Meet the Naperville women making history right now! This blog highlights the stories of Naperville women nominated by the community through the HERstory campaign. 

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Jul 02

Meet Sue McKenna

Posted on July 2, 2020 at 10:13 AM by Denise Cartina


"I married a girl from Naperville in 1984. Sue's story is a classic immigrant story. She moved here from Hong Kong in 1964. Naperville had 8000 people then. She was sponsored by her grandfather. He came before the war. Her family came to Naperville with very little. They rented the house on Water St. from the Rubins. She always spoke fondly of Mr. Rubins, he never raised the rent! When they moved in the ladies in town got together and cleaned the house up and painted the rooms. The family is arguably the first non-white family in Naperville. The ladies in Naperville joined together and painted the house before they moved in! When she came she entered Middle School. A teacher was Alma McKee. Her name is on your founding rock. They remained lifelong friends. On weekends the ladies would have a tea. My wife was invited! 

When in Middle and High School many of her friends were farm kids. She grew up when Naperville was a farm town. One girl gave her a chickadee. She put a string around it and walked it. One day she tied it on the front porch, and went inside. When she came out, string no, chickadee. Broke her heart. Where 75th street meets 59 there is still a barn on the southwest side. There was a house not so long ago. She new the girl in the family. They used to swim in a pond in the barn! Where 75th street meets route 59 there is still a barn. 5 years or so ago they took down the farmhouse.. 

I met my wife at Bell Labs. She had an accounting degree from Benedictine paid for by NICOR. She owned a house in Aurora when I met her. Very small. She passed away in hospice at home. 5 bedrooms 4 1/2 bath, 2 acres. A bit of a step up! Her three sons are all degreed Engineers. Her brothers still live in south Naperville. All large houses. They earned them!"  

Nominated by Stephen McKenna