Victoria (Minnesota) Gazette owner Sue Orsen retires, plans to donate archives

Kate Decker

Oct 1, 2023

Sue Orsen (center) takes a picture with four of the five Victoria City Council members after Mayor Deb McMillan read a proclamation recognizing her and the Victoria Gazette. (Sue Orsen)
Mary Meuwissen, former mayor of Victoria, and others distributed a neighborhood party invitation via Facebook. (Sue Orsen)
Sue Orsen (center with newspaper) showcases her last issue and attendees of her celebration party. After 44 years, Orsen is quitting publishing the Victoria (Minnesota) Gazette. (Sue Orsen)
Sue Orsen is pictured at the Victoria Burrow with Burow owner Tom Wartman and other friends who joined a Hanging Up Party, held only a few days after learning that Orsen quit.
Sue Orsen is pictured on stage at The Victoria Burrow being toasted and roasted (with friends Nan Emmer and John Mugford, former editor of the Chanhassen Villager).
Carver County Commissioner Matt Udermann and Sue Orsen take a photo at a neighborhood party in Victoria, Minnesota.

“This decision to quit the Gazette came fast, suddenly, without warning,” Sue Orsen wrote in the final issue of the Victoria (Minnesota) Gazette ‘From the Editor.’ “When I woke at 2 o'clock, I lay there thinking about things, and I was peacefully led to this decision,” she continued. “I'm reminded of when I quit playing the piano at church after 34 years. That decision, too — which I made late in December of 2016 — came without warning, without plan or premeditation.”

Orsen announced her retirement and the closure of the Victoria (Minnesota) Gazette in the June 2023 issue.

Orsen joined the paper staff as a reporter in 1979. In 1980, she became the editor, publisher and owner.

"I know it will be life-changing to not have the next issue of the Gazette in front of me with the daily attention I've given to it, but the peace that comes with this decision confirms it is the right one,” Orsen said. “I've often said that God will make it clear to me when it's time to quit. And He did.”

She shared the news via email with Pub Aux Managing Editor Kate Decker on Aug. 7 and said she does not have a successor.

“I have not been looking for a buyer, but if a buyer came along, that would be a good thing,” Orsen said. “Many people are sad that the paper is no longer in their mailboxes.”

The final issue of the Gazette listed a circulation of 5,200 households in “all of Victoria plus many more.”

As for her archives, Orsen says it's a comprehensive history of a community like no other.

“The trick has been to write what I know, and that's what I know! All of it is archived on my big computer as well as on large-capacity flash drives that are ready for me to give to the Minnesota Historical Society, the Carver County Historical Society and the Carver County Library System.”

Orsen can still be reached at