Susan Elizabeth (Schleimer) Morales (August 1952 – August 2023)

Susan Elizabeth (Schleimer) Morales (August 1952 – August 2023)

Susan Elizabeth (Schleimer) Morales was born on August 10, 1952, in Santa Paula, California, to John “Jack” and Melba “Jeri” Schleimer. Adored by her older brother John, she was the perfect caboose to their family of four. Sadly, after a brief illness, Susan passed away August 17, 2023.

As a little girl growing up in Southern California, Susan loved curling her hair with soda cans, wearing white lipstick, while singing to Diana Ross and the Supremes, pretending the hairbrush in her hand was her microphone. She grew up attending Trinity Episcopal Church in Fillmore, spent many Sunday afternoons hiking to the “F” or along Pole Creek, and sliding down the hill on cardboard behind the family home with “the gang.”

Susan was part of the Fillmore High School “Flashes” Class of 1970. She loved keeping in touch with her classmates and attending class reunions. Susan had amazing legs and was known for kicking the highest in all her song leading routines. She loved cheerleading, song leading, dressing up for dances, and pulling into the high school parking lot while driving her big brother’s Volkswagen. However, not everything came easy for Susan at Fillmore High. No matter how hard she tried, she detested her Spanish class because she couldn’t roll her “R’s” like the rest of the students.

Susan had a persistent work ethic which she learned from her parents. Her first job was at the Plunge, Fillmore’s public swimming pool. She started handing out towels the first year, but quickly became the lifeguard where she would not only ensure pool safety but work on that bronze tan that became her signature trademark for years to come. Susan loved the water so much she took it upon herself to teach nearly every one of her grandchildren how to swim in her pool.

After high school, Susan secured employment at Magic Mountain at a quaint ice-cream shop where she earned money to pay for her college classes at San Diego State. While living on a college budget, money was tight, and on more than one occasion Susan could be seen hitch hiking to San Diego State in bib overalls.

Susan spent more than 30 years as a mail carrier and postal employee with the United States Postal Office. Her service included lengthy stints at the Fillmore and Mariposa Post Office. It was an honest living, but certainly never measured up to the standards of her dream job. Susan was an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoyed camping at Rincon Beach Park with her parents. She loved laying out on the beach or Piru Lake. Sunbathing became her obsession and anyone who knew her immediately noticed her golden, glowing, sun-kissed skin

Susan first met Gilbert Morales at the Cruise on Main Street in Merced on Halloween Night in 2002 wearing a “Santa’s Little Helper” outfit. Gilbert asked her: “How is Mrs. Santa’s Little Helper doing tonight?” She replied “everything is fine.” And the rest was history!

In June 2012, after more than a decade of dating, Susan married her sweetheart and love of her life, Gilbert. They loved traveling to Hawaii and Mexico, sipping on margaritas, dancing, and Sunday drives in Gilbert’s 1966 Corvette. Their homes and gardens were always spectacular, the perfect home for hosting gatherings and raising their beloved schnauzer Bentley and goldendoodle Lexi.

Susan never passed up a tall glass of white wine or a Bloody Mary with Gilbert, loved all things gardening, needle pointing, Bruno Mars band, and watching cooking and game shows on the big screen.
There is so much Susan will be remembered for, including her famous sugar cookies with secret recipe frosting, homemade strawberry jam and eggs benedict. She was a member of the Merced Garden Club where her home and garden were on full display annually at the Christmas and Spring Garden Tour. She was known for her green thumb and her relentless attention to detail and cleanliness.

Susan is survived by her husband, Gilbert, her three children, Ashley Powell, Tyler Dudley, and Caitlin Czirban, and her nine grandchildren Hayden, Brooklyn, Kinley, Taytem, Tanner, Tristan, Merick, Pyper, and Tate.
A Celebration of Her Life will be held Saturday, October 28 at the Vista Ranch Winery in Merced, CA (7326 East Highway 140) starting at 11am - 3pm. If you wish to remember Susan with a donation, please make it in her name to the Merced Garden Club, attn: Judy Smith, 2181 Almondwood Lane, Merced, CA, 95340.