Funeral Details

Dr. Susan J. Katz

January 28, 1947 - February 8, 2024


Date and Time

Friday, February 9, 2024 at 11:00 AM


Ridgelawn Cemetery
5736 North Pulaski Road
Chicago, Illinois 60646
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Rabbi Shlomo Tenenbaum


Katz Residence
6833 North Kedzie Avenue, Unit 1502
Chicago, Illinois 60645
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Friday from 12:30PM until 2:30PM.
Sunday through Wednesday from 7:30AM until 7:30PM and Thursday from 7:30AM until 9:30AM

Memorial Contributions

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
216 West Jackson Street, Suite 700
Chicago, Illinois 60606


Dr. Susan J. Katz nee Levin, 77

Loving mother of Jen Katz and Matthew Mordecai (Mayari Guzman) Katz. Former spouse to Dr. Samuel R. Katz. Dear sister of Larry Levin, Michael (Carol Schapira) Levin and their children. Graveside service Friday, 11:00 am at Ridgelawn Cemetery, 5736 N. Pulaski, Chicago. To view the funeral online, please visit our website. In lieu of flowers, donations to Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, (HIAS) 216 W. Jackson St., Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60606 would be appreciated. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals – Skokie Chapel, 847.229.8822,


We encourage you to share your personal condolences and stories of Dr. Susan J. Katz below and we will share them with the family.
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I know Susan as Jen’s mom. I met her a few times through the many years of our long friendship. I remember her as a person full of life and energy. She loved her plants and making her home stylish and beautiful. She was also a great cook and seemed to really enjoy life.
I feel fortunate that Jen”s parents adopted her and brought her into my life, as I am also an adoptee. I’m also glad that they gave Jen the opportunity to go to Mexico and meet me through a Spanish language learning program. Susan was very loving. My heart reaches out to her entire family!

Isabelle LaPlant
February 8, 2024
I’m terribly heartbroken that I never got the chance to meet Dr Susan Katz. I’m good friends with Matt and Mayari and as a mother (and a daughter) can speak to how much of us our children take on. In some ways they are you in another body, in some ways not. I say this to say that I know I’ll always have a part of her with me because I have Matt and Mayari. I know she was an amazing person and pray her soul is happy and at peace now. I hope she shows up in Matt’s dreams with Henry and lets him know she’s doing well (and Jen’s too if it doesn’t freak her out:)

My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to the entire family. May Hashem comfort you all among the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalyim.

Alize Frechette
February 8, 2024
I have many happy memories of Susan at our house on Mendenhall in Dallas growing up when Susan spent great times with us on her breaks from college in Austin (even though she would stick me with pins as I would bother her). Then we reconnected for happy times in Austin when I was in graduate school at University of Texas. I will miss the great bond we had even from a great distance. My thoughts are with all our family.
Brad Levinson

February 9, 2024
Susan (Dr. Katz) & I were high school friends @ Paschal H.S. In Fort Worth, Texas. I remember giggling with her @ slumber parties. She was witty & we had a blast listening to Barbra Streisand's FUNNY GIRL album. Later, she & Sam showed me what would be thier 1st. newlyweds apt. And Sam taught me that one should always get one with "cross ventilation".
What a guy! I'm so happy to know that her life, after we lost touch, was so full & accomplished. She certainly deserved it. Great thanks to her brother, Michael, for notifying me of Susan's passing. Love, 💔 Carol Ann Cohen

Carol Cohen
February 9, 2024
My heart is broken because Susan was such a dear and close friend to me. We met as colleagues at Roosevelt University; then we became friends very quickly. We were both jazz enthusiasts and attended many Chicago Jazz Festivals and many shows at the Jazz Showcase. We were also avid movie goers, and I will always remember Susan's amazing Oscar parties she hosted. Susan was also a "foodie", and I learned a lot about various cuisines from her. Simply stated, I learned so much from this incredible woman! She was so wise, generous in spirit, and so welcoming; and I had so much respect for her. Although I am going to miss my dear friend, I know her soul is in a better place. No more suffering. No more pain. Rest well, Susan. May your eternal soul rest in peace, my dear friend. My deepest condolences to the family.
Dr. Linda B. Pincham

