Hoagland, Mary Tiedman
On October 31, 2020 Colorado lost a remarkable citizen. Mary Tiedeman Hoagland, born August 19, 1924, died peacefully, surrounded by family, in the home she cherished, in the town she treasured. Mary was a beloved wife, mother and grandmother, an inspiring role model, a pathbreaking attorney and a diehard Rockies fan. She leaves a powerful legacy, from a life full of love and deep friendships and an unwavering commitment to the causes to which she devoted her formidable energy, talents, courage and wisdom. Mary was happily married to Donald Wright Hoagland for over 60 years, until his death in 2012. She was the mother of Peter McLean Hoagland, Mary Hoagland-Scher, Sara (Suki) Hodges Hoagland and Ann Wright Hoagland Simonds. She is also survived by 12 wonderful grandchildren. Mary was born in Savannah, Georgia, but spent most of her childhood in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She graduated from Smith College in 1946, majoring in economics. After she and Don Hoagland married in 1949, they lived in Manhattan and she worked at the Museum of Modern Art. The young couple moved to Denver in 1951. They built a life enriched by family and a dedication to furthering the ideals they shared for educational opportunity, civil rights and access to legal representation. They also developed an abiding attachment to Colorado. In the 1970's Mary became increasingly involved in the women's rights movement. She was a founding member of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the Women's Forum and an active supporter of female candidates for political office. She determined that to have the impact she wanted, she had to be a lawyer. She earned her J.D. at the University of Denver Law School in 1975, at the age of 51. As a family law attorney, Mary championed the rights of women facing discrimination, divorce, custody battles and abuse. She led a class action lawsuit to secure equal pay for Colorado's nurses. She was a leader in the Colorado Bar Association, the Colorado Women's Bar and the Women's Lobby. She chaired the Governor's Commission on the Status of Women and served on the board of Safehouse and countless others. For a person who hated to cook, she had a gift for stirring the pot - she was always ready to ask tough questions or to challenge injustices. DU recognized Mary as a Law Star in 1996, and honored Mary and Don together with the Korbel Humanitarian Award in 2001. Mary enjoyed her "River Rats" - friends from the Women's Forum who rafted several of the region's most beautiful rivers and continued to gather annually for decades. She was devoted to her Zodiac book club and appears to have read every book selection for over 50 years. She was a Rockies season ticket holder from day one and delighted in following the team, memorizing stats, evaluating trades, and going to spring training to scout each year's rookies. Mary also had a keen eye for design, a green thumb and a lifelong appreciation for the visual arts. Mary took delight in her grandchildren. She created Camp Goofoff at their home in Keystone, where grandchildren, once eight years old, would spend a week each summer with no parents and no rules. She kept up with her grandchildren on Facebook, always asking first about how their pets were doing. She inspired both her grandchildren and her children with her deep commitments, especially her dedication to advancing women's rights and to establishing women's rightful place in politics and government. Later in life, Mary's interests expanded and she became President of the Colorado Hemlock Society, which became Compassion in Choices, and served on its National Board. She believed fervently that people deserve the ultimate civil right, the right to die with dignity, which she did. She would want to remind everyone, "Don't wait to tell someone you love them." In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to SafeHouse-Denver.org
. There will be a celebration of her life when we can all safely gather.
Published by Denver Post on Nov. 8, 2020.