Susan
Susan Carol Wagner February 26, 1953 - May 9, 2005 Susan Carol Wagner suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital on Sunday May 9th from post-operative complications after brain tumor surgery. Her family thanks the staff and physicians at the hospital for their compassionate care. Helping people in need was the essence of Susan. She could see the best possibilities and make them happen. Her optimism and quirky sense of humor allowed her to keep her focus on what was important. Susan always seemed to dismiss the negative and find the positive. This amazing life began unfolding on February 26, 1953 in North Carolina. As the firstborn of Catherine and Alan Wagner's six children, she led the way, and inspired her sisters and brothers with her love and zest for life. Beginning with her participation in Westchester High School band, orchestra and choir, Susan embraced all the arts, had a hell of a lot of fun, and at the same time excelled in academia. After high school she attended college, receiving degrees from both Santa Monica College and Cal State Northridge. With her teaching certificate, she worked with kids learning English as a second language. From there, Susan worked in the Nursing Education office at Cedars Sinai Hospital, and then in Councilwoman Ruth Gallanter's Westchester field office. Susan's desire to serve her community led her next to Saint Joseph's Center in Venice. She spent much of her time organizing services for disadvantaged and homeless people. The wide network of contacts she developed through her previous positions paved the way for her next position with the Los Angeles City Attorney's office as a Community Resource Specialist for the Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program. In this position, she was a bridge that united volunteer organizations, city agencies, and community volunteers, creating a synergy that brought neighborhoods together. Her close ties with the LAPD were some of the most fulfilling in her life. Serving on the Community Police Advisory Board was her most recent volunteer endeavor. The Annual New Years Eve Dinner, organized by Susan for the last several years, gave all the Pacific Division officers working that night a wonderful dinner. This was her way of saying ''thank you'' to her friends in the police department, from whom she got much love and support. Her years of service in the community were recognized in the year 2000 when she received the ''Citizen of the Year'' award from the city of Los Angeles. Susan was deeply touched and honored. Aside from her career, Susan expressed her creativity through art. Susan enjoyed jewelry making, singing, bead work, painting, sketching and playing musical instruments. Anyone that knew Susan knew of her deep love and affection for her animals. Her dog Sienna has been adopted by Susan's mother. Family was central to Susan's life. Although spread through out the West, frequent raucous gatherings were the norm and Susan was right in the middle of the action. Last summer's reunion in Yosemite, will be treasured by all who were there. Susan was preceded in death by her father Alan. She is survived by her mother Catherine, brothers William Wagner and Tom (Ella) Wagner, sisters Janet (Terry) Graff, Lynn (Howard) Getzoff, and Patricia (George) Biner. Many nieces and nephews will also miss their Aunt Susan. A memorial service will be held at McCormick Mortuary Chapel, 635 Prairie Avenue, Inglewood at 1:00pm Saturday, May 14. Following the service will be a Celebration of Life at a private residence. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Susan's favorite charitable organizations; LAPD Foundation, a scholarship foundation for children of officers killed in the line of duty. Address is 1880 North Academy Drive, LA, 90012 and Saint Joseph Center, address 204 Hampton Street, Venice, 90291.

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  1. This is what I posted on the Venice Watchdawg, an on-line newspaper for the Venice area with thousands of subscribers: I am greatly saddened by the news of Susan Wagner\’s passing today. I\’ve known Susan since I moved into Venice in early 89, when she was a Council deputy in Galanter\’s first term. I had the pleasure of working with her on The L.A.P.D. Pacific Division Community Police Advisory Board (CPAB) and in particular she was the Chair of the CPAB Homeless Committee of which I am also a member. Susan devoted her entire adult life to helping others and public service. After her stint in the council office she went on to work for a long time in the L.A. City District Attorney\’s office. Susan was so helpful to so many people and their communities over the years. She was always friendly, civil and fair to everyone and was especially good at finding solutions to difficult or longstanding community problems or issues without the negative politicking so many others use. She will be sorely missed, Venice has lost a good and dedicated Venetian. C.W. I sincerely regret Susan, my wife Janet and I, never had that dinner we kept meaning to set hard plans for over the years. Godspeed, relax, take your shoes off, and have a Margarita for us Susan, you deserve the rest, and thank you it was a privilege to know you.

  2. Susan was absolutely delightful to work with, and one of the most ardent supporters of St. Joseph Center that I can think of. She never missed an opportunity to make a connection on our behalf, or to find a way to be helpful. We will greatly miss her warmth, kindness, good humor, and genial good will. What a privilege to have known her! My profound condolences to her family members.

  3. Bill and Family: While I have never met Susan, her life was known to me through Bill\’s stories and some of the e-mail jokes that were passed on to me. I know she had a sense of humor and that she was an important part of your family. With Sympathy, Cathy

  4. I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the Wagner family\’s great loss. Susan always exuded the kind of love and good cheer that is so often missing in today\’s world. I always say you can judge a person\’s character by the way they treat their pets, and in this way, she was Sienna\’s own personal angel. I\’m sure that the love shown by Susan\’s other unique angelic acts will remain in the hearts of all who knew her.

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