Former Redhawks Standout Server Died of Cancer at 32
July 5, 2007
Story by Marty Mishow ~ Southeast Missourian
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Former Southeast Missouri State volleyball coach Cindy Gannon remembers Susie Thompson as a fun-loving person who competed as hard on the court as she enjoyed life off it.
"She was just a great kid, and a very good player," Gannon said of Thompson, who passed away last week. "She had a wonderful personality."
Thompson, 32, died of cancer June 26 at her home in Cape Girardeau. Her funeral was Saturday in her native Indiana.
"She was diagnosed in January," Gannon said. "That's how quick it happened."
Thompson played on four straight Ohio Valley Conference championship teams at Southeast from 1993 through 1996.
She earned all-OVC honorable mention honors in 1995 and was a member of the 1996 OVC all-tournament team.
Thompson ranks fifth on the school's Division I list for career service aces with 165.
"She played on some great teams and she was a big part of those teams," said Gannon, an associate athletic director at Southeast who coached the volleyball squad from 1989 through 2004.
Gannon said Thompson had remained in the area after graduating from Southeast in 1997. She was employed at Procter & Gamble.
"We stayed in touch, and I know a lot of her former teammates also stayed in touch," Gannon said. "She was engaged to be married, and I know she was really happy.
"She was so young ... it's just so unfortunate it had to happen. It's the first player I've lost and it's very sad."
Gannon said the university is in the process of setting up a memorial volleyball scholarship in Thompson's name.
Gannon said anyone wishing to make a donation to help get the scholarship started should call her at (573) 651-2997.