With her writing and in life, Sue Kidd was a ‘force of nature.’ A longtime food critic and editor for The News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, Sue was known as a fearless advocate for readers as well as for her dogged pursuit of all things related to food.
“What better way to connect with one another than through a conversation about food?” she wrote.
At 52, she left us far too soon. She died March 2, 2022 after a courageous 26-day battle with aggressive cancer. Sue graduated with a journalism degree in 1993 from Western Washington University. As a proud South Puget Sound native, she returned to the area where she began her restaurant writing career in 1997 at the King County Journal, then landed at The News Tribune in 2004. Hired as an editor, she took over the newspaper’s dining blog, TNT Diner, in 2009. Sue started her own independent food blog, Dine Pierce County, funded by reader donations, in 2019 after leaving The News Tribune. There, she continued the same review work she pursued at The News Tribune, but at a slower pace.
Sue got her start in college media at Green River Community College, where she was a DJ for the college radio station KGRG 89.9 FM in the late ‘80s. The pioneering station developed its rock format when Sue was on staff. It started when students began playing local, unknown-to-the-masses music, which exploded into famous ‘90s grunge bands like Green River, Mudhoney and Nirvana.
Sue in her college days at WWU.
When Sue arrived at Western in the fall of 1990, she joined the journalism program and quickly established herself as a leader and a role model who inspired her peers on The Western Front (now known as The Front), where she served as arts and entertainment editor, news editor and editor in chief. She also wrote for Klipsun, Western’s award-winning student magazine.
The ‘90s gave rise to a “culture war” climate fueled in part by the AIDS epidemic, which battered the LGBTQ+ community. The era fueled Sue’s commitment to quality journalism and calling out “bigotry, hatred, homophobia, racism and shady politics.”
Sue’s authentic voice, pointed humor, bursts of trademark laughter and hip vibe were hard to miss. She was a strong advocate for the student voice and challenged her fellow classmates to engage “early and often” as opposed to expending energy on “hasty protests.”
Sue and her husband, Paul Nimz.
“Don't sit around and wait for other people to write about things that are important to you. Do it yourself. Any student can submit to The Front,” Sue wrote in one editorial and continued in another, “Shouldn’t we (college students) grasp the opportunity to make actual changes while we are still idealistic and energized by our education?”
Contributions to the fund will go toward junior or senior students who are working for a WWU media outlet or pursuing an internship who embody the promise and passion displayed by our dear friend and colleague Sue. Our goal is to make this an endowed scholarship so Sue’s legacy lives on which requires at least $25,000 to be raised so please help us reach our goal for Sue and all future WWU journalists by making your gift today!