Susan Stocker Thatcher, a retired occupational therapist and long-time resident of Washingtonville, New York, died Sept. 20 at the age of 86 in Fort Collins, Colo.. The daughter of Harriet née Miller Stocker and Charles Lincoln Stocker Jr. of Cleveland, Ohio, Ms. Thatcher was born in Hollywood, California and graduated from Berkeley High School and Pomona College with a degree in English literature. She received her occupational therapy master’s at New York University in 1981. A life-long Progressive, Ms. Thatcher was always ready to support the rights of children, victims of war, feminism and all kinds of empowerment. She personally filled out the New York Times crossword puzzle almost every day, only slightly bemoaning recent trendiness toward trivia and mysterious social media phenomenon. Ms. Thatcher met the late James Thatcher at Pomona College. They were married in 1958 and settled into a house designed by Frank Dushin on South Mountain Pass in Garrison. During those memorable years, the family shared the adventure of living in the woods amidst a community that not only supported anti-war efforts but frequently gathered for potlucks, pool parties and horse shows. She had many different careers and passions during her life including helping to found Aunt Bessie’s Open Door in Peekskill (a non-profit child care center), a pottery business with Toni Putman, sailing and singing with Pete Seeger and the Clearwater sloop, her beloved Big Hearted Sisters group of Berkeley High School and Girl Scout friends, a relationship that lasted more than 70 years, public speaking with Toastmasters, tap dancing with the Newburgh-based TNT Tappers, Amtrak and everything train-related, and last but certainly not least, being an occupational therapist who helped people with all kinds of disabilities recover or develop ways to manage life within new limitations. A voracious reader, she always visited and supported local libraries. She was the director of occupational therapy at Sullivan County ARC for about two decades, a career that she loved dearly. Afterward, she worked as a per diem occupational therapist at local nursing homes. A devoted mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, she cheerfully and happily supported her entire family and delighted in holding and attending family reunions, graduations and weddings. She leaves a brother, Charles Stocker III (Val Stocker) of Fresno, Calif.; two daughters, Ann Gornik (Michael Gornik) of Fort Collins, CO; Rebecca Thatcher Murcia (the late Saúl Murcia) of Akron, PA.; one son, Mark Thatcher of Washingtonville, NY.; one granddaughter, Kiya Bibby (Ted Bibby) and their children, Elara and Emrys, of Grassy Valley, CA.; and three grandsons, Abram Gornik of Lexington, KY; Gabriel Murcia of Barcelona, Spain; and Mario Murcia of Baltimore, MD. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to local libraries. The family is planning a life celebration for the spring of 2023.
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