Susan Troelstrup - 1963
Bio & Picture from 40th Reunion
Bio update for 50th Reunion
Susan's pictures for the 50th Reunion

Susan Troelstrup Gabert - 2003-09-04

After high school graduation I went on to Stephens College and graduated with a BA degree in history and economics; taught high school history for 2 years in Warrenton, MO, then hit the road with no particular destination in mind;  during my travels I stayed in some places only long enough to earn enough money to keep driving and found interesting jobs as a bartender, secretary, auditor, waitress, etc.; lived in Logan, Iowa for several years and worked in a funeral home as a licensed embalmer; came back to Missouri and taught high school history, social problems and economics in California, Missouri, for 10 years;  I married and divorced while in California, MO; graduated from a 2-yr. paralegal program at Stephen College in 1979 while working part-time for H & R Block; moved to Kansas City and began work as a probate paralegal at the largest firm in the area;  moved on to a small firm in Overland Park, KS, where I stayed for 13 years and passed a test to become an IRS enrolled agent;  in 2001 I moved on to one of the larger law firms and currently work as a probate and tax paralegal; married again in 1986 to Duane Sumpter and live in Lee's Summit, MO; no children;  2 dogs and 3 cats graciously allow us to live with them.

Susan Troelstrup Gabert - 2012-11-06

It strikes me that where I am at this point in my life is a matter of luck. It was a matter of luck that I had loving parents who cared about me enough that they set boundaries on my behavior and disciplined me accordingly. I was lucky to have a few close friends as I was growing up -- Martha Shrout, Bonnie and Peggy Pahl, Helen Stone, Peggy Smith, Lila Gafke, Dennis Marriott, Barbara Gerau, Marinell Dorsey, Connie Warren, Janice Barnhart and Sharon Gilpin. We had fun together, shared tears and shared dreams. They are all part of who I am today. I don’t think I ever verbalized to them how much their friendship meant to me and for that I am sorry.

As luck would have it, I had some wonderful teachers along the way. In grade school, the teachers were Eleanor Funk and Elizabeth Taylor and in junior high they were Mr. Turner (math) and several english teachers. At Hickman, the memorable teachers were Mr. Stawski, Mr. Ritter, Mr. Toalson and Mr. Higdon – all of whom expressed an interest in me and cared about where I was headed in life.

I was lucky, too, to have been pushed by Mom to take dancing lessons from Mrs. Pealer at Fine Arts Studio. From her I learned to appreciate dance as a discipline and to be responsible for younger dance students who looked to me for guidance. While I had absolutely no talent for the dance, I was able to teach it and developed a lifelong admiration and appreciation for those who do have talent.

After high school my luck still held, when I went to Stephens College (at first, grudgingly), I was lucky enough to have several professors (Gene Schmidtlein and John Decker, in particular) who nurtured me and helped me when I felt like I was drowning in classwork and losing my focus .

When I began teaching in high school there were always several colleagues who were there for me when I needed to talk through school problems or discipline concerns or just let off steam. I hope I told them how much I appreciated their friendship and advice. Teachers need all the help they can get and I was lucky to get help when I needed it most.

I decided to change my professional direction in life when I went back to college for a 2-year paralegal program. Luckily, I was hired by a large law firm in Kansas City and learned about probate and trust administration from several top-notch attorneys who bothered to spend time with me and explain theory as well as practical application. Those same attorneys encouraged me to become an Enrolled Agent because I actually enjoy tax work. After working at several law firms, I retired and now work for a mid-sized firm 2 days a week. I am lucky to have retired on my own terms and still be able to work part-time.

Some of the best luck I ever had, though, was marrying my husband, Duane K. Sumpter, and staying connected to several of my classmates, particularly Charley Blackmore, Martha Shrout and Jim Woodruff.

P.S. John Cunningham still owes me a quarter. Over several reunions I have tried to collect from him. Good luck with that!



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