Monday, February 27, 2006

Dale Huffman: YWCA to honor Susanne "Susie" Mousaian Weaver

Dale Huffman: YWCA to honor 7 area women: "COMMENTARY

Dale Huffman: YWCA to honor 7 area women
By Dale Huffman

Dayton Daily News

Susanne "Susie" Mousaian Weaver once saw these words on a church signboard, "The purpose of life is the life of purpose."

"Susie adopted that as her life motto," Mary Sue Kessler said. "Her lifetime purpose has been to enhance lives and increase the overall quality of our community."

Kessler, a retired bank official and community activist, nominated Weaver, who has been selected as one of seven women being honored by the YWCA as a 2006 Woman of Influence in Dayton.

The awards luncheon is Tuesday at the Dayton Convention Center. Tickets are still available.

For information, call 461-5550, ext. 179, on Monday.

Weaver's place in Dayton history was entered in the books in 2000 when she was elected the first female president of the Rotary Club of Dayton, one of the area's top service and social organizations.

The club was founded in 1912, and the first women were admitted in 1987.

But Weaver's record of giving goes back to the time when she was a child, Kessler said.

"At age 14, as a candy striper, she was a hospital volunteer."

According to Kessler, Weaver was an Air Force wife who became active in Dayton in 1982 when she returned home.

"One of her first opportunities came when she was named chair of the Dayton Educational Council," Kessler said. "She created workshops, she helped pass levies, and she worked hard to help establish the Dayton Public Schools Youth Advisory Council."

Kessler said that one of Weaver's passions is her family business, Mousaian Oriental Rugs.

"She and her husband, Paul, are proud to represent a third generation working the business."

Since this is an award honoring women of influence, I asked each of the seven winners, all profiled here in the past seven days, if they had their own woman of influence during their formative days.

Weaver said that her mother, Helen Mousaian, was her inspiration.

"She still influences me even though I lost her 20 years ago," Weaver said. "She was a fabulous role model in many ways."

She said her mother worked alongside her father in the family business all her adult life.

"My mother did not have a high school diploma, but made sure that all three of her own children had college educations," Weaver said. "She knew her priorities in life, serving God and touching the lives of family, friends, customers and sometimes folks she never met."

Weaver said, "I'll never forget that my mother was there for me during a very serious illness in my early 20s, and later I am thankful that God gave me the opportunity to be there for her during her terminal illness. She was a woman of great faith which permeated every aspect of her life."

Asked what advice she would give a young woman beginning a career, Weaver answered, "I would tell her to seek a balance in her life early on so that she maintains a healthy lifestyle. Balance time with work, with family, with friends.

"And I would suggest that she will appreciate her community more if she finds a way in which to support it, specifically through volunteerism."

Weaver added, "I was raised with the belief that the more you give, the more you have to give. I like a quote from Dr. Jonas Salk who said, 'The greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.' "

Dale Huffman wants your story ideas. This column is for you. Send e-mail to dhuffman or write to him at 45 S. Ludlow St., Dayton, OH 45402. Fax: (937) 225-2489. Phone: (937) 225-2272."

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