I Am Wilshire – Sue Evelyn Coffman.
College or Education: Univ. of North Texas
Profession: English Professor
Present city: Dallas
Tell us about your work. I started teaching high school English at age 21. Once I finished my doctorate, I began teaching college. I also wrote and edited for the Dallas Times Herald and the Minority Business News. I had the opportunity to interview Barrack Obama when he was running for the U.S. Senate. When I hung up from that interview, I said to myself, “That man is a future President.”
Tell us about your volunteer work. For many years I worked with North Texas Scottie Rescue doing animal-assisted therapy with children at Baylor Hospital. I have been on mission trips to China, North Africa, Greece and at least three trips to Kenya.
Favorite pastimes or hobbies? I love music. In high school I played clarinet in band and also played tennis. I love raising dogs. My favorite pastime is backpacking and hiking, which started when I worked two summers at a YMCA camp in Estes Park, Colorado.
What are some favorite authors or books? Two of my favorite authors are Wordsworth and Shakespeare. I was given The Wizard of Oz when I was 5 years old, and it has been my favorite book ever since. I have countless items in my Wizard of Oz collection, and I even named two dogs Toto.
Where is your favorite place to travel? England, specifically the Lake District.
What brought you to Wilshire? In 1989, some friends and I were discussing that I was not happy at my church because it didn’t have roles for women. I had been told I could not teach a high school Sunday School class because I was not married. My friend told me I should try Wilshire, and I joined the first Sunday I visited.
Where are you engaged in Wilshire? I have served as a deacon and on many committees. I sang with Sanctuary Choir and have been on several mission trips. I edited the Tapestry and started “I Am Wilshire” many years ago.
Tell us about your faith journey. I was baptized when I was 9 at Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth. I’ve been a faithful Baptist all my life except for when I lived in Snyder, Texas. I joined the Methodist church there because the Baptist church was much too conservative.
Who do you look up to and why? Dr. Bill Leonard [historian and writer]. He is a former student and a wonderful human being.
What adjectives describe you best? Funny, passionate and independent.
Who is the greatest influence in your life? My mother. She was brilliant. She was a musician, athlete, an amazing seamstress and a Red Cross swimming instructor.