Milwaukee Ascension nurse retires, twins carry legacy

A Milwaukee nurse prepares to retire from Ascension Saint Joseph's Hospital after 44 years, and on Mother's Day, she said she feels her legacy is complete with her twin daughters working there, too.

A lot has changed at the hospital over four decades, from uniforms and technology to the company operating St. Joe's. Through it all, Sue Clark's been helping and caring for patients, and there's a feeling that her legacy will remain long after she's done.

"I had my senior clinical on the second floor, and I like it so much that I stayed," said Sue Clark.

Sue Clark

It should come as no secret that Sue Clark feels right at home at Ascension Saint Joseph's Hospital in Milwaukee, her professional home for the last 44 years.

"It's time. I'm ready to hang up my shield. I'm getting kind of tired and sore," she said.

It's the hospital she worked at as a teenager, starting as a candy striper before graduating to nurse after college, but there's more that makes St. Joe's special. It's where she had her twin daughters, Jennifer and Becky, who now are both nurses at St. Joe's, as well.

"It's interesting the stories you hear," said Jennifer. "'Oh yeah, I know your mom. I used to work with your mom. Your mom trained me.'"

The trio admitted -- amid National Nurses Week -- the connection makes for interesting moments out on the floor.

"We'll go into the room, and I forget that I have to announce her as Sue," said Becky. "Sometimes, 'Oh, this is Mom. She's gonna be taking over,' and they're like, 'Wait, really?'"

But walking the halls, they say there's little separation between true family and the work family.

"No matter how hard your days get or anything, whatever you see, that's what gets you through and makes you want to come back the next day," said Becky.

On Mother's Day, watching her daughters carry the shield after her is as a good a gift as any.

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"There's always gonna be a little part of me that will still be here," said Sue Clark.

Sue's last day of work at the hospital is May 20. She hopes to spend a little more time in the garden and a lot more time with her grandkids.


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