Sue Proehl honored with 19th Spirit of Union Award

Avid gardener and City of Union resident Sue Proehl has the “green thumb gene.” Her grandmother had it, her mother had it … and Sue keeps the tradition beautifully alive. Her property at 391 Rinehart recently received the Spirit of Union Award.

Sue, who grew up in Miamisburg, remembers helping out on her grandparents’ farm in Centerville. She and her husband lived for about 40 years in Trotwood where they raised a son and a daughter, and Sue gardened all through the years as well as taught swimming lessons and worked as a bookkeeper.

In 2001, the Proehls built their home in Union, a one-story brick ranch in the Mill Ridge neighborhood.

“I love it here – the community and especially our neighbors. We have the best neighbors in the world. This is home,” she said.

The property is adorned with flowers in shades of pink, purple and white – roses, hydrangeas and begonias. A flowering cherry tree and two plum trees greet visitors; geraniums hug the walk leading to the house. A blue-spruce shrub and spirea plants offer color, texture and dimension. A lilac bush emits an abundance of fragrance every spring.

Sue’s favorite time of year is summer when she can while away the hours in her yard. Her backyard has all kinds of flowers. “You name the flower, I probably have it,” she said.

The back boasts a covered patio and a rock fountain from which water bubbles. “Birds come to drink from the fountain, and it’s fun to watch them,” Sue said.

Bird houses dot the backyard. Two maple trees and an ash tree (which so far has escaped the Emerald Ash Borer) offer shade. A wrought-iron fence provides some privacy.

Sue belongs to the Greenview Garden Club, which maintains an herb garden at the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm. She also enjoys spending time with her family, which now includes five grandchildren.

The Park Board established the Spirit of Union Award in 1997 to encourage exterior enhancements of residential and business properties. More information about the City’s Spirit of Union Award can be found on the City’s website at