UD Love Stories 2018: Bob and Sue Noth
Feb 14, 2018
Chemistry is more than just science
Bob Noth (C'65) and Sue Hancock (C'65) proved this when they met in class in 1961. It was the first semester of Bob's freshman year. Sue was a sophomore.
Sue began her educational journey at UD studying home economics. However, she changed her major to biology her sophomore year, which is how she ended up in Bob's chemistry class. Bob was very attracted to Sue. He often teased and flirted with her. Sue enjoyed Bob's attention. He finally worked up the courage to ask her out that October. All was going well, so Bob asked Sue to the University's annual Christmas dance.
Bob met Sue's parents during Christmas break, and, like a true gentleman, he didn't show up empty handed. He brought Sue a stuffed frog and yellow roses. Her mother was so impressed with this gesture that she said, "Oh, this is something different!" Sue knew right away that Bob had won her mother's approval. The frog and roses are still treasured today.
Bob and Sue thought that the day was going well, but they knew their fate was sealed when Sue's family cat, Gypsy, selected Bob. Gypsy was not friendly to anyone but family, and he would only sit on Sue's father's lap. Bob and Sue were sitting in the parlor at her home, and Gypsy jumped right up on Bob's lap. They knew then that Bob was "the one" and still joke today that the cat selected Bob.
Bob pledged to join the Phi-O fraternity the second semester of his freshman year. What he loved most about being in the fraternity was the diversion away from school work and athletics. Sue was a Gamma Phi. She cherished the wonderful friendships she made and enjoyed the Greek sponsored activities. The Greek fraternities and sororities hosted many dances, and Bob and Sue went to all of them.
"Greek Life was the main social aspect of campus that most students participated in. It is one of our favorite memories from UD" Bob said.
At the Valentine's Dance in 1963, Bob asked Sue to wear his fraternity pin, which she happily accepted. Exactly one year later, the couple went out to dinner before heading to the annual Valentine's Dance, where Bob asked Sue to be his wife. Sue knew the proposal would be coming since they had gone ring shopping over Christmas break, but she had no idea when he planned to ask her.
Later that semester, Bob was notified that he was selected as head resident for the Delhi House, an all women house. This was a great opportunity for Bob as his room would be paid for, so Sue and Bob decided to get married that year to take advantage of the free room. Sue and her mother began to plan a quick wedding - in just three months to be exact.
The pair became Mr. and Mrs. Noth on August 22, 1964, at the Lost Nation Presbyterian Church. The ceremony was at 7:30 in the evening, with the reception immediately following in the church basement. Bob and Sue were honored to share their special day with some of their fraternity and sorority family. Bob's fraternity brother and cousin, Gary Mittelbusher (C'66), and his fraternity brothers, Dozier Jones (C'66), Keith Kephart (C'67), Warren Reininger (C'66), and Harold Knutsen (C'65) were in the wedding party. Sue's sorority sister, Rebecca (Bisgrove) Pardee (C'66), was a bridesmaid, and Dianne (Clark) Prieditis (C'64) sang at the wedding ceremony.
Sue graduated in January 1965 and began medical technology training at Finley Hospital. Bob graduated in June 1965 with a degree in mathematics and began working as an industrial engineer at John Deere in Dubuque. After completion of her training, Sue worked full time at Finley Hospital, where she also served on the board for the Medical Technology School in Dubuque. She worked occasionally at the Dubuque Blood Bank following the birth of their sons. Bob and Sue moved a few times, as Bob transferred to other John Deere plants. During this time, Sue stayed at home several years with their children and then restarted her medical career working as a part-time lab technician for a clinic in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. They moved to Bettendorf, Iowa, in 1985, where they currently reside. Bob retired in 2009 after working for 44 years at John Deere. Sue retired from Genesis Health Group of Eldridge in 2011.
They have two sons, Steve and Michael, one grandson, one granddaughter, three grand-dogs, and a grand-cat. Bob and Sue keep busy in retirement volunteering at their church. Sue delivers meals through Meals on Wheels and the couple belong to the Davenport Country Club. They are still very much in love and are happy to grow old together.
Their love story beginning at UD holds a very special place in their hearts.