March 8, 1930-Aug. 17, 2020
Palo Alto, CA
Sue Friedlaender passed away peacefully in her sleep on August 17, 2020, after a lengthy illness.
Sue was born in 1930 in Berlin, Germany. Her family was fortunate to be able to escape Nazi persecution and settle in Michigan. She received a bachelor’s in Education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Sue married Frank Friedlaender and moved to Pasadena. She completed a Master’s in Library Science at USC and worked in the children’s department of the Pasadena Public Library where Saturday morning children’s storytime was the highlight of her week.
After their first two children were born, Sue and Frank relocated to Ladera. All three of Sue’s children attended Peninsula School in Menlo Park. She valued Peninsula's progressive, creative orientation to education and worked as a librarian there for years, where she sparked a love of reading and learning in many children.
In the 1980’s, Sue began the next chapter of her life in Palo Alto where she founded The Bridge Language School. She taught English as a second language, German, and offered many other languages through a cadre of teachers.
Sue loved to garden, enjoyed art and music, and highly valued beauty in the world around her. Sue was strongly committed to others and to working towards a society in which everyone has the opportunity to fully develop their capacities. She offered free language and citizenship lessons to those who could not afford them and was active in local social justice and environmental causes. She inherited these passions from her grandmother with whom she spent the happiest part of her childhood. She loved being a grandmother herself and, with warmth, passed on a sense of awe in the world and deep appreciation for learning. Sue took great pride in sharing generations of family history through detailed records and animated storytelling. She made friends wherever she went, greeting everyone with a smile and genuine interest.
She is survived by her younger brother Walter List, her son David, her daughters Lenore and Diane, her grandchildren, Hannah, Zach, Miles and Josie, and former husband Frank.
The family thanks Kensington Memory Care for their exceptional love and care for Sue these last few years and the palliative care team at Kaiser Redwood City and Kindred Hospice Services.