Your Neighbor: Meet Sue Ring

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 6, 2024

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By Mandy Haggerson

For the Clemmons Courier

CLEMMONS — Sue Ring learned from an early age that if you wanted something bad enough, you were the one who made it happen.

The youngest of four children, Ring was fascinated with books and all things active, like skipping rope, playing outside, and hopscotch, to name a few.

“I would walk to the library every week and check out as many books as I could,” Ring said. “Then, I would go back home and read them somewhere outside. The following week, I would do the same thing.”

With an affinity towards books and learning, Ring also was drawn to attending church.

“When I was in the 4th grade, I started walking to church every Sunday by myself,” Ring said. “I felt a strong connection to God, and it was always important to me every Sunday, even though I went by myself. I developed a community within my church that was meaningful to me.

“My granddaddy was a preacher and a good Christian man which had inspired me.”

Aside from her spiritual connections, Ring also developed a strong work ethic.

“I ran a hot dog cart downtown when I was 16 years old in between H.L. Green, where I had worked at the lunch counter, and another store,” Ring said. “It was there that I met my future husband, Dennis. He would come in and ask for the same thing over and over. Not too long after there was a dance where we ran into each other again. I had gone with a group of my friends and so had he. We danced that whole night.

“We had a wonderful marriage for 52 years and three months before he passed about 11 years ago from pancreatic cancer.”

During her marriage, Ring appreciated that she and Dennis shared so many similar interests and values.

“He was always very supportive of me, and I was of him,” Ring said. “I earned my GED and graduated from Forsyth Tech with a degree in childcare.”

With an entrepreneurial spirit, Ring opened up her own childcare center in her home.

“I handled all of the registering and licensing and all of the necessary requirements to get it up and running and sustainable,” Ring said.

Outside of being a small business owner, Ring also enjoyed raising her own children, Dennis III and James.

“They had a much different childhood from the one that I had,” Ring said. “Organized sports were very popular which they enjoyed. They also developed an interest in Adventure Golf. They even started a Putt Putt golf team that they were very good at it.”

And now Ring enjoys the role of grandmother to two grandsons and two granddaughters.

“I enjoyed that I have had the opportunity to watch all of them in my home, too,” Ring said. “One day, I hope to get to know my great-grandchildren too. It’s such a special relationship. They are all doing so many amazing things that make me so proud of them and their hard work.”

It was those relationships with her family and God that helped her through some of the tougher times, too, particularly when she beat breast cancer five years ago.

“It was somewhat comforting because a lot of the doctors and nurses were familiar from when my husband was there for cancer,” Ring said. “But it was still scary to go through radiation, too. I had a good support system and a great medical team.”

Because of those tougher times, Ring tries to be a positive light to others when she can, too.

“I enjoy being around people and making them smile,” Ring said. “I started wearing fun hats to cheer up my former Sunday school teacher. And after that, it became a thing. I’ll wear them to outings, and it always seems to lighten the mood and make people happy. One of the neat things about where we live is there are businesses that support widows like me. Chick-fil-A, for example, offers a widow breakfast. I’ve gone there, and the owner is just so nice and will sit and talk with the group of us. It’s just a thoughtful way to connect with your community.”

Community and connecting are important to Ring.

“When you get to this point in life, you are grateful for what you’ve been able to do and experience,” Ring said. “Looking forward, I can’t wait to get to Heaven and see the Lord and my husband. I also look forward to having my mom see me, too, because she was blind all of her life. I’m in no rush to go, but when the time comes, I know I can look back for all the blessings I have been given, and I hope that my family and community feels the same way about me.”