Help Active Generations to meet the needs of the Sioux Empire's growing age population.

Learn More
Center for Active Generations West
2300 W. 46th St. Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Center for Active Generations East
5500 E. Active Generations Place Sioux Falls, SD 57110

Help Active Generations to meet the needs of the Sioux Empire's growing aging population.

Learn More

Member Spotlight – Susan Eckstrom

Working with children has always been a passion for Susan Eckstrom. She is drawn to helping them learn in many ways. “I love to minister to the kids in my church and Sunday School. I am a children’s leader for Bible Study Fellowship here in Sioux Falls. I love teaching young people,” Susan said. “It energizes and exhausts me at the same time.” Susan taught elementary school for a few years and worked at an inner city ministry in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her time was divided between office work and the children’s ministry. “Those were exhausting years, but it was good. My co-workers who ran the place were funny and often challenged me. We ran Bible clubs for the children. Our buses would go out and pick up the students,” Susan said. “We also did door-to-door ministry with the kids. Different nationalities made our work interesting. We worked with children from Laos, Africa, Native American Indian and Caucasian. They all lived in the same area but they did not like each other. We had to watch them carefully. I worked in this ministry for fourteen years.” In 1995, Susan moved to Sioux Falls to live with her mom who was widowed. She encouraged Eckstrom to attend the North American Baptist Seminary. It was a good relationship for both of them. In 1996, Susan took a job at Trail Ridge and worked while she earned her Master of Arts degree in Christian Education. “I worked at Trail Ridge for twenty-one years. In all those years, I had only three different administrators,” Susan said. “Working at Trail Ridge was very good for me even through all the changes. I was a receptionist and eventually became the office manager,” Susan said. “I lived and worked through many changes. Technology was a big learning curve for me. Things changed so quickly. Life is so different since technology exploded in everything.” Susan did not teach at this time, but did use her education teaching Sunday School at her church. Susan grew up on an 80 acre farm located south of St. Paul, Minnesota. Her mom was a hard worker. She helped her husband outside and had a huge garden, baked and cooked to take care of the family. “Mom always said she would never marry a farmer. However, when she met my Dad, he was a Research Chemist for Hair Care Products by Rayette,” Susan said. “My dad fell in love with the farmer’s daughter, my mom! My dad fell in love with the farmer’s life. My uncles influenced him to be a farmer. He did not know how to milk the cows so Mom had to teach him. He loved the 80 acre farm.” Susan grew up on the 80 acre farm with one sister, Betty. Susan loved the farm and was a tom boy who loved climbing trees and climbing around on the hay bales in the haymow. “Luckily I never broke any bones in my climbing escapades,” Susan said. “I attended school for nine years at Farmington, Minnesota. I rode the bus every day. The bus driver was strict. He turned around in our driveway as we were the last pickup for school.” The family moved to a 280 acre farm in Chippewa County in Minnesota between Montevideo and Clara City. “There was a very small town named Maynard where I attended the rest of high school. I graduated and attended my freshman year at Bethel College in St. Paul. I finished my degree in Elementary Education at the University of Minnesota at Morris,” Susan said. “I taught for a few years in elementary school. I went to work at an inner city ministry in Minneapolis. I did office work and children’s ministry.” Susan has been coming to Active Generations for about five years. It is a good place for her to get out of the house and meet people. She is excited about the new East Active Generations. “It is good for our health to be out with other people,” Susan said. “I like hanging out with the quilters and craft groups. I enjoy embroidering towels. I volunteer at the Humane Society where I am a “Cat Cuddler.” The cats like to come out and play. They climb all over me and I don’t mind one bit.” “Find something you will enjoy in your life and you won’t have to work a day!” Susan said. “I learned from my parents as a Christian you are to be involved with the church. But, we also need to go outside the church to spread the gospel to others. Enjoy each day to the fullest!”