Sue Ann (Wilkinson) Gruver
Gruver (Wilkinson), Sue Ann It is with great sadness that the family of Sue Ann Gruver (Wilkinson) announces her passing after a long battle with cancer. Sue Ann died on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, at the age of 72 at her home in Wayzata, with her devoted husband by her side. The daughter of Janet and Lex Wilkinson, Sue Ann was born June 17, 1947 in Lafayette, IN. She graduated from high school in South Bend in 1965 and attended college at St. Mary's, in Notre Dame, IN. She went on to earn her Master's and Doctorate degrees from the University of St. Thomas. Sue Ann married the love of her life, Jim Gruver, in 1970 and the two of them were thrilled to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on April 4, 2020. Together they raised four children and enjoyed 12 grandchildren who now live in the United States, Australia and South Africa. Her grace, patience and kindness were her trademarks, along with her caring nature, compassion and deep love of both family and friends. She especially treasured every moment with her grandchildren. Sue Ann was a loving Mother, Teacher, Librarian and Superintendent of Schools, known for her positive spirit, dedication to public service and love for all children. She was a lifelong educator, teaching in South Bend Public Schools, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Minnetonka, where she also served as a Librarian, and Hopkins Public Schools. She served as a Principal of Clear Springs Elementary and Champlin Elementary before moving on as Assistant Superintendent of Mahtomedi Public Schools. Sue Ann also served as Superintendent of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools until her retirement in 2015. Sue Ann was also an active Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) member, serving on the MASA Board of Directors and on a number of Association committees, with a focus on Executive Development. She had a particular enthusiasm for supporting women leaders and was a frequent contributor for professional learning, including the MASA Aspiring Superintendents' Academy. She received the MASA Administrator of Excellence Award in 2015. Sue Ann could never fully stay away from education and after retirement she worked part time for Hamline University as an Assistant Professor, mentoring educators to earn their administrative licensure and doctorate degrees. In her work, many would describe Sue Ann as an out-of-the-box thinker, collaborator and problem-solver. She brought those same talents to the volunteer organizations in which she served including the Prior Lake Rotary Club, River Valley YMCA Board, and MASA. In addition she previously served as President of the Junior League - Minneapolis and as a Board Member of the Association of Junior Leagues International. She loved books and could often be found reading. Whether it was the latest work of fiction, a scholarly article or an endearing children's book, Sue Ann always knew what to recommend. She also enjoyed cooking and entertaining, viewing both as ways to connect with all those she loved. Sue Ann is survived by her husband Jim Gruver of Wayzata; children James (and Marrianne), of Chicago, IL, Will (and Holly), of Johannesburg, South Africa, John (and Megan), of Farragut, TN, Libbie (and Dale) Brand of Loftus, Australia; and 12 grandchildren. Plans for a Celebration of Life event are pending this fall.
Published on May 3, 2020
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