SHERMAN OAKS, CA. - Susan Orr Schwarz was born November 9, 1946 in Tallmadge, Ohio to Calia Rosarah and Emmitt Orr. Susan moved from her small-town farm life to New York City in 1966 when she became a flight attendant for American Airlines. Later she relocated to Los Angeles. Although, she resided for most of her days in metropolitan cities, she never lost her small-town roots. For 25 years she flew with American Airlines until 1991. In 1972 she married Jerry Beckman. Together they had a son, Tawd, who resides in Washington state with Susan’s daughter in-law Trish and grandson Liam. Susan later met and married Don Schwarz in 1989. They joined their families and remained married until her passing on December 22, 2018.
Susan’s strength of spirit carried her through a five-year battle with an insidious lung disease and heart failure. She bravely fought until the very end, too young to leave her family and friends.
Susan’s interests, beyond her extended family and wonderful friends, included children’s mental health issues, defeating human trafficking, supporting our military and first responders, and her affection for animals. Susan also loved movies, theater and penned several children’s stories. Her beloved dogs, two Bouvier des Flandres, became her live-in children when her own left the nest.
Above all else, her true passion was cooking and baking. Her world class carrot cake and chocolate dump cake were the most requested. A true gourmet cook, she loved the art of creating fine dining in her home.
Susan is survived by both a large and extended family that includes many nieces, nephews, and great nieces who she cherished. She also was step-mom to Josh and Andrew Schwarz, daughter-in-law Christina, and seven grandchildren. Her housekeeper of 22 years, Catalina Serpas, became her principal caregiver; they had a special relationship.
Her adoring husband, Don, cared for Susan until the very end. Together they shared a nearly 30-year marriage with many of life’s wonderful experiences. They traveled the world, were involved with several charitable organizations, shared a love of animals but most of all treasured their close-knit family and dear friends.
A memorial service was held to honor Susan on Sunday, December 30, 2018 at Wilshire Boulevard Temple.
Contributions in her memory can be made to The MVAT Foundation (Military and Veterans Appreciation Trust) www.mvat.org