November 25, 1938 - June 9, 2013
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Natalye Sue Black (Shrager) died June 9, 2013 following a long courageous battle with carcinoid cancer and a short battle with ovarian cancer, simultaneously. Mrs. Black was born Thanksgiving Day November 25, 1938 in Detroit, MI. When her father, the late Saul Shrager, was drafted into WWII, her mother, the late Anne Shrager, took Natalye and brother Nelson to be with Saul in California, and they never left. She attended Hamilton High School in Los Angeles where she was valedictorian and then attended University of California at Berkeley. After a year, she returned to UCLA to be with the love of her life and soul mate, Howard Black. They were married in 1957 and remained devoted for over 55 years. Together they built a grand spiritual home of love, warmth and holiness where all who entered felt welcomed, cared for, loved and safe.
Natalye was a woman always ahead of her time and after three children, she decided to go back to finish college in 1968 and eventually received her bachelor's and master's degrees in speech pathology at California State University, Fullerton. After a few years working for the Long Beach Veteran's Hospital, she decided to change course and joined up with the Irvine Unified School District where she spent over 25 years as an inspiration to many students, parents and faculty. Her last position was as Director of Special Education for the Irvine School District. Natalye specialized in working with educationally disabled and special needs students. At the end of her career, she was appointed to serve on the State Board of Special Education for the State of California.
Always acknowledging and grateful for the support and love she received, Natalye believed in giving back. She was on the Board of Directors at University Synagogue and helped put together many programs including her much loved children's program. She worked along with Howard and her daughter Laurie and son Jeff as advocates for the mentally ill and homeless.
Natalye Black's greatest passion was her family who will forever be touched by the beauty and love of her soul...and food. Her kitchen shelves were jammed with cookbooks and recipes to entertain her grandchildren as well as her community family. Natalye will be lovingly remembered by her large and extended family including her darling Howard, children Laurie and Jeff (Danna) her six grandchildren A.J. (Skylar) Dustin, Taryn, Seth, Matthew and Madeleine, her brother Nelson (Cassie), and her friends and community of University Synagogue. Her son Brian Black (Judy) in 2008 and son in law Robert Lawrence in 2011 preceded her in death.
A Memorial Service is scheduled Tuesday June 11th at University Synagogue in Irvine followed by a graveside service at Pacific View Memorial Park. Reception and Shiva will be held back at University Synagogue. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Natalye's memory to the University Synagogue of Irvine, 3400 Michelson Drive, Irvine, California 92612
Published in the Los Angeles Times on June 11, 2013