Couple’s reconciliation not condoned

The New London Day, Eastern Connecticut, May 30, 1999
By Kyn Tolson

Soon after Sue Wing started to see her estranged husband on the sly, she found out their reconciliation was unlikely ever to get a blessing from the church prophet.

“Jean Spademan said, ‘If Sue Wing wants her sin, she ought to bloody well go and get it!’ ”

Sue remembers hearing that admonishment shortly before leaving The King’s Chapel. Her husband, Sidney, had quit two years before, when he was struggling with alcoholism. Sue and the Wings’ three daughters finally left in November 1992, nine years after they started going to Dayspring Church of God, which later merged with King’s Chapel.

Church membership had taken a costly toll on the family. Sue had gone through a long period of working for free – both at a gift shop that Dayspring owned and operated in Jewett City and at Sam Wibberley Tire.

Her first volunteering was in the early 1980s at Blessings Gift Shop. The Wings’ girls were young at the time, and the family was living in East Killingly.

In a written testimony of her experiences in the church, Sue, now 50, said, “I didn’t want to (work there). I felt the items were too high-priced for the average person in Jewett City…” Nonetheless, she initially went there part-time. She went full-time, without pay, in 1986, after her family followed advice from church leadership and moved to Jewett City.

When the shop closed in 1987, she was asked to volunteer at the tire business. The plan, according to the Wings, was to sell Christian books and candy out of the Danielson shop. That never developed, but Sue was at the business anywhere from 19 to 40 hours a week.

She struggled to juggle her volunteering with her home life. “My children were still in school, and I was able most of the time to leave and be home for them. But there was often the urgent need about the time I had to leave that would keep me there. And my children would come home to an empty home,” she wrote.

Her work included data entry, selling tires, writing up receipts and picking up parts. “I’ve been to every junkyard in eastern Connecticut,” she said. Her cat Kleemann is named for one in Preston.

Eventually, at her husband’s insistence, Sue went to Wibberley to ask for a wage. He gave her $100 weekly. “They only gave her that because I demanded she get paid,” said Sidney. “Sam went to Syro, and Syro said that Sue deserves $100 a week. So that’s what she got. … That was gross pay.”

Life at home, meanwhile, was tumultuous. At one point, Sidney was temporarily disabled with a back injury. He also was fighting depression and drinking. Today he has been in recovery for eight years and works as a machinist in nuclear power plants. When he first sought treatment for alcoholism, however, the family was barely making ends meet. The couple separated in 1991. Sidney had left the church and briefly dated another woman. He was shunned by the church leadership, and it was understood that Sue shouldn’t have much to do with him.

She started to look for a job with a better salary.

“When Sam found out, he got very angry,” she said. “He said I was deceitful.”

Nonetheless she stood by her decision. She found a secretarial job at M.J. Sullivan in New London for $7 an hour.

“I think Sam has a control problem,” she said.

Though she stayed in the church a bit longer, the final break was not far off. She and Sid secretly started seeing each other again. He made sure not to answer the telephone when he was visiting at their Taylor Hill Road home, but the ministry eventually found out.

Syro gave her an admonishment, Sue says, and pastor John V. Monahan Jr. called her on the phone to say, “You just want to have sex with your husband!

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