February 26, 1953 ~ May 9, 2005
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.
Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle