It was just four to five months ago that I sat down in the little conference room at Nevada High School and talked with Sue Morrical about her retirement from Nevada Schools. We laughed about all the interesting times that she’d had while she worked at the Nevada School District for the past 27 years, seven years in the middle school office, and the past 20 as the main high school secretary.


We talked a lot about how much she was looking forward to retirement, especially because she and her husband would be in New Mexico enjoying the warm weather, family in that area and lots of time on the golf course.


So when I heard this past weekend that Sue had died, it made no sense to me. It honestly did not seem real.


I have to dedicate a few thoughts this week to Sue, a woman who dedicated so much of her life to Nevada’s students, teachers, administrators…to anyone who needed her help, which many times included our staff at the newspaper. In fact, if I close my eyes, I can still hear her voice saying, “Hello, this is Sue,” on the other end of the phone line.


I’d email Sue all the time with the words “quick question” in the subject line. I always felt better about what I was putting in the newspaper if I could double check the spelling of a name or find out who the parents of a person were. And even if that person wasn’t in school now, if they’d been there in the past 20 years or more, Sue could tell me the answer.


When we’d prepare our big graduation section each year, Sue was one of the biggest helpers at the school in making that edition come together. She’d gather forms for us, let us know when she had a bunch and keep on top of the kids to get them in.


I don’t know her children, though many of you here do, but I did know her husband, Dan, who was on the school board for a number of years when I covered board meetings regularly for the newspaper. I had a lot of discussions with Dan about issues during that time, and after he resigned from the school board, I’d still see him on occasion, usually when he and Sue were out for one of their evening walks.


It breaks my heart for Dan, for his children, but most especially for Sue, who worked so many years for others, then didn’t get her opportunity to do those retirement things that she wanted to do. If there’s any lesson in Sue’s sudden death, I guess to me it would be to live each day you do have to its fullest. I believe Sue did that. I would also hope that people live each day being good to others, because Sue was good to many people, helped us with our children when we needed her and guarded over the gates to the school with great care. Because of that, there is a huge outpouring of grief in the schools and community this week, and an outpouring like this comes naturally for one who so many adored.


Local memorial services will be held here in Nevada on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 3 p.m. at the Josephine Tope Community Auditorium at Nevada High School. From 1-3 p.m., prior to the service, there will be a visitation, also at the school.