June 24, 1960 - August 3, 2020 Susan Toth Ellison passed away unexpectedly in her sleep from cardiopulmonary disease in the home she lived in for over three decades with her husband, author Harlan Ellison, and then for two more years after his death in 2018. Born in Hereford, England, Susan and her sister were raised in Hereford by their father Tibor Toth. Susan, according to her sister, was a bookworm from a very early age, and she had a life long love of the literature of the fantastic. She enrolled at Hereford Sixth Form College with the intent of earning a degree in Mathematics, a fact she would later relay to friends with a great deal of amusement, but soon switched her major to Psychology, and transferred to Manchester Polytechnic. In the summer of 1985, while still in college, she met her husband-to-be at a science fiction & fantasy convention in Scotland. Though Harlan was a legendary figure in his field, Susan was unfazed by his fame. When he said something to her she regarded as rude, she threw a box of books at him. Harlan, who loved to tell the story, said he knew right then that he was in love. She left England to join him in Los Angeles and they married in September of 1986. Fiercely devoted to one another, they were rarely apart until the time of his death. In 1998 Susan proudly became an American citizen, but just as proudly retained dual citizenship with her native United Kingdom. Among Susan's many interests and talents, she loved the art of make-up, both theatrical and cosmetic, of which she had an almost encyclopedic knowledge. She could repair a damaged collectible or piece of sculpture to better than new, or stain and lacquer a piece of unfinished wood furniture to showroom quality then lay down a colorful, patterned tile surface for it to sit on creating what looked like an art installation. She could often be found at genre media and fan events of all types, especially for favorites like "Supernatural", "Firefly", or "Harry Potter." In 1987 she wrote the script "Seeing Purple" for the animated television show "Dinosaucers." From 1988 to 1996 she wrote the media column "Through the Lens" for "Aboriginal Science Fiction." In 2014 she edited and wrote an introduction for the book "8 in 80 by Ellison", a collection of her husband's short stories. For twenty years she ran the Harlan Ellison Record Collection, writing, editing, and publishing its newsletter, arranging auctions, and processing sales. She accompanied Harlan to all of his convention appearances and speaking engagements, usually making the travel arrangements, selling his books to the fans, and making friends of virtually everyone she met everywhere she went. Susan will be greatly missed by her sister and brother-in-law and by her multitude of friends from all over the world. At some time in the future, when coronavirus restrictions allow, a memorial to celebrate her life will be held.(photo credit: Mark Hanauer)
Published in Los Angeles Times from Oct. 17 to Oct. 18, 2020.