Susan Youngblood Wendleton, daughter of Floyd and Dorothy Youngblood, was born in McCune-Brooks Hospital on December 3, 1955. Growing up on a farm, she attended elementary school at Forest Mill. She graduated Carthage High School in 1974 and went on to attend Ozark Christian College. Her early work years were spent in the farming and truck driving industry.
In 1996, she began a prestigious 23-year career with Carthage Water & Electric Plant where she quickly moved from cashier to executive administrative assistant to the General Manager. She served three different GMs and was acting Secretary to the Board of Directors during her tenure. Juggling many responsibilities at CW&EP, Susan is best remembered for her hard work, her community involvement, her singing and songwriting skills, and her support for other employees in difficult situations.
Susan spearheaded a loyal volunteer group of CW&EP employees to become involved with children at Columbian Elementary School through the Bright Futures Carthage program. Her role on the Site Council of Columbian Elementary Bright Futures has allowed her to partner with both CW&EP and Carthage Nazarene to enlist and coordinate volunteers. She is passionate about inspiring others to touch the lives of students and teachers. Susan can be found most mornings giving high fives, hugs and smiles as students arrive at Columbian, and interacting frequently with students during school events. Her desire is that each child will feel loved with consistent encouragement from caring adults.
Susan would say her motivation in serving others is her faith in Jesus and the love He gave her for people of all ages. She is currently serving as a Connection Care staff member at Carthage Nazarene. She’s served as Board President of Carthage Chamber of Commerce, Carthage Caring Communities and Soroptimist International of Carthage. At St. Luke’s Nursing Center, she served as Board Secretary and has played piano for weekly church services for 43+ years. Susan currently serves as VP of the Board of Innovative Industries. Her desire to serve others has spurred her on to acts of kindness throughout her life, including keeping her nephew’s two young boys for nine months while he was deployed in the military. She felt honored to be entrusted with those two young lives, and she was especially humbled to receive the Red Cross Hero Award for taking care of them.
Susan’s honors include Carthage Area United Way Spirit of Giving Award, Athena Award and 2016 Carthage Christmas Parade Grand Marshall. In 2019, she was named Citizen of the Year at the Carthage Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet in recognition for her devotion and service to the community. Susan truly has a servant’s heart and Carthage is proud to call her a hero for her life-long dedication to bettering our community.