Sue is first and foremost, caring and committed both to her family and her community. She has been blessed with a good size family. Her motto is Faith, Family and Folks. Family is the center of her life. Everything else revolves around them. Their needs take priority for her energy. Family interaction has always been met due to her setting priorities… family is the link to the future and to good stewardship and citizenry in our community, our state and country. Community is an extension of her family. Sue employs a Maine Yankee Common Sense approach as she works to help ensure a bright, safe and prosperous future for, not only her family, but her Maine neighbors as well.
Edward and Wilma Qualey Wilkinson brought Sue home from the hospital to Dry Mills on Shaker Road in Gray. Edward was a new veteran of World War II where he served in the Navy along with all three of his brothers. Ed ran the Esso Station in Gray Village for many years and eventually owned and operated Edward Wilkinson Excavation until his passing. Wilma was the consummate “working at home mother”… raising three children, doing all the bookkeeping and paperwork for the gas station and then for the family business. She was there for all her family… the school events, car pooling, piano lessons, the elder care of both her and Ed’s parents and so much more.
A fifth generation Mainer, Sue was born and grew up in Gray, has raised four children and, along with her husband Ernie of 44 years, is enjoying grandparenthood to 10 little ones. Sue, Ernie and their four children were all educated in the Gray-New Gloucester Schools. Ernie and his classmates were the final graduating class of Pennell Institute. Since college, their children have come home to Maine to settle and raise their families.
It was Sue’s love for children and commitment to her family that has inspired her community service in the interest of helping to create a bright future for generations to come. Sue’s community involvement is extensive; she is an Ambassador to the Gray-New Gloucester Optimist Club, a member of the Crystal Lake Association, Gray Historical Society, and a volunteer for the Liberty Family Foundation. She is a Director for the Crystal Lake USO Ice Fishing Derby and has been a Collaborator for the Leggeworks, LLC Health Policy. In June 2011, Sue was a Faculty in Residence at the University of Maine’s New Leadership Program; a partnership with Rutgers University to encourage, promote and train Maine women to take a leadership role in college, their professions, community and state. In June 2012 and June 2013, she was a Panel Member at the New Leadership Program. Sue has been volunteering for 10 years at the Pineland Campus “Hooked on Fishing not on Drugs” Derby, in which she invited Maine Game Wardens to interact and establish a positive relationship with our youth. Sue has been a staunch supporter of the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray and is a member of St. Gregory’s Church where she also participates in leadership roles. As an avid walker, Sue supports and participates in both the Patriot 5K Race and Libby Hill 5K Trail Run.
Sue served in the Maine House of Representatives from 2002-2010, at which time she fulfilled term limits. She represented District 41 (Gray & portions of New Gloucester) and later District 109 (portions of Gray, North Yarmouth & Pownal). In addition to her time at the capital, her civic involvement includes 5 terms on the MSAD 15 School Board and 1 term with the Gray Town Council. Sue was appointed by Governor King to serve as Gray’s Representative on the Pineland Conversion Committee. She was integral to seeing the completion of the Exit 63 Gray Bypass and also worked diligently to welcome Hannaford to Gray.
One of her most rewarding experiences of serving in the Maine House of Representatives was acknowledging our youth’s accomplishments; be it honor roll, team sport accomplishments or the Secretary of State 8th Grade Citizen Award, which she presented for eight years to a deserving Gray-New Gloucester Middle School student. Sue continues to engage with the community’s youth. In the fall of 2011, she addressed the G-NG HS student assembly in recognition of the 10th anniversary of September 11th and organized a spontaneous “STAND OUT for Honoring and Remembering” at the Gray Public Safety Building on Sunday, September 11, 2011. Sue facilitated and was the M.C. for the Volunteer Service Assembly at the Gray-New Gloucester High School in January 2012. At this event, Sue invited GNG alumni back to tour the newly renovated portions of the high school campus and to be recognized as role models for their contributions in their professions, careers and community. Sue was also asked by the G-NG Student Council to participate in a video to be shown at the G-NG Pep Rally / New School Logo Release Assembly, in which she was interviewed about what it meant to be a Patriot. In May 2013, Sue was asked to join the opening day ceremony for the recreation department’s softball/little league season. She threw the first pitch to the catcher to start the first girl’s game of the year.