MS OREGON SENIOR AMERICA 2015,
CONGRATULATIONS TO SUZANNE STOKER, Ms. Oregon Senior America 2015!
Suzanne Stoker grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana as the last born of six children. Life in the Deep South was going to church, fishing, roller skating, twirling batons, riding bikes and motorcycles, and skiing in bayous with alligators and snakes.
Suzanne graduated with a B.A. in Liberal Studies at McNeese State University, moved to California where she worked as a Legal Secretary, and then back to the South where she met and married her husband. They both became involved in politics and Christian activism. Their first son, Jared, and first daughter, Desiree were born in Texas.
Suzanne's family moved to Oregon, and two more children were born, Jace and Sierra. Suzanne began homeschooling her children; and continued to volunteer for political, non-profits (such as delivering meals for Loaves & Fishes) and church groups (such as singing in the choir and being an AWANAS leader). She was the editor for many newsletters, and headed up political action activities that took her to the Oregon Capital and D.C.
Suzanne became the Oregon State Director for Concerned Women for America, where she wrote and lobbied for legislation, including allowing the Ten Commandments to be posted in schools again, and safeguarding children from Internet pornography in libraries. She appeared on radio and TV talk shows regarding diverse issues that concerned the family. Many of her opinion editorials were published, including one in a college textbook. Suzanne CWA’s “National Diligence Award” as State Director.
As a medical foster mother for Healing the Children, Suzanne cared for four teenagers (some with debilitating brain tumors) from around the world. She mothered them, helping them get to their doctor appointments and obtain life-changing surgeries. They all went back to their countries, with the good news of their healing through the kindnesses of Americans.
Suzanne homeschooled all of her children to various grade levels, and taught art classes and directed plays for others. Her oldest, Jared, honorably served in combat during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Suzanne taught English to a group of Hispanic women who were victims of spousal abuse. She was able to watch these women bloom from hurt, insecure victims, to strong, confident productive women. Then, in 2011, her 30 year marriage painfully ended.
But, within a year of the divorce, Suzanne joined the fabulous Beat Goes On and One More Time Around marching bands. These all adult bands bring encouragement and inspiration to everyone who see and hear them. No one expects to see the sea of gray hair making such wonderful sounds -- jumping, twirling, and smiling – and people are encouraged that life can begin after 50!
Suzanne's children are all successful adults now. And, Suzanne is enjoying a wonderful, carefree life -- dancing with her friends to great local bands, riding bikes, going on hikes that take her to beautiful waterfalls, and jet boating up the Columbia River. She’s taking salsa and belly dancing classes; and continuing to travel and twirl at least 25 performances a year with her inspiring marching bands. As a film extra, Suzanne has appeared in TV, movie and commercials; and is beginning a career as a senior model.
"Everything’s Coming Up Roses” for Suzanne Stoker!