Susan Joan Heller, 71, of Los Angeles died Feb. 28, 2014. Born in New York City, she spent her childhood in Brooklyn and later lived in South Orange and West Orange before moving to Los Angeles one and a half years ago.
Ms. Heller worked as an elementary school teacher for the City of New York until 1969, when she became an attorney. She then worked from 1970 to 1984, first as a pool attorney, and then as Assistant Deputy Public Defender, Office of the Public Defender, Appellate Section, East Orange. During her time in the Public Defender’s Office, she performed a wide scope of activities ranging from research and writing appellate briefs to serving as a criminal defense trial attorney, and she had six published decisions.
She graduated cum laude from Brooklyn College in 1963 and earned a master’s degree in education from Brooklyn College in 1966. She then received a JD from New York University School of Law in 1969 by completing evening coursework.
She was a member of Congregation Beth El, South Orange.
In 1984, despite suffering a near-fatal motor vehicle accident, she continued to raise her two children and took on new activities, including teaching piano and singing in her synagogue’s choir. She was also an artist, creating many sketches, paintings, and photographs over the years.
She is survived by her son, Michael (Anne) Fessler; her daughter, Karen (Jonathan) Ephraim; and three grandchildren.
Services were held March 2 with arrangements by Sinai Chapels, Queens.