Susan Jane Freedman Ross

Ross—Susan Jane Freedman Ross, 76, on March 22, 2018, at a convalescent home in Alamo, Calif. Susan was born on April 12, 1941, in Alameda, Calif., the daughter of Theodore and Stella (Mathews) Freedman. The family, including Susan’s older sister, Sarah, joined Berkeley (Calif.) Meeting on April 26, 1946.

Susan enjoyed reading when she was a child. Her mother, Stella, assisted with development of the Dewey Decimal System. When Stella was asked whether science fiction deserved its own classification, she gave Susan several science fiction books to read, then asked Susan’s opinion of how they should be classified. Following that experience, Susan especially enjoyed reading science fiction. She compiled a very large personal collection of science fiction books.

Susan was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was a pre-teen. There were no treatments available at that time. As a result, she spent most of her life either in pain or on opioids.

Susan attended Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., then returned to the Bay Area to finish her schooling at San José State College. She worked as a school librarian for the San Francisco School District for her entire working life. Following retirement, she volunteered for the Orinda Historical Society in Orinda, Calif.

When she was young, Susan helped with Berkeley Meeting’s programs for children. In 1959, together with George Millikan, also of Berkeley Meeting, she served on the team running the children’s program at Pacific Yearly Meeting at La Honda, Calif. Susan served on Berkeley Meeting’s Library Committee, as well as the Kitchen Committee.

Susan met Peter Ross at Berkeley Meeting while he was earning his doctorate degree in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley. Peter had been teaching mathematics at the state college in Santa Clara. Susan changed her name to Susan Ross in 1968, though there is no record of their marriage. Their son, Jonathan, was born January 27, 1969.

Sometime around 1964, Susan’s parents had a small house built for her next to their house in Orinda. After her retirement, Susan continued to live in Orinda with her sister, Sarah, but as her condition grew worse, she moved to a convalescent home in Alamo.

Susan is survived by one child, Jonathan Ross (Lucy Bowers-Wildblood); and a sister, Sarah Hoopes.

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