Deceased Information


    Susan Block Abrams

  • AGE



    Thursday, January 19, 2023 (Before Sunset)






    • The Temple

      1589 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA 30309

      Rothschild Social Justice Institute
    • Weinstein Hospice

      3150 Howell Mill Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30327

    • ❖ Charity of One's Choice


    Susan (“Sue”) Abrams was born on December 10, 1931, in South Bend, IN.  She was the eldest child of Rose Miller Block and Saul Block.

    Sue earned her high school diploma at Ferry Hall School in Lake Forest, IL, studied liberal arts at University of Michigan and Wheaton College (MA), and studied drama at Pasadena Playhouse School of Theatre Arts. 

    Sue had an adventurous spirit, and her time in California in the early 1950s was packed with colorful experiences.  In addition to studying and performing in Pasadena, she worked as a switchboard operator for Desilu Productions.  Sue later recalled the great fun she had in the I Love Lucy studio, laughing at Lucy’s and Ricky’s antics.  She had a busy social life, dating notables such as Fess Parker and one of Bing Crosby’s sons.

    Perhaps in response to her parents’ concern that Hollywood might not be the healthiest environment, Sue took a break from showbiz to work for the Los Angeles architectural firm, Pereira & Luckman.  She quickly impressed the partners and was offered a transfer to their New York office.  Sue said “yes” to the opportunity, hopped on a cross-country flight, and moved into Manhattan’s storied Barbizon Hotel for Women.

    In New York, Sue was introduced to her future husband Bernard W. (“Bernie”) Abrams, whose family also had South Bend roots.  Bernie had recently retired from the Army and moved back home to Atlanta to join his family's construction company.  On a business trip to NYC, he took the advice of a cousin who knew the Block family to ring up Susan. 

    Sue and Bernie made a dashing couple.  Each had “seen the world”– Sue, with her varied experiences across the country, and Bernie, a West Point graduate and infantry officer, who had served in Germany and Korea. They married at the Block family home in South Bend in fall 1955.

    Following their marriage, Sue joined Bernie in Atlanta.  After living in a midtown apartment for a period, they settled in the Chastain Park neighborhood.  They became members of The Temple.

    The South was a new environment for Sue, and some aspects of society – especially racial segregation – were unsettling.  From her early days in Atlanta, she recalled the sting and sadness of being reprimanded by a city bus driver for attempting to give her seat in the front section to an older Black gentleman. 

    Sue and Bernie had three children -- son David and daughters Janet (“Jan”) and Judith (“Judy”).  Sue took tremendous joy in her role as “Mom.”  She and Bernie made education a top priority.  David and Jan spent their early years at Tuxedo Elementary, and all three kids graduated high school from Westminster.  David earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering at Princeton, and Jan and Judy earned bachelor’s degrees in history at Harvard.  Graduate programs followed in business, law, and social work.  Sue cheered on each child on as they pursued their degrees.

    Service to others was also a priority in the Abrams household.  Sue helped many neighbors and friends through years of illness. She supported Bernie in his civilian leadership roles for the U.S. Army and encouraged the kids to seek out their own ways to be of service.  She proudly pinned the Eagle Scout badge on David; watched Jan be sworn in as a White House Fellow; and trekked to remote North Cascades National Park to visit then-ranger Judy.

    Sue loved her Chastain Park neighborhood.  The Amphitheater was close by, and she reveled in the tunes that filled the air on warm summer nights.  The Abrams house was on a hilly street, and on rare Atlanta “snow days,” Indiana-native Sue was the first to hit the slopes on her sled.  She loved feeding the birds and found peace sitting under the stars, listening to tree frogs and crickets converse.

    Sue brought playful, creative energy and a fabulous sense of humor to all situations.  She enjoyed gardening, swimming, and hosting friends at her backyard pool; laughed heartily at comedians on TV and in movies; and celebrated holidays with zest.  She loved to dance and appreciated language, describing herself as a terpsichorean, which, she would explain, derived from “Terpsichore,” the name of the Greek goddess of dance and choral music.  She loved traveling throughout the US and embraced new cultures enthusiastically. 

    In her final years, Sue faced significant health challenges.  She found care and community at Berman Commons and William Breman Jewish Home.  Throughout, she continued to share her warm wit and generous heart with others, always reaching out to fellow residents who seemed lonely or in distress.

    Sue died on January 19, 2023, at age 91.  She is survived by her children David Louis Abrams of Atlanta (Jan Anne Dubin), Janet Beth Abrams of Washington, DC, and Judith Frances O’Neill of Boulder, CO (Michael), and by her siblings David Samuel Block of Atlanta (Sandra) and Linda Ann Block of Menlo Park, CA. 

    Sue’s family is grateful to caregivers Bernice Afodoanyi and Sarah Aggrey-Smith and to the staff of William Breman Jewish Home, Weinstein Hospice, and Berman Commons.  For memorial donations, the family suggests The Temple’s Rothschild Social Justice Institute, Weinstein Hospice, or another charity of your choice.


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Susan Block Abrams

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