Suzee Oberg was elected Second Vice-President of the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City at the dinner meeting held on December 18, 2018. We asked Suzee to tell us about herself and how she got interested in the Civil War. She graciously provided the following information:
Although I was bom in Kansas in the old Bell Memorial Hospital, which is now the KU Medical Center, I grew up in Kansas City MO, as an only child in the 1940's, at 60th and Summit and attended Border Star Grade School until sent for 8th grade to Southwest High School.
My mother’s career took her to Chicago from 1949 through 1951, so those years were spent commuting between my father’s home in Kansas City, mother’s apartment in Chicago, and summer camp and boarding school in Evansville WI. After my father’s death in 1951,1 became a boarding student at Barstow School for Girls until transferring and completing high school at Shawnee Mission High School (now Shawnee Mission North) after my mother relocated to Mission KS, and purchased a women’s clothing store in November of 1952 and named it Suzee’s Fashions for me.
I attended college at Oklahoma State University until I was needed to help my mother open a second store in a new building in Overland Park in 1958. As a result, I spent 53 years in that business, except for a few months spent at Fort Hood TX with my first husband.
I had the advantage of having a brilliant mother, who graduated from KU at the age of 20, with a degree in journalism, and who had been a copywriter for advertising agencies in both Los Angeles and Kansas City and from whom I learned all facets of business. My limited professional writing career is a direct result of learning to write store ads, newsletters, and following her style of writing.
I had the honor of serving as President of the Downtown Overland Park Business Association during the building of the clock tower pavilion and farmers market, while on the Business Improvement District Board and then was appointed to the Downtown Overland Park Development Review Board. I joined the OP Optimist Club as the first woman member and am now a member and past president of the Valley View Optimist Club.
As a founding member of the Overland Park Historical Society, I have served on the board and as Past President and helped with funding by writing a book for their financial benefit. I do day trips for the Historical Society members as well as for my fellow members of the Johnson County Genealogical Society. I am also a member of the Greater Kansas City Alumnae Chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
My initial interest in the Civil War stems from a 1957 Oklahoma battle ground dedication, in which my American History college professor involved me. Two other students and myself were taken to the site and we sang a series of appropriate songs for the time, which were recorded and buried in a time capsule. We all got A’s in his class. That same year, my grandfather died and left his soldier father’s collection of diaries, letters, and various other memorabilia from the war and more memorabilia came from my grandmother’s veteran father, who was an organizer of the Old Soldier reunions at the turn of the century.
I first went to Civil War Round Table meetings many years ago and I am very happy to have returned to the meetings these last several years and look forward to helping in any way that I am able.
Suzee SoldanEls Oberg