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Putting others first earns Lundin the “Heart of Gold”

Posted 12/24/13 (Tue)

By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer

Humble. That is the word most used to describe the McKenzie County Farmer’s 2013 Heart of Gold recipient, Susie Lundin, whose character shows as much through what she says as what she does.
Lundin has been a valued employee of McKenzie County Bank for 10 years. But beyond that, she is a dedicated member of the McKenzie County Ambulance Service.
She has donated her spare time to the Watford City Lions Club, the McKenzie County Heritage Park Association, the Horizon’s Mentoring Program, and the Good Shepherd Home. And in the past, Lundin has been on the McKenzie County Hockey Club Board and served as director of girls hockey for the North Dakota Amateur Hockey Association.
“Susie never seems to tire, but only gives more of herself to help and better others,” states two of her co-workers, Janel Lee and Dia Northrop. “You can always rely on Susie to be there for you.”
Lee and Northrop state that Lundin has an incredible work ethic, which led to her becoming the Assistant Cashier and the Assistant Vice President at McKenzie County Bank. And, while putting forth enormous effort at the North Dakota School of Banking to graduate at the top of her class, Lundin also tested for the Ambulance Service. And passed.
“The dedication she shows in her work only spills over into her dedication toward people,” states Lee.
According to Lee and Northrop, in addition to volunteering with a number of organizations, Lundin spends time with elderly people from the community.
“She has become a caregiver, an assistant, and a friend for them,” states Northrop. “Her compassion, without merit, opens one’s heart to the idea that there are still people out there that genuinely care for others.”
Lundin is from a family of 11 children. Her father worked construction in the summers and her mother was a special woman who passed away at the young age of 48.
“My parents taught me the value of helping others in need,” states Lundin.
Lundin met her husband, Herb, in Dickinson in the ’70s. They were married in 1979 and have been married for 34 years. They moved to Watford City shortly after marrying, and they have lived in the area since.
Susie states that there are so many other people more worthy to be a Heart of Gold recipient than her. She states that so many more people give of their time to the Ambulance Service, to the Lions Club, to the McKenzie County Heritage Park Association, the Good Shepherd Home and the Horizon’s Mentoring Program.
“I only do Bingo on Tuesdays at the Good Shepherd Home,” states Lundin. “And a lot of people take the pager at the Ambulance Service more than I do. Some are always on-call.”
But it is Susie’s humility and the way in which she has touched so many lives that make her a worthy recipient.
She has been mentoring the same student for almost five years, seldom misses a Tuesday at the Good Shepherd Home, and she cares for an elderly gentleman with Alzheimer’s.
Even from her days as president of the hockey board, she is remembered.
“She had a huge part in getting the McKenzie County Multi-Purpose Building built,” states Northrop.
According to Lundin, before hockey in the Multi-Purpose Building, the Watford City hockey teams had home court advantage because the games were outside.
“Everyone pitched in. Parents would shovel snow off the ice and we would help our kids lace up their skates,” states Lundin. “Then the kids would skate their hearts out and come into the warming area and just cry because their toes were so cold.”
The McKenzie County Multi-Purpose Building was built when Lundin was not serving on the hockey board at all, but rather was serving as a director of the North Dakota Amateur Hockey Association. Though the arena was built after her time, she helped secure funding and helped get the ball rolling for the facility to be constructed.
“You couldn’t ask for a better person,” states Lee. “Susie is loyal in every way. She never thinks of herself, but always thinks of everyone else.”
“It does not matter what it is, Susie will most likely be helping in the background,” states Northrop. “You don’t even have to ask her, she will just offer. And she is there, behind the scenes, putting forth a lot of effort.”
Despite all that Lundin does, she states that she wishes she had more time. Not time for herself, but time to do more things that need to be done.
Of all the things Susie is involved with, her family is the most important thing. She and her husband have two children, Chris and Lori, and three grandchildren.
“My mom has been so supportive my whole life and she means a lot to me,” states Lori Schettler, Lundin’s daughter. “She has always been an inspiration to me for being helpful in any way possible - from holding doors open or chasing someone down who has dropped something. She is a great role model.”
Schettler goes so far as to tell of a time that she and her mom were driving to Rochester for Lundin’s eye surgery. After witnessing an accident en route, Lundin yelled for Schettler to pull the car over and proceeded to grab her EMS bag and run across four lanes of traffic to help.
“That, in essence, is my mom,” states Schettler.
Her daughter states that Lundin is 100 percent a helper, and those who know her state that her sincerity is undeniable. Her modesty, her humility and the fact that she does not seek recognition for the things she does, these are the reasons why Susie Lundin is this year’s Heart of Gold recipient.