Susan Orr – artist, spiritual leader, environmentalist, gardener

Curtis Park has lost one of its shining lights.

Susan Orr of Fourth Avenue was a gifted artist, leader of the Sacramento Buddhist community, passionate environmentalist and caretaker of one of the most prolific and beautiful gardens in the neighborhood.

Susan taught qigong classes at Sierra 2 for years and held morning meditation sittings open to all. She co-founded and served on the board of the Sacramento Dharma Center, which opened in late 2016, the culmination of a major effort that took years of fundraising and searching for an appropriate building.

The former bank building in the College Greens neighborhood became a home for three Buddhist organizations that had previously met in rented spaces. Susan’s training in mediation was used extensively in bringing all the disparate parties and planning to together.

In keeping with her concern for the environment, Susan opted for a “green burial” in Mill Valley.

Susan’s daughter, Katie Thomas, and her husband, Richie Lawrence, live on Portola Way.

— Mary Anne Moore

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