Sue Passmore

Sue Passmore, known to generations of Lake Highlands families as “the Original Wildcat,” died Thursday following a brief but intense battle with cancer. Her daughter, Julie Cincotta, shared the sad news on social media.

“I give you my word that she fought bravely and fiercely until the end, but the cancer had ravaged her body,” wrote Cincotta. “She loved each and every one of you, and your support meant the world to her.”

Advocate interviewed Passmore in 2014 during the 50th anniversary celebration for Lake Highlands High School.

“I came to Lake Highlands in October 1959 as the first student teacher in a LH school,” she told me. “I reported to Wallace Elementary, which housed grades 5-8. (I arrived just a few days after the indoor plumbing was completed and the port-a-potties had been removed from campus!) The only other LH school at that time was Lake Highlands Elementary, which housed grades 1-4. The building that is now LHJH was under construction. I did my student teaching in 7th and 8th grade Language Arts.”

After a brief stint teaching in Richardson, Passmore began teaching LHHS sophomores in 1961. That group became the first graduating class of 1964.

“I’ve had many great teachers in my life,” shared Katherine Bell on Facebook today, “but my Honors English teacher from 11th grade at Lake Highlands High School – Sue McCaffree Passmore – made an impression on me that I’ve carried with me for the past 40 years. She encouraged me in my writing that junior year, inspired me to go on to earn my Bachelor’s in English, and became a dear friend when we reconnected later in life. She was even there to celebrate my two books with me – books I might never have even thought to write without her inspiration in my life.

“Always…always…always…Sue radiated encouragement, positivity, laughter, and love – every moment in her class, every visit later on, and every little note on Facebook. Some teachers touch your life for a semester, or a year. Sue touched my whole life, and that of countless others.”

Sue was the widow of Bill Passmore, first principal of Lake Highlands Elementary, Northlake and Merriman Park. She is survived by daughters Julie, Mary and their families.