Trust, true friendship and loyal support |

Trust, true friendship and loyal support

Kay Vasilakis
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Sue Maisch

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Thirty years ago, Sue Maisch, then of Dallas, looked up from soaking in Hot Springs Pool to the mountains above, and decided she would move to Glenwood Springs.

Hours later, she informed the Colorado Regional Mental Health and Sopris Mental Health Center they needed to hire her as a counselor. No openings were available, but both organizations took her name. Sopris Mental Health called her six months later in 1978.

Since then, Sue has been a cornerstone in the mental health community. Her sense of humor and her distinctive laugh have helped treat hundreds of clients in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Besides her private practice, Sue helped form the Youth Recovery Center in 1987, the Valley Sexual Abuse Center in the early 90s, and formed a support group which has continued to meet weekly for 29 years. The core group of three original members still meets.

Sue was also an active member of the Garfield County Human Services Commission for 10 years, and served on two of its subcommittees, the Humanitarian Dinner Committee and the Garfield County Human Services Grants Committee, for seven years.

Sue has played a big part in Nancy Reinisch’s life. Nancy took Sue’s class on teenage development when she was pregnant with her first son. Later, Nancy asked if Sue would be her clinical supervisor for her private practice in psychotherapy. Sue agreed and they met monthly thereafter, and Sue served as a consultant to Nancy’s caseload. They have been colleagues and friends ever since.

Sue met Jim Sybert, a physics professor from the University of North Texas on a blind date 11 years ago, at what is now Summit Canyon. The developed a close companionship and were married two years ago.

“We called Nancy and Paul when we had just gone to the Justice of the Peace in Naples, Florida,” revealed Sue. “Nancy and Paul were in their car, on their way to DIA to catch a flight to visit Nancy’s mom in Fort Lauderdale. They rented a car and came to Naples.”

Nancy would not let her friend get married without a celebration.

“So, as we drove to Naples, about a two-hour drive, we planned the logistics,” said Nancy. “When we arrived, I grabbed Sue and we went shopping for hats, corsages, and a cake topper. Paul grabbed Jim and they went shopping for an extension cord for the CD player for the background music, a fun restaurant reservation, and the perfect spot for a sunset ceremony on the beach. We did it all and met on the beach at 4:30 p.m. for a lovely commitment ceremony.”

Sue looked stunning at her retirement party, held Thursday, Nov. 6, at Tatry Restaurant. She wore a knockout embroidered red and black ao dai, which is a long tunic with a slit on each side over black trousers, which she bought while in Vietnam in October. She and Jim were visiting Jim’s daughter’s family while his son-in-law is teaching math at HoChiMinh City University.

In the touching, personal slideshow at Sue’s retirement party, slide after slide showed Sue living life to the fullest, participating in athletic events, and above all, enjoying her close friends. Ten to fifteen people sent in their favorite slides of Sue for the show.

All showed a smile which can make anyone melt.

At the party, Jim Stokes, colleague from the Child and Family Counseling Center, told the story of how Sue really started her career in therapy.

“Sue’s family had a farm in Idaho,” said Jim. “As a young girl, she sat on the gate of the corral and talked to the cows. If one cow tried to push another cow around, Sue would tell that cow how proud she was for holding her ground and not letting the bully cow push her around.”

The story was quite well received in the room full of therapists and “people of the couch.”

Sue’s footwear filled with candy and tied to helium balloons on the tables of the retirement party said, “Happy Retirement! Sue’s shoes will be tough to fill!”

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