Quilter Brothers Remember Susi Q
Aug 30, 2005 3:17 PM
Pat Quilter is more than simply the "Q" in QSC Audio. He's also one of the four sons of Elizabeth Howe Quilter, a legendary part of Laguna Beach, Calif. town's history. Susi Q, as she was affectionately known by all in the town the Quilter family adopted as its own in 1957, was renowned for the weekly Sunday dinners she hosted for family and friends; gatherings celebrated as much for their enlightened, progressive dialogue as for the spirited, expressive, and outgoing matriarch who held court at them.
Susi Q was also one of the earliest supporters of QSC. "Mom gave Pat the seed money to start the company," recalls son Chris Quilter. "She never knew much about 'those loud amplifiers Pat makes', but she loved her sons and always tried to support them in their endeavors. And as it turned out, it was her smartest investment. I know she was delighted when John and Barry Andrews joined Pat in his fledgling enterprise. She was enormously proud as QSC overcame all the typical startup hurdles and grew into a thriving and highly regarded corporation."
For many years prior to her death in 2002 at age 87, Mrs. Quilter authored the “Diary of Susi Q" column for the local community newspaper. Now, her four sons are celebrating their mom's spirit, and their own love for their hometown, with a donation of $750,000 toward the construction of the new senior center in Laguna Beach. In a nod toward their mom's amicable, no-nonsense reputation, the center will be christened the Susi Q Senior Center. "She would have found the idea of the Elizabeth Howe Quilter Senior Center much too formal," Chris muses.
The 8,500-square-foot center, which will feature a lounge with a fireplace, library, kitchen, card room, multi-purpose room, and a computer classroom, as well as a meeting room, Meals on Wheels office, nurse's exam room, and a wellness center, is due to break ground in fall 2006. It will take the place of the aging, dark basement where Laguna Beach seniors have met for many years.
"Our culture is so youth-oriented that growing old is treated like a liability," Chris says, "even though it only happens to us if we're fortunate. A senior center like this one becomes a vital part of the community—it can help us all make friends with time."
QSC has also generously donated $20,000 to underwrite the production of "Lagunatics," a musical parody produced by the No Square Theater, a Laguna Beach non-profit. Now entering its 13th year, "Lagunatics" has become a local legend for its annual "roast of life on the coast." "Lagunatics 2005: Senior Prom" was the kick-off fundraising event for the Susi Q Senior Center's construction fund.