Sue and her family’s journey is a classic example of the American Dream. Both Sue and her husband, Keith, grew up in families of modest means.
Sue grew up on a small family farm by Geneseo, Illinois where her father, Ken Schipper, farmed a humble 200 acres. Keith grew up in Lindenhurst, and his father was a carpenter.
Sue’s mother, Donna, was a strong example in her life. Her mom drove a school bus to help make ends meet. When Sue was in middle school, her mother went back to college, studied hard and became a teacher. In the early 1980s, Sue remembers her mother typing a lengthy application as part of the nationwide competition to become the first teacher to be an astronaut on the space shuttle.