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Dr. Sue's Story

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Thelma Sue Norvill Jaquess, Ph.D., died Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, at Eufaula Manor Nursing Center, Eufaula.
Sue was born Sept. 19, 1933, in Ada to Inez Elizabeth Schmidt Norvill and Jess Hobson Norvill.
Starting elementary school at age 4 in Chickasha was undaunting for her. She loved school and moved to Pickett Elementary (a one-room school) in third grade when her family purchased a farm at Pickett, west of Ada. She grew up at Pickett, only 1 1/2 miles from her childhood sweetheart, Elvin Virgle Jaquess.
Sue and Elvin were married at Pickett Methodist Church on Dec. 26, 1950. Sue recounted that she "could never remember a time when she did not KNOW she wanted to marry Elvin Jaquess."
Besides marrying Elvin, her other abiding life desires were to learn to play piano and to become a school teacher. She started playing piano at age 8, and she excelled at lessons and began to play hymns each Sunday at Pickett Methodist Church when she was just 13. In her young adult years, she played piano twice on Sunday at Pickett Methodist Church, raised two daughters, taught piano lessons, belonged to the Pickett Home Demonstration Club and loved to cook and sew. In addition, she became a teacher upon finishing college at East Central State University, earning a bachelor of science degree in business education and later a master's of teaching at East Central.
Mrs. Jaquess taught typing, shorthand and bookkeeping at Stratford High School for 12 1/2 years. She then began work as a secretary at East Central University but missed teaching so much she began a second teaching career at East Central University. During her 18 years of teaching business subjects at East Central, she earned a Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma.
She derived great satisfaction from teaching business and was most happy to know that most of her students could find employment. Her career life was busy and full with teaching, educational and community organizations and a rich family life, which would eventually include seven great-grandchildren. Sue and Elvin both loved to read, and Sue loved to remark that no one who loves to read could EVER be bored! She possessed enduring determination, loyalty, tenacity to a task at hand and often said about herself, "I don't give up easily."
Never one to shirk leadership roles, she was a member in good standing, as well as an officer from time to time, in Delta Kappa Gamma (women's educational fraternity), the Soroptimist Club, the Oklahoma and Pontotoc County Retired Educators Associations, Ada First United Methodist Church, the Fellowship Sunday School Class, Prime Timers and Golden Agers. With Elvin, she enjoyed 20 years in the Ada Hereford Whirlers Square Dance Club and participated with him often in the Diamond K Kiwanis Club activities.
After almost 60 years of marriage, Sue lost Elvin, the love of her life, and continued living in their Pickett home for two years. She moved away from Pickett and spent the last four years enjoying a home at Ada Baptist Village Retirement Center, where she played piano for many activities. As always, her gift of service poured out to her neighbors at Baptist Village, and she loved helping her neighbors. At the end of her life, she needed to be near daughter Janelle, and Sue's family is forever grateful for the care she received at Eufaula Manor and the Heartland Home Hospice of McAlester staff.
Survivors include her two daughters, Janelle McKnight and her husband, Wayne, of Eufaula, and Sharon Butler and her husband, Charles, of Englewood, Colorado; two granddaughters, Bonnie Butler Parker, also of Englewood, and Allie Butler Murphy and her husband, Mike, of Augusta, Georgia; seven great-grandchildren, Noah, Eli, Andrew and Elizabeth Parker, and Jesse, Molly and Ivy Murphy; and one brother, Don W. Norvill and his wife, Virginia, of Peoria, Illinois.
Her brother, Melvin "Red" Norvill, preceded her in death.
Dr. Sue Jaquess, a country girl from rural Oklahoma, is fondly remembered and loved by students, community members and family. A life well lived.
Services celebrating Sue's life will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the First United Methodist Church, 14th and Townsend, in Ada. Those who wish to do so may make a memorial contribution in Sue's honor to the First United Methodist Church, PO Box 566, Ada, OK 74820.
Published on November 6, 2017
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