Linda Pincham
February 9, 2024
Corrected version:
Elizabeth Meadows’ tribute to Dr. Susan Katz
Susan and I met 22 years ago and became fast friends. I am so grateful for our friendship all these years. From the start, Susan was welcoming, caring, and helpful to me. She continued to be this kind of friend all of these many years. Susan showed me ways to enjoy life beyond what I knew. Together, we supported one another in “enjoying the enjoyables” of life. In these past three years of her illness and its hardships, Susan told me that it helped her so much to list these together with me often: her adult children and their visits, many kinds of coffee, delicious foods and drinks, plants and flowers, including those outside on her patio (generously planted by her neighbor friends,) cooking shows, sunrise videos/photos that I sent her from the shores of Lake Michigan, and so much more. Susan was a lover of life, as Susan’s daughter put it so well at Susan’s funeral. Yes. I so appreciate Susan’s daughter, son, and all of her family members who loved and supported her throughout her life and especially, during these past years of her illness and its hardships. She spoke to me of you often with appreciation and love.
Together, Susan and I also shared and supported one another through the downsides and sorrows of life. There were too many in Susan’s life, and yet, she weathered them with authenticity, strength and vulnerability. I shared my losses and sorrows with her, and she listened with care. Susan did not dismiss or diminish my hardships. At the same time, she offered me helpful ideas. If I chose not to implement them, she had no quarrel with me about that at all. She was the loving sister I never had before; we came to call one another “Soul Sisters” often. Susan said it “Soul Sistahs” and pumped her fist. And after that, we did this often together and laughed, including in my last visits with her.
I am so thankful that Susan taught me so much about how to incorporate social justice into my work as a professor at Roosevelt University. She arrived there as a professor a few years before me. For almost twenty years, we conversed, attended conferences, supported one another in our writing/publications, and more. One memory stands out right now: at a conference called the Rouge Forum, there was a role play activity. The conference was focused on educating with social justice. The session leaders asked us to introduce the role play characters that we had each created. In a room full of people new to us, Susan said with conviction, “I am the daughter of a Black Panther, and my father always said…..” She proceeded to explain her character and her dad in clear and compelling ways. I was charmed and impressed by her bravery, creativity and gusto. This is one of many, many times when I was blessed to witness and partake in these aspects of Susan.
Susan loved and cared for my child and now, adult child, throughout these 22 years in very important ways. Zoe loved Susan, who helped them through times of hardship. Theirs was a special bond.
I have had to be out of town for an extended time this fall and winter. Susan and I stayed in touch with weekly phone calls until a few weeks ago when it became too hard for her to talk on the phone. I am so grateful that I was able to come back to Chicago for 10 days and visit Susan again several times in person. These were loving visits. Even then, while in hospice care, Susan showed her love for me and showed her appreciation for my love for her. During one visit when she was most aware, we shared our respective feelings about her health situation and about our long and loving friendship. This was very meaningful for me. I again witnessed Susan’s authenticity and life force. Thanks to her caregiver Jean, we ate a small meal together. Susan seemed to relish the delicious food, as I so often remember her doing in our many, shared meals before. What a gift. Thank you, Jean. I so appreciate all of Susan’s loving caregivers through these last three years. Susan spoke with me often in appreciation of you.
I appreciated learning during Susan’s funeral that a Jewish belief is that a person’s soul is eternal. I feel Susan with me now, and I will kindle her presence in my life for the rest of my life. In response to our loving friendship, I vow to use her memory as a blessing my life. To me, this means enjoying the enjoyables of life and seeking these out when it may be hard to see them due to life’s hardships. Living life with Susan ongoing to me means living life fully—its joys and sorrows-- with authenticity, strength, and vulnerability. It means caring for and loving people in my life with understanding, kindness, compassion, and with my whole heart, just as Susan loved me.
I am so very grateful to have known Dr. Susan Katz for these past 22 years. I miss her physical presence in my life terribly. I am deeply grateful that she is resting peacefully now and no longer suffering from illness, pain, or discomfort.
Rest easy, my Dear Friend, Susan, my Soul Sistah. I love you.

Elizabeth Meadows
February 10, 2024
Although I seldom saw you after setting you up with my friend, Sam Katz, I kept up with you through your brothers. I took great comfort in knowing you were out there fighting the good fight. RIP

Harry Saginaw saginaw
February 12, 2024
It is truly an honor to have been part of Susan's care team for over a year. Her passing saddens me deeply, but I cherish the wonderful memories we created together. Susan's love for baking, when she taught me how to make sourdough bread, turned into a skill I am grateful to have learned by her. Every overnight shift, I greeted her with a cheerful "good morning," and we shared laughter while opening the curtains, as I said to her “Hey Susan you are ahead of the game” and she would reply back with “Yes, I am ahead of the game.”

My bond with Susan grew strong, and I treated her as if she were my own family. Visiting her in the last week of November brought immense joy, seeing her smiling face. Even though it was a brief visit, it held profound meaning for both of us. As I was about to leave, Susan expressed her love, saying, "Elizabeth, I love you!" Being part of Susan's journey, fighting for life, is a chapter of my life that I will forever hold close to my heart.

Elizabeth Posadas
February 12, 2024
My long-time friend and colleague will be missed and remembered with love. We did some good work together and made a difference!

Diana Ryan
February 13, 2024