Susan Moran Schram
RESTON VA. — Mrs. Susan Moran Schram passed away peacefully on March 19, 2018 in Reston, Virginia, surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and friends. Over her 89 years her keen mind and humor were never diminished, and only recently returned from a visit to her son and daughter-in-law in The Netherlands, her 35th ‘solo’ trip to Holland over the last two decades. She and family returned regularly to Escanaba for reunions and visits with friends and relatives, most recently last April when joined by her 91-year-old sister Nancy Moran Larson to visit their youngest sister Martha Thompson and her sons and families.
Born in Chicago on July 7, 1928, to Kathryn Blake Moran and James B. Moran, both originally of Escanaba, she and her sisters Nancy, Jim Moran (deceased 2007), and Martha returned to Escanaba during the Great Depression. Her father passed away prematurely and her mother remarried John Mitchell, and the family became active in the Escanaba Yacht Club. In the early years the family sailed on John’s fast but crowded 6-Meter class boat ‘The Oslo’, until John wisely traded up for the roomier Sparkman 44 ‘Lucky Star’.
Like her siblings, a standout student and champion debater at Escanaba High School, she attended Ripon College for a year before completing her journalism degree in 1950 at the University of Michigan. At Ripon she met Ward Remington Schram of Sherwood, Wis., and learned that his parents, Clayton Schram and Mary Attila Schram, were also raised in Escanaba, and knew Sue’s parents from school. Ward enlisted in the Air Force and flew 100 combat missions in Korea, while Sue worked in Chicago. They corresponded throughout his service and after returning stateside Ward proposed to Sue. Their wedding was celebrated at the old Escanaba Episcopal Church on Dec. 28, 1955.
For a period Ward worked for his father Clayton, then president of Milwaukee’s Checker Cab, before starting an early office automation business. Children Robin, Chris and Andy were born in Milwaukee. The family and Moran siblings and cousins regularly visited parents and grandparents in Escanaba, learning to sail with varying degrees of interest and aptitude on the Lucky Star, as well as first lacing up iceskates.
During the early 1960s Sue and Ward, like her siblings and their spouses, became involved in the Civil Rights Movement. While participating in marches and political process, the family also help make quiet strides, like lodging a black student who could not find accommodations, and helping a black family friend secure a mortgage in a white neighborhood. The activism led to a compelling job offer for Ward, and the family relocated to the Washington, D.C. area where Ward worked in the Johnson Administration on the War on Poverty.
Sue had boundless energy and managed to balance family life with a range of interests, activities, and later work. In 1970 she returned to her journalistic roots and took the position and circulation manager for the Reston Times; in these tumultuous 70s her role was primarily ensuring the paper boys and girls delivered the new edition on time, but also counseling, encouraging, and lending a patient ear to her devoted team.
In 1977, with all three children at college, she and her best friend Sue (Weston) Wensell opened Reston’s Used Bookshop. It soon became a popular hub and meeting place, and though they passed the business on to new owners nearly 20 years ago, the ‘Two Sues” were celebrated last January at the shop’s 40th anniversary.
Ward passed away in March 2002, but Sue continued to live independently in her own apartment in Reston. Sue leaves a loving extended family and circle of friends. Her survivors (and legacy) are daughter Robin Moran Fogelson and her husband Jason Fogelson of Canton, Mich.; son Chris Schram and wife Josey Mos Schram of Den Haag, Netherlands; Chris’ former wife Mary Delaney and their children Andrew P. Schram, his wife Diana Shyu Schram and their daughter Sophia Marie Schram, and Christy T. Schram; son Andrew C. Schram and his wife Valerie Schram, and their children Michael Schram and Grace Schram. Sue was a proud and radiant participant in grandson Andy and Diana’s wedding in April, 2016, and had regular opportunities to dote on her great-granddaughter Sophia since her birth last August.
The family has lost a matriarch, someone who combined a fine mind and wonderful sense of humor with love, compassion, and an ability to light up any room she entered. Her children, grandchildren, extended family and friends will miss this truly amazing person.
Though a Virginia resident for over 50 years, she remained in her heart an Escanaban. She loved Ludington Avenue, the park and wonderfully preserved homes along Lake Michigan, the enduring family ties and friendships, visits to Fayette, pasties and freshly caught whitefish. She looked forward to her visits, seeing friends and family, and especially introducing each new generation to her very special hometown.