Tommy & Sue Ann Thompson's Wedding Story

These two went on their first date to the Park Motor Inn for lunch!
by The Knot

How did they meet?

Although they had attended the same high school in rural Wisconsin, Tommy Thompson and Sue Ann Mashak's paths didn't cross until many years later. After leaving the nunnery at 24, Sue Ann decided to pursue a career teaching grade school in central Milwaukee. When her local teacher's union asked her to lobby for higher teacher's wages at the state capitol in Madison, she agreed to go. Upon arrival at the capitol, Sue Ann recognized representative Thompson from her high school years, and approached him with the intention to lobby. Her lobbying didn't prove successful -- Tommy told her that increased spending would have to go to rural, not city teachers -- but Tommy asked her out to lunch, and she accepted. After lunch at the Park Motor Inn, Tommy asked her on another date that weekend, and the two were inseparable from then on.

The Bride

Sue Ann Mashak, 27

The Groom

Tommy G. Thompson, 27

Wedding Date

January 5, 1968

The Location

Arcadia, Wisconsin

Number of Guests


What was the proposal like?

One evening, while the two were enjoying an outdoor John Wayne movie in Wisconsin Dells, Tommy proposed they elope. Sue Ann accepted, and the two married shortly after in a Catholic church in Arcadia, Wisconsin. After the cozy ceremony the two stopped at a little country restaurant and Tommy says he remembers thinking "We're starting off at the bottom, and things can only improve from here." Several months later, Tommy and Sue Ann celebrated their nuptials with 300 of their friends and family at the Valley Inn in Elroy, Wisconsin.

And the honeymoon?

For their honeymoon, the couple took a trip to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where they stayed in a hotel for a short trip before Sue Ann returned to teaching and Tommy to the legislature.

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