Susan Wilner

Susan Wilner

Susan Wilner, aged 64, died on December. 13, 2012 in Seattle. Susan was born and raised in New Jersey. After attending the University of Hartford and graduating from Temple University Susan started her career as a writer, editor, author and publisher. She lived and worked in Philadelphia for 14 years. In 1985, Susan moved to West Seattle. She worked at Boeing as a technical writer, and later, as editor of an employee newspaper.

Susan left Boeing to enter the field of curriculum publishing. This is where she blossomed professionally. Susan was co-founder of two educational publishing companies: Outside the Box, Inc. and I Knew That, Inc. As the creative force in these companies, Susan gave many authors and illustrators their first chance at significant commercial success. She authored 51 story books that helped children learn to read. Susan was a frequent speaker at teachers' conferences in the US. In addition, as a volunteer tutor in Seattle Public Schools, Susan taught first-graders how to read.

Susan loved to cook, to work in her garden, to travel, pets and children. She is greatly missed.

Susan is survived by her husband, Bruce Zabel; her sister, Eileen Schwartz (Charles); her brothers, Ronald (Donna) and Dennis (Hazel); her aunt Goldie Kucharski; her step-mother, Elizabeth Wilner; her step-sisters, Pat Keller (Skip) and Katherine Pekarsky (Rhoda Kirwin); and step-brothers, John Pekarsky (Sharon) and Robert Pekarsky (Diana).

Her husband wishes to thank the owners and staff at The Right Place (an adult family home in West Seattle) for the superb care they provided to Susan for the last sixteen months. Thank you Kaye, Dan, Nick, Wendy, Rhoda, Ruth, Moses, Stephen, Michael and Nancy. Thanks to Providence Hospice of Seattle. Also, thank you to Freshy's, Hotwire Coffee, The Original Bakery, West Side Presbyterian Church, La Rustica, Hilltop Alehouse and Szmania for helping Susan have some normalcy while visiting you.

Published in The Seattle Times from Dec. 20 to Dec. 21, 2012