Margaret Susan Orr Klopfer

Betty Klopfer1 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 or to micro lend using Kiva

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  1. Patricia Kathleen Orr Fua says:

    My dear sweet sister, a fierce force in this world of injustice, an idol to me. Susan was a compassionate woman who was naturally talented in so many areas from music to computers but her main drive was to actively share her deep knowledge of civil rights and justice for all. May you rest in Paradise and stay with me in my heart forever.

    • Terry Cummings Stanger says:

      Kathy and Family, Thoughts and Prayers to you all.. May the Lord comfort and keep you close to him at this time…God bless you all..

    • Iva Davis says:

      It sounds like your sister is an amazing woman. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  2. JOHN STODDART says:

    Susan was a Gamma Phi and some guys from Ely worked as houseboys there. She was always nice and musically talented. She wrote a couple of songs that were “knock offs” of popular songs for various Frats and Clubs. I wish her the best May she rest in peace.

  3. JOHN STODDART says:

    We will never forget her jokes, singing and stories and we made the trip from Reno to Ely in my old car for holidays, and just other odd reasons. I would fill my car up and then she would ask is there room for me. I knew that she would wait until the last second so there was always room. Her Dad and little sister would meet us as we dropped her off and he would always ask me if I was studying. It was hard to lie to the Superintendent so I would just mumble no and Susan would nod her head. Those were great times.

  4. Milagros Padilla says:

    Great loss. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  5. Glen Saunders says:

    Susan was a wonderful friend and trusted confidante. Her spirit will continue to influence those whose lives she blessed with her presence. Fair winds and following seas.

    Semper Fidelis

  6. Pam Bullock Brown says:

    I went to high school with Susan. She was a wonderful person and so very intelligent. I am so proud of her accomplishments. Civil rights are very important to me and I plan to read her books. Thanks Susan, you pursued a very important issue in our country. Rest in peace knowing you made a difference!

  7. Marcia Adams says:

    Susan, My sweet friend from high school…my heart is heavy to hear of your passing…. God be with your family and loved ones till you meet again.

    Marcia Young Adams

  8. Katherine Lewis Carella says:

    Two weeks ago I attended the fiftieth reunion for the McMinnville High School class of 1966 and learned of Susan’s passing. There are so many fond memories of the Orr family and activities our families shared over the years. Susan is remembered with fondness and love. Blessings to all the family.

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