Susan Crocker, who served on the Woodside Town Council from 1991 to 1995, and was mayor in 1993, died suddenly at her home in Woodside on Wednesday, Oct. 12. She was 75.
Ms. Crocker, who had lived in Woodside for 38 years, was known for her love of gardening, reading and opera. She was curious about nature and enthusiastically passed on her knowledge to both the young and old. She volunteered for many years in the nature program at Filoli, at the Academy of Sciences and at Huddart Park.
Ms. Crocker also loved following politics and staying abreast of current issues.
Woodside town volunteer Thalia Lubin praised Ms. Crocker's work as "a tireless advocate for Woodside's natural treasures." Ms. Lubin said Ms. Crocker "often spoke up when the town veered off course from the principles of the General Plan. Susan was someone we could count on for advice and a sage perspective on various town issues. She was a caring and dedicated citizen of Woodside," Ms. Lubin said.
In 1991 Ms. Crocker was elected to the Woodside Town Council to represent the first district, which includes her neighborhood of the Woodside Glens. A Times Tribune article at the time said: "Despite being unopposed, Crocker ran an active campaign as a way of getting out to meet people and find out about the issues."
She was then a marketing manager at Hewlett-Packard Co. and had been chairwoman of a town committee appointed to consider revisions to residential regulations. The committee had recommended 15 changes. The Times Tribune article said: "She ran to see that the work was completed and because, 'I'm interested in seeing Woodside remain the unique residential community that it is,' she said."
A friend and neighbor of Ms. Crocker's, Jennifer Gonzales, said Ms. Crocker and her partner, Lee Gallagher, had "an amazing garden." She was "a very caring person," Ms. Gonzales said. "Anyone who had a question about Kite Hill could ask Susan or Lee, from the name of a flower to information about the history of saving Kite Hill," she said.
"When Susan set out to solve a problem, she immediately made a plan, and would put her knowledge and passion into reaching the solution."
"Woodside has lost a dear person," Ms. Gonzales said.
Susan Crocker was born in Eugene, Oregon, and grew up in Denver. She had a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master's degree in social policy and planning from Wayne State University in Detroit.
According to a 1996 article about Ms. Crocker in Fast Company Magazine, she became a Peace Corp volunteer in 1965, living in Chile for two years, teaching nutrition in mountain villages. "It was an experience, she says, that forced her to take risks," the article by David Diamond said.
A close friend said that after returning home from Chile, Ms. Crocker set a goal to work for social change. She particularly liked writing funding proposals for the nonprofit sector and enjoyed working out organizational puzzles and challenges in general.
Ms. Crocker worked for nonprofits as well as in the public sector at San Francisco General Hospital followed by the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Regional Tumor Foundation.
Later, she worked in marketing management at Varian Medical Systems Inc., Apple Computer Inc. and Hewlett-Packard.
Ms. Crocker was a fierce advocate for the environment and her longtime community of Woodside.
She is survived by her partner, Lee Gallagher, brother Samuel Crocker and sister Gayle Crocker.
There will not be any services. Donations in Ms. Crocker's memory may be made to Cedars of Marin.