Grandpa Rudy
Posted: Dec 31, 2013 at 7:19 AM
William, Sue and Sarah June Hinkle - Christmas 2013
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:29 AM
This is my favorite picture of my parents, Mary Ellen and Rudy Schmidt, taken in Las Vegas in February 2005, 15-1/2 months before Mom died.