Susan Gail Shami of Davis, California, passed away peacefully in her sleep Nov. 7, 2017, after a long struggle with Lupus. She was 67 years old.
Born in New Your City on Sept. 21, 1950, she grew up in Chappaqua, New York. She was an excellent student in high school with interests in science and art. Susan also led an active life, enjoying swimming, snow skiing, squash, rock climbing, hiking, sailing and belly dancing.
Susan attended Tufts University and earned her BS and MS degrees in Biological Science. She next attended Harvard School of Public Health, earning her MS and ScD degrees in Physiology specializing in Radiation Biology.
In her professional career, Susan was employed as a scientist at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, UCLA School of Medicine and CH Technology. She was also a Professor of Pulmonary Medicine and Microanatomy at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. During this phase in her life, Susan published numerous scientific papers on the effects of inhalation toxicology on the lung. Early in her scientific career, Susan was diagnosed with lupus. During the following years, she experienced numerous health challenges that affected her ability to work full-time. Eventually, she had to retire from the career she loved due to the ongoing repercussions of lupus.
After retirement, Susan launched an art career. Her watercolor paintings were well received in Galveston where she earned many awards for her art. Upon her husband’s retirement, they moved to Truckee, California, where Susan began creating art in a variety of mediums, including jewelry, beadwork and polymer clay sculpture. Her work was again well received and shown in the Upstairs Gallery in Truckee and Douglas Taylor Art in Tahoe City.
They moved to Davis when her husband came out of retirement to take a science position at UC Davis in 1996. Susan continued her artwork, but was hampered by various surgeries and illness. Her illness became progressively worse and she was unable to walk the last three years of her life.
Susan leaves behind her husband of 32 years (Michael), two sisters (Wendy and Marlow), and brother (John), their respective families and many lifelong friends. She was an accomplished woman, devout Christian and will be missed by all.
Friends and family are invited to a memorial service at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, at Lutheran Church of the Incarnation, 1701 Russell Blvd. in Davis, CA. A reception will follow at the church.