The Words of the Oliver Family

Remembering Susan Oliver -- Tribute and Testimonies

August 23 2010

Reverend Carl Swearson, District Director for Minnesota and North-Central States

On August 16, 2010 our dearly beloved sister, Susan Hughes Oliver, wife of Berlin Oliver, and mother of Nessia, Abelin and Beaumont, passed quietly in her sleep. Susan had been battling cancer for 10 years. Susan joined our Unification family in 1968 in California. In 1972, True Father sent her to Minneapolis to begin her mission as the first State Leader of Minnesota. Many members joined over the next three and one-half years.

Susan also worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, doing witnessing and public relations. In 1982, she was blessed at Madison Square Garden. To her great joy, all three of her children are also blessed in marriage. We celebrate Susan's wonderful faith and heart. Our dear sister will be remembered for the great love she showed to so many of her friends and family. We love you, Susan!

Dan Fefferman:

My fondest memories of Susan are also my oldest memories of her. I first met her and Sister Kay when they were just 17 and 15 years old respectively. Back then, Susan reminded me of a young thoroughbred filly, so full of feminine energy and grace. Her intelligence also strongly impressed me. She was an excellent student and a gifted spiritual teacher.

Early on, she and Kay presented me with one of my first crises of conscience. The first time any of us had seen the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, I had promised their mom to get them home by midnight. But his speech went way beyond that. But my conscience told me it would also be a sin to break my promise to their mom. So leave we did. I still remember the excitement when Sue got her mom's blessing to move into the church center.

In later years I watched Sue more from afar, as she became a missionary, church leader and elder in her own right. I saw her grace mature into that of a young woman and her intelligence develop into wisdom. But her grace was most evident in her motherhood, and the way she responded to suffering, as I'm sure others will attest to more than I.

Susan Fefferman:

Susan and I had met in 1973 when she was on a mobile missionary team who visited my Columbus, Ohio church center. Like Dan, I noticed what a remarkable young woman she was, full of energy, creativity and verve. I loved the way she tossed her head when she said something serious and I loved her giggle and the way her shoulders would hunch up when she laughed out loud.

Susan, Kay and I lived together in DC with the Capitol Hill PR team for our movement, 1979 -- 80. Susan and I got into an argument one night and my smart mouth made her really angry, and she chased me around and around the dining room table until we were both worn out and we finally ended up laughing and couldn't really remember why we had fought. She was feisty and fun and challenged my limitations in a good way to make me expand my concepts about myself and others.

We all suffer in many different ways. Susan had more than her share, yet she always carried her burden with dignity and determination. I am very grateful to have been her friend. God bless you Susan and all who love you.

Helen Subrenat:

I met Susan Hughes Oliver in Berkeley in the Fall of 1968. She was a high school senior, and her brother had told her and her sister, Kay, about the Unified Family. He asked me to teach them the Divine Principle. So every week I'd go to their house, or they'd come to the center.

Susan and Kay -- whenever they came to the center, the walls would ring with laughter, and the others commented on it. I didn't fully realize the importance of beauty, and the deep feeling of joy, until Susan and Kay came along. Teaching them brought me so much joy, and their response was pure beauty.

Susan was impatient to move into the center. She became active in center life and a full-time university student. She was out there witnessing, teaching, even helping to run a center. She could do almost anything: she was a good communicator, and made a strong impression on everyone she met. She was never a doubter in her faith, which was deep, yet as innocent as a child's in her love for her Heavenly Father.

In 2001 I went to Korea to participate in a 21-day women's meeting, and on the first day, to my great surprise, I found Susan there. We cried and embraced. We became inseparable during those 21 days. I saw Susan in full swing, with her family, in her job, with her friends. She was always joyous, full of fun and carefree, never down or depressed, watching out for those who might be suffering.

Godspeed in your new mission, Susan. You are now free from your suffering and free to be close to your Heavenly Father, and free to explore new horizons.

Mike Leone:

Oh Susan, what a wonderful and God centered sister you turned out to be. When I joined our Church, about the same time as you and Kay -- I had only two brothers at home. God promises us that if we try to follow His will, we will gain our True Brothers and Sisters -- those who do the will of the Heavenly Father. You were "toots" and Kay was always "peach" and toots and peach it was, even after we met many times over more than 40 years. I marveled as you "grew up". You walked this earth as a very mild and humble person, but we all found out that God actually had a tiger by the tail when, with love, he chose you.

Your inner strength became so amazing. I remember attending State Leaders meetings and you often beat the mostly male leaders with your efforts to move God's Providence forward. I sat there and marveled at how powerful this little sister of mine had become. I was saying to myself -- "You Go Girl" -- and you did just that! We all know you had more hardships on this planet than about 95 percent of everyone else. But you met these hardships head on and just strengthened your relationship with God and marched forward with brightness and positivity in your heart and spirit. I'm so proud to have a sister like you -- I just hope and pray you will put a good word in with God and His closest helpers so that your older, crazy, Italian Brother can be somewhere near you in Heaven. Until we meet then-- I Love you Sister Susan -- Thank you for all you are

Katherine (Kay) Hughes Benson:

My Beloved Sister,

Beautiful Sue, we were strength to each other and we loved and helped each other all our lives. It is hard to look into the future here on earth without you. In your beauty and purity God has called you for something special, that is for sure. Even though we may feel pain now at your leaving, we cannot suffer long because God does all things with the heart and hand of love for the greater good. And it is a peace to us knowing that you are there with Him. May we make you proud my precious sister. I love you forever and ever, my dearest faithful friend.

Mike Smith:

Susan was and is a remarkable person and she will be greatly missed. Susan and her sister Kay heard the principle and joined as teenagers. They are two pure hearts who formed the foundation of a movement here in America to bring God's love to everyone in the world and to proclaim the good news that Christ has returned and this time he is heralding the kingdom of heaven on earth and bringing a new covenant to heal all broken hearts and offer everyone the opportunity to be adopted as sons and daughters of God.

Come and go with me to share the good news Father said and Susan was one of the first people in America to say: "Lord I am here. What would you have me do?"

From that moment to now Susan has shared her heart and God's love with everyone she has met. To have Susan look into your eyes and hear her voice was to hear the quiet voice of God. Purity love and goodness incarnate. And, oh yeah, righteousness to the power of ten.

As David Kim said many times as he introduced Susan at our monthly meetings with Father in Belvedere: "Susan, one of the heavenly Lady Generals." One could hear in David Kim's voice high esteem, pride and love as though he was saying "Father I most heartily commend her to you in the highest possible way. She is special. She is one of the very best." Father would gently purse his lips approvingly and nod his head and then look up and smile as she gave her report.

And now?

I am sure Susan will take a few days to share a glass of tea with her ancestors from the deep South and to catch up on all the doings with her dad and brother. However sooner rather than later no doubt Susan will stand up give them all a kiss and say "OK Lord, I am here. What would you have me do now?" 

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