Susie Mullens has been a fixture in the annual Just for Fun Parade. Daily Record photo by Colton Ashabranner
Tributes pour in for San Marcos’ own ‘Viking Goddess’
Susie Mullen has worn many hats in her life — and one was a Viking helmet.
Mullen, a beloved local figure known to many as “Ms. Susie” or “Viking Goddess” because of her long braids, is in hospice care at Central Texas Medical Center as of press time Thursday. Mullen has been a restaurateur, artist, teacher, singer/songwriter, fixture in the annual Just For Fun Parade and, for many people on and off campus, a kind soul with a ready smile. She used her artistic talents to create Valentine’s Day cards that she would sell on campus to raise money for the Hays County Food Bank. One friend described her as “a good friend to many from all walks of life.”
In 2016, the University Star published a profile of the “Viking Goddess” noting that she is a native of San Marcos and a 1988 graduate from the university (then known as Southwest Texas State University). She operated the cash register at Jones Dining Hall, where she touched the lives of countless students. The “Susie, Viking Goddess of Jones Dining Hall” Facebook page at one point had more fans than the Texas State Athletics page. Now Mullen has her own hashtag on Twitter — #ThankYouMsSusie — as tributes pour in on social media.
Twitter user Nick Gravois wrote, “Ms. Susie should always be an example of how smiling and taking an interest in others, brief as the interaction may be, can have an enormous impact. No matter what your role in someone else’s day is, you have the power to make it better.”
A Twitter user with the name Faith wrote, “I remember getting a swipe of breadsticks at LBJ, crying my eyes out cause of stress and anxiety and ms.susie just smiled and said ‘you are beautiful and I hope those breadsticks are the best in the world’ and now I’m crying thinking about it ily [I love you] viking goddess.”
Angeline tweeted, “Many students, away from home for the first time, find community & refuge in campus dining halls. Seeing her kind soul every day was precious to a lot of us. I wish the world was billions of Susies. My time at #txstate wouldn’t have been the same without her. <3”
“When I was still living in San Marcos and I’d bump into Susie, our conversations centered almost always on two topics: friendship and positivity,” the administrator of the “Susie, Viking Goddess of Jones Dining Hall” Facebook page posted. “She always talked of the Bobcats and San Martians as all being friends to her, and she always encouraged me, and I reckon she encouraged other people she’d cross paths with, to keep things positive.
“Whatever these next few days bring us, we should meditate on what it meant to be like Susie. In times like these, it is up to us to provide the positivity and friendship we may have normally looked toward her seeking.
“Susie was always touched by the love she received the last few years. If I know her as well as I think, she’d want you to continue to pass on the love.”
The love is, indeed, getting passed on. Lots of people reportedly have been stopping by Mullen’s bedside to say goodbye and sing to her. More than that, Mullen’s friend Molly Hayes said there has been talk of making sure that Mullen’s annual Valentine’s Day fundraiser continues. Elsewhere, the Kyle-based Rival3Sports clothing company has designed a “Viking Goddess” T-shirt that it is selling to raise funds for the Hays County Food Bank in honor of Mullen. The T-shirt is available for presale and all proceeds from sales of the shirt will go to the food bank. No information is available yet on fundraisers to help with medical expenses.