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Fortune, Susan Houston, 1936-



  • Existence: May 22, 1936-

Biographical Information

Susan Houston Fortune was born in 1936 in Hamilton, Ohio to Mr. and Mrs. George F Houston. As a result of the Depression, the family moved around the country until settling in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin with family. Ms. Fortune graduated from Wauwatosa High School in 1955 and elected to attend college at Purdue University because her father was a Purdue alumni.

While at Purdue, Ms. Fortune majored in Home Economics with a focus in Housing, which emphasized home management and design. She earned her B.S. in Home Economics in 1959. During her tenure as a student, she was also a member of Sigma Kappa which is where she became friends with Leslie Pahre Hornbeck. Hornbeck and Fortune were members of the first women's Grand Prix team during their senior year in 1959. Although they were unable to compete in the second heat because of an engine failure, they did finish in the top half of their first heat.

After graduating, Ms. Fortune pursued a career as an Extension Educator on the recommendation of Eva Goble. She was an Extension Home Economist with 4H and employed by Oregon State University. While in Oregon she met her husband, John Fortune, Jr. After they married, both enrolled in Graduate School at Oregon State University. John earned a Masters in Fisheries (1962), while Susan earned a Masters in Clothing, Textiles, and Related Arts (1965).


Fortune, Susan Houston. "Selected "Rovana" (saran), "Verel" (modacrylic), and rayon blend drapery fabrics evaluated by laboratory tests for resistance to light, laundering, abrasion, stress and fire." 1965.


Leslie Hornbeck Pahre and Susan Houston Fortune Interview, April 20, 2007. Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Oral History Program collection, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Susan Houston Fortune papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 7
Scope and Contents The Susan Houston Fortune Papers (1955-1959; 0.5 cubic feet) document the life of Susan Fortune when she was a student at Purdue University in the 1950s. The collection includes a scrapbook and Susan Houston's corduroy skirt (Purdue senior cord skirt). Susan Houston [Fortune] received her B.S. degree in Home Economics from Purdue University in 1959. Her parents are Mr. and Mrs. George F. Houston of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
Dates: 1955-1959; Other: Date acquired: 11/10/2008