Sue M. Thilquist

Honored by:Lucy S. Thomas, Nancy L. Keeton, & Daniel B. Thilquist
Brick location:H:18  map

Elin Susanna Marie Danielson was born December 13, 1917, to Algot and Nora Danielson in Cologne, Minnesota. "Sue's" father farmed; her mother, who played the guitar and mouth organ simultaneously, gave piano and violin lessons in addition to homemaking and raising Sue and younger sister Eleanor. Sue attended high school in Cokato, Minnesota, and graduated there. She attended Caton Scientific Shorthand Institute in Minneapolis. While attending, she performed housekeeping tasks for the University of Minnesota's Dr. Ancel Keys, pioneer in cholesterol research. Sue learned many things about cooking from him. Upon graduation from Caton Institute, Sue obtained a job working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.

Sue dated and married Paul Burton Thilquist ("Burt") of Milaca, Minnesota, on October 18, 1941. As Burt was in the army, Sue traveled with him to bases in Tennessee and the mid-Atlantic states, until he was sent to France in 1944 during World War ll. Daughter Lucille Suzanne was born January 4, 1945, while Burt was still in France.

Following the war, Burt and Sue lived for several years in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. Daughter Nancy Lee was born May 21, 1948. Burt worked at a filling station and later drove a truck, while Sue was a full-time homemaker. Following a year in Hudson, Wisconsin, they settled in 1950 in Hopkins, Minnesota. Son Daniel Burton was born January 17, 1952. While Danny was a toddler, Sue went to work part-time as a comptometer operator at Red Owl Stores in Hopkins and shortly after began a 15-year career as a secretary at Papec Machine Company in Hopkins. Burt began a 25-year career as a diesel mechanic for Super Valu stores in Hopkins.

In 1970 about the time of Danny's high school graduation Sue and Burt moved to a 40-acre hobby farm near Waverly, Minnesota. While Burt commuted to Hopkins, Sue worked part-time as a typesetter for the Winsted Journal. Pursuing an interest in locating relatives in Sweden, Sue and Burt made their first journey to Sweden in 1973. They located relatives in Fälköping and later in Foglum, Barne-Åsaka and other places. Sue has made four subsequent trips to Sweden. She has spent hundreds of hours in genealogy research, helping Americans and Swedes locate relatives in the other country. She has received two genealogy awards in Sweden, from the Västgöta Hembygds Förbund and the Västgöta Genealogiska Förening.

Sue was instrumental in reorganizing Minnesota's Västergötland Society in 1990. Starting with a handful of members, in her role as secretary and newsletter editor, her enthusiasm has brought the membership to around 150 in 1996.

In 1987, Sue and Burt moved to 6.5 acres near Randall, Minnesota. Now retired Burt helps Danny farm and tinkers with machinery and motors. Sue continues genealogy research and her roles in the Västergötland Society.

This commemorative brick in Iowa State University's Plaza of Heroines is lovingly purchased and dedicated on Mother's Day, 1996, by her children and their families.

Submitted on 7/1/96