Mary Sue “Sue” Dodd passed away at her home in Poulsbo, Washington, on September 24, 2020, at age 70, from metastatic breast cancer.
Sue was born at St. Ann’s hospital in Juneau, Alaska, and attended St. Ann’s school for eight years before graduating from Yadaa.at Kalé (then Juneau-Douglas High School) in 1968. From an early age, she was strong, athletic, and determined. Over the years her family lived at the base of Starr Hill, she became legendary for her ability to hit a baseball out of Chicken Yard park. She competed in the Seattle-to-Portland bike race when she was in her 50s and ran marathons well into her 60s.
Sue moved to Seattle in the early 1970s, where she joined the nascent women-in-the-trades movement, working as an electrical helper for the Seattle Engineering Department into the late 80s and then as a signal electrician for the Transportation Department. For many years the only woman on her crew, she cleared the way for others, with her expertise, physical strength, and sense of humor.
In 1979, Sue and her partner Donna Goles bought a little house on the Kitsap peninsula near Agate Passage. They worked hard to improve the property and Sue lived there for the rest of her life. For nearly 20 years, she commuted daily by bike eight miles to the Bainbridge Island ferry.
In 2000, she took a job closer to her home as a rural mail carrier for the Bainbridge Post Office. Many along her routes will remember her for making her holiday package deliveries even in deep snow. She remained an Alaskan at heart.
In the 1980s, her mother built a house in Port Protection, Alaska, and Sue began to spend vacations there. After she retired from the Post Office in 2018, she lived there much of the year. She explored Prince of Wales Island on foot, bike, and kayak and single-handedly built a float and designed and installed a solar power system.
Anyone who knew Sue would likely tell you they never knew anyone like her. Though she was fiercely independent, she was always on the lookout for someone whose life she could make a little easier or a cause she could support. She was brilliant, poetic, funny, strong, and a great singer. Though she has been released, her hold on the hearts of those who knew her well will never be.
Sue survived her parents, Dessa Baker and J.C. Dodd, youngest sister Vicki Silves, brother Mike Dodd, and nephew Chad Lockinger. She leaves behind sister Mandy Dreyer and brother-in-law Andy Dreyer, sister Liz Dodd, niece Lizzy Dreyer, nephews Will Hart and T.L. DeVaney, and long-time friend and caregiver, Donna Goles.