LIFE TRIBUTE – Suzanne (Preeper) Allen Scheller

Suzanne (Preeper) Allen Scheller


Suzanne Mafred Scheller was born to Teresa and Wesley Preeper in Minot, North Dakota, on January 25, 1929. She was an only child for nine years until her parents were blessed with the birth of their second daughter, Nancy. Sue adored her little sister and took an active role in helping raise her. The two girls spent their childhood swimming in the Mouse River, wandering around their five-acre family-owned business (Eatmore Sausage and Packing Company, located on the Soo Line just southeast of Minot), and enjoyed time together at the home Wesley had built close to the business.

One of Sue’s favorite memories was visiting her grandparent’s bed and breakfast, located next to the Hudson River at 106 Buckeye Street in Hudson, WI. One of her most prized possessions was the original key to the house she lovingly displayed in her living room.

Suzanne attended school in Minot her entire childhood, until graduating Minot Senior High School in 1947. She was a cheerleader, majorette, and an all-around fun-loving teenager with a hilarious sense of humor. Her senior yearbook caption read, “Are you spoken fer?”

Wesley sold their family business on April 15, 1948 and the family moved to Los Angeles, CA. Sadly, during this time, Wesley and Teresa separated and never reunited. Teresa moved to Seal Beach, CA with her two daughters. At age 20, Sue married Hugh Edward Allen (19) in Los Angeles, CA on March 8, 1949. The couple had four fiercely spirited children: Dale Edward Allen (7/9/49), Diane Teresa Allen (10/9/50), Derrick James Allen (7/22/54), and Randall Hugh Allen (9/30/55).

On May 1, 1953, tragedy struck when a fire, caused by spontaneous combustion, started on the back porch of the Allen’s home located at 120 7th Street in Seal Beach, CA. Fortunately, Sue and Hugh were able to pull their children to safety before their home was completely consumed. They lost nearly everything they owned, with the exception of a few family photos Sue was able to grab on her way out.

Little did Sue know, this horrific event would lead her to Hollywood, CA. In 1954, a neighbor obtained four audience tickets to attend Jack Bailey’s Queen for a Day program, and she asked Sue to join. Through a raffle, Sue was one of four tickets selected to be a finalist on the show. Each contestant was asked why they would like to be “Queen for a Day” and the one with the best reason would win. Sue told them about the fire and how her family had lost everything they had. Naturally, Sue was chosen as the winner and received thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes including new appliances, purses, accessories, furniture, rugs, and a whole new wardrobe. Following the show, Sue and Hugh were treated to a first-class Hollywood experience before returning to Seal Beach to await their gifts. In a 10-page letter to her mother, Sue wrote excitedly, “I’m sure you heard it on the radio, but I was scared! In fact, one of the men from the show stood with his arms around me to hold me up when they crowned me and started naming off all the gifts. It certainly was an experience!! A dream, believe me!!”

If anyone in the world deserved this experience, it was Sue. Not only was she a fun-loving person, she was a warm-hearted person. As a dedicated and involved mother, Sue would take her kids on many camping trips, sometimes hauling 4-5 extra friends along! Suzanne was a caring, high-spirited, friend who could be found hiding mini-bottles of wine in her purse for her gals. She never failed to create memorable experiences for her only grandchildren, Chris and Kelli Allen, on every occasion.

As time went on, Suzanne and Hugh divorced in 1984, though they both moved on to new relationships full of life and love. On March 8, 1985, Sue married Arbel Henry (Moe) Scheller, and cared for him in his final years before Moe passed away on 9/28/90.

Sue was also a dedicated caretaker of her mother, Teresa, during her final years. The two shared a vibrant friendship, a love for music, and a zest for life that has undoubtedly been passed along to new generations.

In her later years, Sue (also known as Mamoe) enjoyed watching her great-grandchildren play games on the carpet in her living room. Before her passing, she celebrated her 92nd birthday alongside her grandson Chris, his wife Katie, their two sons, and her dedicated caretaker, son – Randy, who sadly passed away just 36 days before Sue. Son Derrick, suddenly passed away on 6/15/2020, and daughter Diane died peacefully after a two-year unwavering battle with cancer on 5/8/2021. There’s no doubt the spirits of all three children lovingly greeted Sue as she gained her angel wings on November 8, 2021 in Long Beach, CA.

Suzanne Scheller is survived by her first-born son, Dale Edward Allen, his wife Karen Allen, grandchildren, Chris and Kelli Allen, great-grandchildren Emily, Oliver, Violet and Andersen Allen, Chris’s wife, Katie Allen, and Sue’s beloved little sister, Nancy Preeper (Lore). Sue’s ashes will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cypress, CA.

Our gal will be missed, but never forgotten.

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