Suzanne Allen, a Kansas City civic leader and granddaughter of prominent developer J.C. Nichols, died Saturday, according to family members.
Allen had been injured in a fall at her home on Friday. She was 77.
A longtime supporter of Truman Medical Center, Planned Parenthood and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Allen was born and raised in Kansas City, where her famous grandfather founded the Country Club Plaza and the J.C. Nichols Co. Though modest about speaking of her family, she was proud of it, friends and family members said.
“She was a devout Kansas Citian,” said Allen’s daughter Laura Lutz. “She loved Kansas City. That would be an understatement for this woman. She’s always been giving back as much as she could.”
After attending Pembroke Hill — then called Sunset Hill — Allen graduated from Northwestern University.
In 2011, after the Polsinelli Shughart law firm proposed a new headquarters on the Plaza, Allen joined family members in opposing the project, saying it would spoil her grandfather’s unique vision.
Over the years, Allen became a well-known volunteer leader and philanthropist, supporting Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, the Kansas City Symphony, the Garden Club of America, and some Democratic political campaigns.
“She supported those causes that she really believed in,” said Kenneth Fligg Jr., Allen’s attorney for 35 years. Planned Parenthood was among the causes closest to Allen’s heart, he said.
“It must have been founded in her strong feeling for women’s rights and women’s equality,” he said. “She had no hesitancy to speak up for what she thought was right.”