Houston SPJ loses long-time board member

Susanne Pagano, a long-time Houston journalist and SPJ member, died April 22, after a short illness.

Over the past two decades, Susanne was a constant force in the Houston SPJ chapter, serving in every major leadership role, including more than one stint as president. She was most recently elected chapter treasurer and was instrumental in the chapter hosting the Region 8 SPJ conference for 200 attendees.

820659_10151223194532130_360100031_oSusanne Pagano, long-time SPJ Houston board member, center, talks with representatives from the Houston Baptist University newspaper during the  2013  Law & the Media seminar.

She will be remembered for her tireless efforts to support SPJ locally and her ever-present good humor, usually expressed through a quick suppressed laugh. No matter how busy with work or family obligations, she never turned down an SPJ project.

jinglebellswithjournalists-4Susanne Pagano, long-time SPJ Houston board member, left, is pictured with SPJ Houston members at the 2013 Jingle Bells with Journalists holiday party.

Pagano’s countless hours spent assembling, editing and overseeing production of the popular Houston Media Guide over the years has helped keep Houston SPJ’s coffers in the black.

A 24-7 news hound, Pagano worked as a correspondent for Bloomberg BNA from her home in Sugar Land after a long career at Offshore Data Services.

SusannePaganoBNASusanne Pagano, long-time SPJ Houston board member, middle row, center left, was a correspondent for Bloomberg BNA.

“She always had a smile for everyone and was tireless in her efforts to improve the lives of all journalists, especially students and those just starting out in their careers,” SPJ Houston President Jim Magill wrote in a memorial post to Pagano.

Outside work, Pagano was a devoted wife and mother and a dedicated Beatles fan, traveling the country to attend concerts over the years, friends said.

Susanne rarely missed an annual national SPJ convention and built a network of SPJ friends from many states.

“SPJ-ers from around the country will miss her at conventions,” long-time friend Ginny Frizzi wrote on Susanne’s memorial page. “Susanne was a good journalist and, more importantly, a giving and caring person. She also never lost her love for and interest in Pittsburgh, our mutual hometown.”

229024_10151469894292130_1005180545_nSusanne Pagano, long-time SPJ Houston board member, second row right, and area journalists take part in a Galveston day trip event hosted by SPJ Houston in July 2013.

Co-workers at Bloomberg BNA also appreciated Pagano’s sense of humor.

“No matter what kind of work day I was having, speaking to her always made things better. I’ll sure miss that laugh,” Mark Williams of Baltimore, MD, wrote in a memorial message.

“She truly was one of the most upbeat, intelligent ladies I have ever met. I am sure she will be keeping notes on us all,” colleague John Chadderdon added.

Pagano was born Aug. 19, 1948 in Pittsburg, Penn. She is survived by her husband, James P. Pagano; and one son, Darren J. Pagano, of Sugar Land.