Susan Kay Gallagher was born December 7, 1953 in Bonne Terre, MO to William and Mabel Gallagher, joining brothers Mike and Tom. She attended Flat River and Sullivan, MO schools, and then continued on to East Central Jr. College and Southeast Missouri State University, where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Management, and Rockhurst University, where she earned her MBA.
Although she ended up in "the big city" of Kansas City, she always considered herself fortunate to grow up in small towns and small churches, which helped develop her faith and respect for helping others. She grew up near most of her 19 cousins and had wonderful memories of gatherings with grandparents, or walking to visit aunts and uncles. Family ties were strong and very loving.
Susan married her husband Don Sachen on June 14, 1980 after dating for three years. They were introduced by a mutual acquaintance, but it was not stereotypical love at ﬁrst sight. After 43 years together though, evidently it has worked out well.
Susan’s professional career began at Dun & Bradstreet, ﬁrst as a business analyst and then as Divisional Operations Manager. Following that, she taught business classes at Dickinson Junior College and Maple Woods Community College. Due to the long commutes to work during this era, although her house was usually tidy, her car was frequently full of fast food wrappers and bags, soft drink and coffee cups.
As if she weren't busy enough, in 1992 she also joined IDEX, a small start-up research business. She initially helped part- time with accounting functions, but went on to become full-time Operations Manager. She was fair and very well-liked. The business was later sold to Lexis Nexis and she helped in the transition of operations for the next two years as the Kansas City oﬃce was closed.
After the closure, she worked at Kansas City Hospice House for nearly four years, which was probably her favorite job. She retired early to assist her brother in caring for their parents as their health declined.
Susan developed strong ties with family and friends throughout the years, and was surrounded by a dizzying number of nieces, great-nieces, great-great nieces, cousins, etc. Few people outside her family could possibly remember all their names. Sporting events, graduations, weddings, baby showers. She went to as many of them as she could, regardless of how far she had to drive. She bought a little pop-up tent so she could sit in the shade to watch softball games. Each of the ﬁve great-nieces were treated to a week of “Camp Aunt Susan & Uncle Don" after they reached the age of 10 where they experienced anything they could dream of.
Susan made friends easily and was a wonderful friend. She maintained friendships with school friends and co-workers for decades, including childhood friends of more than 50 years who are collectively referred to as "The Leadbelt Belles". Susan intuitively seemed to know the right thing to say and the right thing to do. She was able to assess a situation quickly and ﬁgure out exactly what she could do to help. Need a wedding dress hemmed? No problem. Need a petsitter for your dog? Bring him over. Need 100 absolutely gorgeous cupcakes or cookies for a party? She would make them. She ran errands for elderly neighbors, even when she was sick enough that someone should have been running errands for her. She volunteered at church. And on and on and on. Her energy and empathy appeared boundless.
She seemingly didn't use the word "No", and truly embraced every situation she encountered. She walked a mile on a cold, snowy day with her great-nieces to watch the Chiefs victory parade, shortly after one of her many treatments. Drove 40 miles to the airport during COVID, after yet another treatment, to drop off cookies for another great-niece. Things like this drew the ire of her family and friends, but she was absolutely unfazed and unapologetic. And most certainly would do it again if given the opportunity.
Susan and Don had quite a few memorable travels they enjoyed greatly, and forged new friends along the way. Some of their favorite destinations included a Canadian trip along the Iceﬁelds Parkway from Banff to Jasper, northern Washington with a jaunt to Beauchard Gardens on Victoria Island, Montana, Georgia and car rallies to Alabama in their vintage Mercedes convertible.
Susan fought far more health battles in the last 18 years than anyone should have to endure. Through it all she remained optimistic, and never, ever complained. She was always grateful there was a treatment that could be offered to her, no matter how diﬃcult. She was determined to enjoy her life as long as she could, even as more and more limitations appeared.
And she succeeded.
Susan leaves behind her husband Don, brother Thomas Gallagher (Patty) of Sullivan, MO; sister-in-law Patricia Sachen of Kansas City KS; two nieces, Tammy Daniel and Shannon Heinle (Jim); ﬁve great-nieces, Jessica, Alyssia, Aubrey, Emmy and Abbey; and ﬁve great-great nieces & nephews, plus a multitude of family and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Mike.
Although Susan loved to garden, she requested that people refrain from sending ﬂowers due to others' extreme sensitivity to scents. Instead, if you're so inclined, please consider a donation in her memory to Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care, Heritage United Methodist Church or a charity of your choice.
To register to view Susan's Memorial Service, please click on the link provided below.