Born 1/17/42 to Walter and Margaret Glaub in Plymouth, Indiana, Suellen Long was the second of seven children. She went on to graduate from Plymouth High School in 1959, attend St. Mary of the Woods and graduated from Ray Vogue College of Design in Chicago.
After graduation, Long sought out Chicago as her home – employed in the Advertising Department of Extension Magazine until her marriage to Chip Long in 1966. In addition to Chip, she leaves behind her son Douglas Long, her daughter Allison Madell, her grandchildren Veronica, Jack and Joe Madell and countless others for whom she was a friend and mentor. Long counted on these people to carry on her legacy of kindness and contribution.
Her Uptown story really began over 55 years ago when she was employed to do a rehab of the Benjamin Marshall Building (aka, The Uptown Bank Building). This was the beginning of many transformational projects in Uptown over her decades of community involvement. During that time Long and her husband purchased numerous apartment and commercial buildings with strong architectural features to invest in their own community.
Her career in Uptown included leadership in the local Chamber of Commerce and being a founder of Uptown United, the current business organization. She served as President of Heartland Alliance for two terms and many years as a Board Member. Her leadership and fundraising efforts were focused at the McCormick Boys and Girls Club, Heartland Alliance and many Uptown start-up nonprofits as well. She always encouraged thoughtful economic and community development – improving services to benefit homeless individuals, historic preservation efforts, business attraction, CTA renovations, etc.
Long also developed Long Promotional Group, a public relations firm that served local businesses and many nonprofits, helping them structure fundraising and public relations plans. Her clients included countless companies that served the gay community and addressed the HIV AIDS crisis at the time. Long’s contributions were endless – she never met a cause that she couldn’t help with her creativity, energy and passion.
Long spread this energy in Michigan as well. Long and her husband bought a home in Sawyer, Michigan around 1992. In 1996, they renovated an old home and moved a rundown 1876 Weesaw one room schoolhouse to the acreage and brought it back to life. They built beautiful Midwest authentic wildflower gardens, one seed at a time. It was a place for them to recharge, to entertain, to share with family and friends and to extend their community. Again, in their spirit of contribution, they gave back to the local community by creating and chairing the “House and Garden Tours” in Michigan and Indiana in support of Heartland Alliance, an event that raised significant funds for many years and still is running to this day.
At the age of 78 years old, Long retired from Bridgeview Bank Uptown. Long was a relationship-builder, collaborator and connector. She advised, guided and mentored many. She was an expert storyteller, a fabulous cook and wonderful entertainer. She was an elegant woman of style, a great wife, a wonderful mother, an amazing granny and a good friend to many.
Celebrations will be held at a later date and donations would be appreciated in her honor at the Pedersen-McCormick Boys & Girls Club.