Susan Mahler Singer
January 13, 2023

Visitation Information

January 18 2023 - 10:00 am
Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. 5509 Centre Avenue, (Shadyside), Pittsburgh 15232

Funeral Information

January 18 2023 - 11:00 am
Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. 5509 Centre Avenue, (Shadyside), Pittsburgh 15232

SUSAN MAHLER SINGER: Writer and long-time Squirrel Hill resident, passed away Jan 13 at the age of 81. Suzy was a writer first and foremost and always. In the early 1960s she wrote a children's book called Kenny's Monkey that was published by Scholastic Books and went on to sell more than 1,000,000 copies; the book sales paid for the down payment on the longtime family home on Shady Ave. in 1966. Over the next four decades she was always writing book drafts or poetry and keeping a journal on the hearty IBM Selectric that sat on her desk, or later on the computer that she begrudgingly adopted. She was always ready to share a new poem she had written or to talk about a book she was reading. Suzy was devoted to her two sons, Shepherd (Roee) and Paul and their families. Even as she was losing the ability to have full conversations, she would still end every phone call "I'm so proud of all you do." Her apartment was full of photos of her two sons and their families, and she always loved getting more. Suzy's life was harder than she deserved. When she was a child, her family was riddled with mental illness; when her parents divorced, neither was capable of taking custody so they put her and her sister in an orphanage. When she was about 14 she was kicked out of school and her grandmother took her in. She married Marshall Singer when she was only 18 and he was 27; they were divorced by the time she was 35. She was in and out of psychiatric hospitals all her life, and held a string of secretarial positions until she had to give up work in the early 1990s. In 2015 she suffered an infection and sepsis that dramatically curtailed her abilities, and she ultimately had to give up her apartment and spent the last several years moving through steadily rising levels of caregiving. Born and raised Jewish, she spent some time in her 40s exploring other religions, but she ultimately returned to the faith and found a loving home with Congregation Dor Hadash, where she loyally attended for many years. Her Judaism was a central part of her identity and her social life. The family gives thanks to Community Life, an organization that helps seniors remain in their communities by providing care and services in their homes; and to the Reformed Presbyterian Home in Pittsburgh where Suzy received dignified and compassionate care for the last year of her life. Mostly the family is eternally grateful to a small cadre of caregivers at these organizations who treated Suzy with such kindness and dignity. Suzy's last decade was only possible because of the care and support of these wildly underpaid angels, and there is no way we can even begin to thank them for what they gave. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donation to Community Life ( or the Reformed Presbyterian Home ( Services at Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc., 5509 Centre Avenue, Shadyside on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at 11 AM. Visitation one hour prior to services (10 AM - 11 AM). Interment Dor Hadash Section of Homewood Cemetery. 


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I’m saddened by the news of Susan’s death and I enjoyed lunch with her at the Jewish Community Center many times. I spoke to her via telephone but I respected when she didn’t want to talk too long so we would cut off the conversation. She was frightened to go to Israel alone, so I suggested she Order a wheelchair which I have done several times. May her soul rest in peace.

By Joanne Berman - January 20, 2023

I was Susan's social worker with Community LIFE until a few months ago. Susan was such a compassionate and wonderful woman. I always enjoyed my visits with her. She would always remember to ask about my daughters and to see pictures of them. She loved her sons so much. She would often tell me that her boys were the best thing she had ever accomplished. Paul, you are an amazing son and were always so willing and eager to do whatever it to took to care for your mother. Thank you for letting me be a part of her care team. Kara DiCarlo

By Kara DiCarlo - January 19, 2023

I worked with your mom at Pitt many years ago. She was such a nice person and we had many wonderful conversations over the time we worked together. Please accept my condolences on your loss.

By Barbara Sturni Long - January 18, 2023