Susan J. Hodges
1942 - 2017
Resident of Oakland
Susan Jane Hodges was born on Nov. 11, 1942 in San Francisco to parents Francis T. Hodges and Alice Lyon Hodges. As a child she grew up in Sausalito and later in Kentfield. Susan graduated from Sarah Dix Hamlin School in San Francisco and earned her Bachelor's degree from Mills College. As a child, she contracted polio and although she survived the initial paralyzing effects of the disease, later in life, that illness came back to inflict much pain and disability on her. Susan was active in the Berkeley Free Clinic and devoted much of her life to social causes. For 5 years, she worked as a classroom assistant at Language Associates, a school for special needs children. Her most notable contribution was in the field of disability rights --- especially for people in wheelchairs. The effect of her childhood polio and a bad car accident forced her into a wheelchair when she was in her early 40's. From that time on, Susan worked tirelessly for the cause of the disabled, with emphasis on securing adequate pay for their caregivers. Susan was a co-author of the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act, for which she was personally honored by President Clinton at the White House in 1994. She earned Woman of the Year for the State of California in 1999 and also for the City of Oakland in 1999. Gradually, her physical condition declined to the point where she spent much of her time in a hospital bed at her home. On March 25, she succumbed to congestive heart failure. She is survived by her sister Vicky Carruthers of Fairfax, and her brother Edward Hodges of San Jose. A gathering of friends is planned but the time and location has not yet been determined. The family wishes to thank the State of California In-Home Support Services Program for providing excellent care during Susan's final years, and we especially acknowledge her primary caregiver, Cheela Smith, for 17 years of amazing and loving service. View the online memorial for Susan J. Hodges
Published by East Bay Times on Apr. 5, 2017.