On the morning of March 19, 2015, Margaret Susan Orr Klopfer passed away in her sleep at the age of 66. Susan was born April 20, 1948, in Salem, Oregon, the middle of three daughters born to John and Betty Orr. She attended grade school in Amity and Scio, Oregon, and high school in Lakeview, Oregon and Ely, Nevada. Susan was a cheerleader, sorority sister, and piano major at the University of Nevada in Reno. Susan married Fred Klopfer near McGill, Nevada in 1972 and their son, Barry Klopfer, was born in 1973. In addition to earning her BA in communications from Hanover College, Susan later went on to earn an MBA from Indiana Weslyan University.
Susan’s outgoing personality allowed her to live and travel all over the world with her husband while pursuing her passion for civil rights, making friends wherever she went. She began her professional career as a journalist, working for various newspapers and winning several awards. She also taught software at the college and professional level. Writing books, however, became her primary focus. She wrote first about computers, and her book Abort! Retry! Fail!: The DOS Answer Book was selected as an alternate for the Book of the Month Club for 2 years before finding her true calling, civil rights. Among her successful nonfiction books, Who Killed Emmett Till (2010) and Where Rebels Roost… Mississippi Civil Rights Revisited (2005) continue to enlighten readers. At the time of her death, she was working on a series of historical fiction novels based on her experience of living in Mississippi on the grounds of the former Parchman Prison. Her most recently completed book in the series was The Plan (2014).
Susan is survived by her mother, Betty Orr of Albany, Oregon, her sisters, Patricia Fua of Ely, Nevada, and Bette Smith of College Station, Texas, her husband, Fred of Cuenca, Ecuador, her son, Barry, of Gallup, New Mexico, her granddaughter, Grace, also of Gallup, and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service is planned for April 7, 2015, 11:00 a.m. at Paladar’s Restaurant, Presidente Cordova 1-77, Cuenca, Ecuador. In lieu of flowers it is requested that donations be made to ARCA Fundación Protectora de Animales fundacionarca.com/donaciones or to micro lend using Kiva www.kiva.org.