Canton Repository

July 23, 2006

Sue Timken plays a vital role

By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service

BERLIN - The name Timken has become familiar to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past year, but not because of William R. “Tim” Timken Jr., the U.S. ambassador to Germany.

It has more to do with Timken’s wife, Sue, who every few weeks has been sending hundreds of home-baked cookies to Americans in war zones.

No one from the embassy mentioned the cookies, but when a reporter who heard about them inquired last week, Mrs. Timken exclaimed, “I think the cookie production is going on now!”

Hurrying into the kitchen of the ambassador’s residence, she insisted that two cooks employed by the embassy, Marco Ruokamo and Dirk Buchmann, were the “real heroes of the cookie production.” The two were pulling trays out of the oven covered with butterfly-shaped, yellow-frosted cookies.

“Last week they made 1,200 cookies to send,” Sue Timken said.

She also showed off a bulletin board with thank-you notes from some of the soldiers.

The ambassador’s wife also has redecorated the residence at the family’s personal expense, Tim Timken said. She also visits wounded troops and their families at least twice a month at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

Tim Timken said his wife is “good in that role.” While many others also are doing “fine work” at the hospital, Timken said his wife can speak directly for the president. “She can tell a soldier the president values what you’ve done for your nation.”

He explained there’s no obligation for a spouse to be involved in such activities. “But she feels that she was asked as much as myself by the president to undertake this task,” he said. “For me it’s great to have a partner like that.”