Roberts, a Sacramento attorney, made a name for herself working on policy and made friends for herself wherever she went.
"Susan was one of those people who advocated for animals, advocated the downtrodden, advocated for the vulnerable populations," said one friend in attendance.
Although police haven't released many details, Roberts was killed in the home she shared with her husband of just two years, Mark Long. Long now stands accused of her murder.
"That really wouldn't honor Susan to focus on the tragedy that ended her life," said a woman close to Roberts. "We all know that it was just horrible, it was shocking and devastating, but she would want us to remember what was important to her."
Roberts grew up in the Los Angeles area and her surviving family lives there. Her second, local family were determined to mark her passing and grieve together.
"This is a terrible tragedy and one of their neighbors died violently," said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. "And I just want to be here as the mayor of the city, not to speak, not to do anything, but just to be supportive and to let people know that their city is thinking of them today."
Friends say, although gone, Roberts' work on behalf of the homeless and people in residential care will live on as her legacy.