Ocean Beach 07

Susan Renee Emerson

October 7, 1966 ~ July 14, 2020 (age 53)


Susan Renee Emerson (nee Whitacre) passed away from ALS on 7/14/2020 in Carmichael CA.  Born on 10.7.1966 in Berkeley, CA. She was the daughter of Eleanor Power and Karl Whitacre.

She is survived by her husband, Brian, and three children: Seralise, Quinton and Marisol and her mother, Eleanor Whitacre, sisters and brother Kimberly Klein, Anne Power and Steven Whitacre.

Susan grew up in Albany CA., and moved to Sacramento in 1985 to attend CSUS where she earned her BA in Liberal Studies in 1991. While at CSUS, Susan worked for the YMCA of Greater Sacramento as a lifeguard, swim instructor, and in the Child Development Center. Swimmers were always greeted with the ever-present hand drawn happy face on her knee. Over time, Susan became the Aquatic Director and taught Lifeguard Training, First Aid and CPR. After the YMCA, Susan continued with her love of educating others and went on to work in Early Education in the preschool and infant room at the Shalom School.

She married Brian Emerson in Sacramento in 1995, where they stayed to start their family.

Known for her ability to talk to anyone and her love of the band RUSH, she loved to travel and enjoyed her trips to the coast of CA. and Europe. She loved Halloween, crafting and jewelry making, and See’s candies (and could tell you every chocolate in a box of soft centers). Susan’s greatest joy was her children and she was their biggest fan in every sport, activity or performance they were involved in. She worked part time as a house cleaner and at Michael’s craft stores to allow her to be available to her family. She also was a Girl Scout Leader and room parent in the kids’ classrooms.

Susan was loved and supported throughout her illness with many people coming to visit and support the family. From childhood church camp friends to co-workers of both she and Brian’s, there was no shortage of people wanting to spend time with Susan. She was grateful for every visit.

Special thanks to all those who helped especially Maria Elena Gallegos (Brian’s mom) who was by Susans’s side from September 2018 until she passed. A special message to Ed Delgado, Shelby Medlin and the staff of Creative Connections Arts Academy who supported the family in their time of need. In addition, a huge thanks to the ALS society who offered resources and support and whose loan closet is a boon to the community.

She was not ready to leave her friends and family, but was grateful to be done with ALS.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Susan’s life with a donation to the ALS society of Sacramento or become involved to help fight ALS in any way you can.



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