Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army
son of Charles Thomas Menoher, he is buried
near his father in Section 3 of Arlington National Cemetery.
There is very little information about him
on his stone and research therefore continues.
Kathy Matthews remembers sitting on the bed as a little girl and watching her mother get ready to go out. Married to an Army Colonel, Susan Menoher was probably headed to a party with other military couples.
While at her vanity table's tilting mirror, Susan would dab on White Shoulders perfume and brush her bobbed brunette hair. Then she'd slip into a pale taffeta dress and pull on spiked heels, and ask Kathy to choose her jewelry for the night. Kathy knew that her mother's favorite was the $20 gold piece hanging from a gold chain. Susan's mother had given her the coin as a graduation present.
Stylish and vivacious, Susan made a good officer's wife.
"She was always a fashion plate," Kathy said. "She always looked finished."
Susan Elizabeth Owens Menoher died June 18 from complications of a fall. She was 94.
Born to a U.S. soldier and his wife in Manila, Philippines, Susan had good training for a life in the military. Her father's career had his wife and children moving every few years, even as the family grew with three more children.
It was through the military that Susan met her first husband, Darrow Menoher, whose father was the first commander of the U.S. Air Service. Susan and Darrow married in 1933.
"He spoiled her," Kathy said, "and spent money on the next fun thing to do."
The couple lived happily in Colorado until Darrow's untimely death from a cerebral aneurysm in 1943.
It was a few years later that Darrow's younger brother William divorced his wife and gained custody of their two children. Susan volunteered to help care for them. She and William fell in love, and the couple married in 1947. Their child, Kathy, was born two years later.
As William's military career took off, the family moved from Denmark to New Mexico to Indiana.
"My father was the glue that held the family together," Kathy said. "Mother was the entertainer."
Susan and William threw as many parties as they attended, hosting up to 30 people for a cocktail party. She was a good cook who liked to experiment, creating hors d'oeuvres while William put big band music or Frank Sinatra on the stereo. By the mid-1960s, the couple invited friends of different races to their parties.
"My mother taught me to have an expansive view," Kathy said. "I was raised not to be prejudiced."
As much as she loved socializing and throwing parties, Susan also loved her martinis. In the mid-1950s, though, she gave up alcohol completely.
"She handled it with as much grace and maturity as she could," Kathy said. "She never drank again, and she never wavered."
After William's death in 1978, Susan moved along the East Coast, eventually settling in Kinston to be near Kathy and her husband. Susan volunteered weekly at Mary's Kitchen, and it was at her urging that the soup kitchen began serving Christmas Day dinner. Ever the gracious hostess, Susan served turkey, dressing and gravy to those less fortunate.
Christmas Day, as it turns out, was Susan's birthday, too.
Susan Elizabeth Owens Menoher is also survived
by daughter Susan Vatter and a son, Chuck Menoher; by five grandchildren
and three great-grandchildren.
DARROW MENOHER (CHARLES THOMAS, SAMUEL M.,
CHARLES (SON OF JOHN, JR.) MENOHER, JOHN MENOHER, JR., JOHN) was born January
31, 1896 in St. Agustine, Florida, and died August 23, 1943 in Denver,
Colorado; buried Arlington National Cemetery, Washington D.C. He married
(1) DOROTHY ASHLEY. She died Unknown. He met SUSAN ELIZABETH OWENS Private.
She was born Private.
Updated: 21 August 2001 Updated: 23 March 2002 Updated: 11 July 2005 Updated: 2 March 2008
Photo Courtesy of Holly, March 2008