Susan Elizabeth Luzzaro

October 12, 1948May 1, 2017
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Susan Luzzaro passed away peacefully in her home in Chula Vista, California on May 1 at the age of 68 following a year-long struggle with brain cancer.

She is survived by her loving husband Frank, her children Vanessa and Frank Jr, her beloved grandchildren Aidan and Lio, her siblings David, Daniel, Karen-Ruth and Cindy; and a number of other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents Melvin and Katherine Heine and her brother Melvin Heine.

Susan was born in San Diego on October 12, 1948 and lived her whole life in Chula Vista. She graduated from Chula Vista High School in 1966. Soon after, she married her high school sweetheart Frank. For 50 years, they were the love of each other's life, and proud parents of Frank and Vanessa.

Susan graduated from San Diego State University where she received Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Creative Writing. She taught Creative Writing at San Diego State University and ended her teaching career at Southwestern Community College where she retired.

She was an award winning poet and journalist. Her poetry and creative nonfiction has been published in a number of prominent literary journals. A collection of her poems was published by West End Press. Her work earned her a full scholarship to the Breadloaf Writer's conference in Vermont in 1992. Susan was also a writer for the San Diego Reader in which she wrote feature stories, cover stories, city lights, and neighborhood news. Her first, the tragic story of her parents’ deaths, was published in 1999.

Susan is well known for her investigative reporting of mismanagement and corruption in the Sweetwater Union High School District and Southwestern Community College, for which she received the 2011 John Swett award. She also wrote about overdevelopment, local politics, as well as human interest stories in her hometown. Susan also wrote for San Diego La Prensa. She was at work on a book about corruption in the South Bay and a novel based on the San Patricios brigade.

She and her husband began raising monarch butterflies two years ago. Unfortunately, due to her illness and long hospital stays, the monarch population will suffer a loss this year as well.

She loved all kinds of music ranging from folk, blues, mariachi, jazz, oldies, classical, and more. Her favorite time for music was every evening while she chopped veggies for that night’s dinner salad while sipping a glass of wine. Many of those salad ingredients came from her wonderful garden which she loved to tend. A perfect evening was enjoying dinner al fresco with her husband on the deck overlooking the garden as the sun was setting.

She and her husband were opera fans and attended the San Diego Opera every year. What she really enjoyed most though, was the music the family played with their guitars and various instruments as they sang in the living room of her home.

Susan will be remembered as a selfless, compassionate person, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, caregiver to her two special needs siblings, Daniel and Cindy, and a dear friend to many.

Her children and grandchildren will always remember her for encouraging them to pursue their goals, but first and foremost to be happy and kind to others.

Susan did whatever she could everyday to make everyone happy and the world a better and more hopeful place in which to live.

She will be greatly missed by many, and the family get-togethers for special occasions and holidays, which were almost always hosted in her home, will never be quite the same.

Here are some words Sue wrote about life: "The irony of life is that if you are lucky- if life has offered pleasure, and beauty, and love, as well as pain-then you can only love the world more, grovel in your dialogue with mortality for a little more time, another round of seasons, great grandchildren as well as grandchildren, a handful of something you can smuggle to the other side."

A private funeral service is planned for May 7 at Glen Abbey in Bonita. A memorial for Susan is being planned for the near future.


Susan Elizabeth Luzzaro

have a memory or condolence to add?

David Culbertson

December 30, 2017

To Vanessa, I am so sorry for your loss. Even though I only met her for a short period (Summer of '86) she welcomed me with kindness.

Regina Longworth

August 11, 2017

Sue, you had eyes like stars and you were an incredible, shining light in a very dark time
of my life. Thank you - and Frank, Frankie Jr.
and Vanessa - for all the insight, kindness,
humor and hospitality I was allowed to enjoy.
I will never forget.

Sue, may you be in a place now that is made of

Regina Longworth

Kathleen Cheers

July 29, 2017

Oh how I will miss YOU my dear sweet friend. I am better simply for knowing you. Until we meet again, and, WE WILL MEET AGAIN !!!

June 19, 2017

David Duran

May 29, 2017

Frank, Frankie, and family, so sorry to hear of Sue's passing. I always enjoyed her wit and intelligence.

May 15, 2017

On May 7, it was pouring down rain - even God was crying about this one!

Anne "Cookie" Pering

May 14, 2017

My sincere condolences to the family. May our loving God sustain you during this difficult time. 1 John 4 : 8

Frances Petty

May 14, 2017

Sue was part of our family, our sister-in-law, my children's aunt. We are all grieving her loss. Rest in peace, Sue. We love you.

May 14, 2017

RIP, Ms. Luzzaro. The community owes you a debt for your work in exposing the corruption in the Sweetwater Union High School District.

Sherry Sandel

May 13, 2017

Dear Frank as you know I was not fortunate enough to spend much time with Sue but each time I did I came away a richer person, We would talk about politics,literature and our kids!