Faithful Women Making a Difference
March 26, 2018 by Sherry Hester Kenney
The 2018 Presbyterian Planning Calendar noted that March 8 was International Women’s Day. Throughout history – or should we say “herstory” – women have inspired and motivated us with their strength, courage, and generosity, and they continue to do so today. Some become well-known, but most labor quietly. Yet the difference they make in the world lives on in their children, or their pupils, or their patients, or the members of congregations where they serve as pastors, elders and deacons.
One such woman I’ve been blessed to know is Sue Wilcox, a ruling elder at Central Presbyterian Church in Denver. Her husband, John, was pastor of the church from 1979 until 1993, when he retired and scheduled a surgery he had postponed. Sadly, he died after the surgery from an undiagnosed heart condition, leaving Sue to carry on alone in the retirement they had planned together. When Central’s new pastor arrived, he insisted Sue remain at the church. She has been an inspiration to this multi-generational congregation for the past 25 years.
In pondering how to memorialize John, Sue immediately thought of theological education, especially appropriate since their fourth child and only son had followed in his father’s footsteps. Sue established the John R. Wilcox Endowed Summer Internship Fund at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and has continued to contribute to it over the years, inviting others to join her in supporting theological education.
Sue also established the Wilcox Mission Fund at Central, to which she makes regular monthly contributions, providing funds for other Central members to participate in mission trips to Guatemala and an upcoming trip to Cuba. Given Sue’s outpouring of time, talent, and treasure to Central, her generous commitment to the recent capital campaign was no surprise. In her words, “Central is what I want to invest in.”
Sue is quick to point out that God has blessed her richly, and it is gratitude to God that motivates her giving, including regular gifts to the Board of Pensions Assistance Program. Today, at age 93, Sue Wilcox says, “I don’t worry about the future. I just live each day as it comes.” What a beautiful faith she lives, and what a faith-filled legacy she’ll leave. Thanks be to God!