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Foundations

Life, liberty and lessons learned.

Finishing Strong

(Part Three) – It’s how you finish the race that counts…

I met Suzan Noel at age 13 when her family moved in a block away from us.  We would eventually get married one week after my 20th birthday.

I have always admired my wife.

Ever since she was 5, she had wanted to be a nurse.  Sue would see the nurses in their white uniforms and hats having lunch in the park across the street from St. Vincent and Bellin hospitals, and she vividly remembers making her mind up then and there that she, too, would be a nurse.

But she had little to no encouragement to seek college so initially; she accepted that she just couldn’t be a nurse.  After high school she took jobs as a retail clerk, a Burger King employee, and a gas station clerk.  She did think, however, that she could maybe become a nurse’s aide and started looking into that.

For someone to first go to college fully two years after high school, is rare, but Sue did.  On her own, she applied to Mercy Medical School in Oshkosh… and was promptly turned down.

That was unacceptable to her.  She met with administration and convinced them that they were wrong about her.  They accepted her, on probation, to start that semester.

Sue has been a licensed RN for 33 years.  She eventually became a Neonatal Nurse Clinician here in Green Bay and then a Pediatrics Orthopedic Nurse Clinician at Marshfield Clinic, and she hasn’t stopped.  She continues to advance her education now in enzyme, hormone and non-traditional medicine and has established her own business working with female clients, coast to coast, on women’s health issues.  Sue is hoping to start the Sunflower Foundation, an organization she envisions as working to provide the type of functional cancer treatment she received to women without the ability to pay for it.

We all remember the film of the marathon runner who, emaciated and barely able to stand, crossed the finish line… in last place…but crossed, nonetheless.  It’s not how you start the race that counts, or even if you win, but that you finish it.


Starting From Scratch
Part One
My parents instilled, in me, a sense of self-reliance and hard work. We grew up – 2 parents and 6 children – living in a 1,200 square foot house, three bedrooms and one bathroom.  I lived in that house my entire life until I got married. Read >
If It’s Worth Doing…
Part Two
My dad had a little hardware store in De Pere in the 60’s and mid-70’s.  The recession of 1974 did him in.  The bank called his loan due, he sold off everything, including his extra car and his cottage. Read >
Finishing Strong
Part Three
I met Suzan Noel at age 13 when her family moved in a block away from us.  We would eventually get married one week after my 20th birthday. Read >
We Did Build That
Part Four
In April 1994, after 18 years and 6 locations, I resigned as President of Macco’s Floor Covering Centers, sold my interest in the company and exited the retail floor covering business. Read >
Peaks & Valleys
Part Five
“Sue’s tests were not good today – I claim Jesus’ name over her health.  I cannot lose her – she has been there for 35 years as a friend and partner – Lord give me strength to be there for her.  Thank you, John.”  Read >
Citizen Legislator
Part Six
This past spring, we were discussing how to make the pie bigger throughout Northeastern Wisconsin.  We began talking about the importance of quality leadership representing our region in Madison.  Read >

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