Susie Elkind
1949 - 2015
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Susie Elkind

April 9, 1949- May 22, 2015

Oakland resident Susie Elkind died peacefully at home in the wee small hours of the morning. In the weeks before her death, she was visited by legions of loving friends and family members, including her niece, nephews, and two of her great-nephews. Susie had many special gifts and talents: cooking, gardening, photography, tap-dancing, quilting, and doing crossword puzzles in ink. In recent years she worked at Oakland Rotary and volunteered as a gardener at Children's Fairyland. As a freelance copy editor for McGraw-Hill, she could spot a typo or a misused apostrophe a mile away.
Susie held a variety of interesting part-time jobs, which allowed her to see the world and seek out adventures, including a solo trip to Kenya, a recent visit to Italy, multiple theatre-going jaunts to London, and many excursions to New York City.
Her lifelong passion for theatre began in childhood, watching the plays her father directed at El Cerrito High, from which she graduated in 1967. She earned a BA in psychology from UC Berkeley in 1971.
Susie never missed a new play, a jazz concert, or an opportunity to attend the opera or a dance performance. She was a longtime volunteer usher at Berkeley Rep and the Aurora Theatre. In addition to her love for the arts, Susie was an avid baseball fan, following the Giants from Candlestick Park to China Basin.
She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Risa and Bruce Nye; niece Caitlin (Christian) and nephews Myles (Laurel) and James (Ashley-Renée); great-niece and nephews Madeleine, Ezra, Fenton, and Samuel. She is also survived by beloved aunts Ruth and Rockie, her uncle Chuck, and dear cousins.Susie is predeceased by her parents, Sam and Betty Elkind.
Susie nourished many friendships, and stitched together a life full of "small-world" stories. She will be remembered for her generous spirit, positive energy, sense of adventure, devotion to family, and her lovely smile.
A celebration of life will be held in Oakland, later this summer. Memorial donations may be sent to the Alameda County Community Food Bank ( or Children's Fairyland (

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from May 25 to May 28, 2015.
Memories & Condolences
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4 entries
April 9, 2016
To Susie's family,

I am thinking of and celebrating Susie on her birthday today.

Susie and I met when we both worked for Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz in the fall of 1978. We soon discovered we shared the same birth year and birth month - April 1949 - and were born just a week apart. That was the beginning of a friendship, mostly long distance, that lasted until her passing. In 1979, we celebrated our 30th birthdays and that of Dan Chu, another KMD colleague who was also born in April but 10 years before, by throwing a 30-40-30 party for our friends. Best party ever! My husband and I returned to Oregon in late summer 1980, and thus began our long-distance friendship centered around corresponding at our birthdays and at the winter holidays. We covered a lot in those cards! We managed to see each other a few times, both in the Bay Area and once in Corvallis. In addition to our work memories, we shared a love for family, travel, gardens, and food. In 2012, when I shared that our younger daughter was getting married at The Nines in January 2013, she shared that her nephew had been married there and what a wonderful and special occasion it was. Risa, I am sure we met a time or two.

Please know I am thinking of your family today and will always treasure my friendship with Susie.

Much love to you all.
Penny Hardesty
June 16, 2015
Susie invited me for tea and a garden walk just a few months before she got sick and we had a very sweet visit. We talked about plants, of course, dancing (she-tap, me-salsa), cooking (what appetizer to make for Thanksgiving. She gave me the recipe for 'wild mushrooms in puff-pastry thing-y). She put together her life so that she was sure to have time to do the things that gave her pleasure and to give back to her family and friends How lovely is that? Hugs to you all, Michal
Michal Commanday
May 27, 2015
Although I did not have the opportunity to meet Susie, I heard wonderful things about from Toni Crotty. She will be truly missed by the community and her friends who loved her so much. Louise Ray
May 26, 2015
Too soon. Peace and condolences to Susie's family and friends.
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