Susann Hoke

Susann H. Hoke (Hayes)

March 17, 1939 - April 1, 2020
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Susann (Hayes) Hoke passed away peacefully on April 1, 2020, after a courageous five-year battle with multiple myeloma. Her resolve, courage, and grace were admired by those who were aware of her struggle. Born on March 17, 1939, in Boston, MA, Susann was the daughter of the late Robert Francis and Miriam (Comfrey) Hayes. She is survived by her husband, J. Russell Hoke, II, and her two sons, John and Wilson and their families.

Susann graduated from Thayer Academy in Braintree, MA with high honors in 1957 and matriculated to Wellesley College that following fall. She graduated from Wellesley in 1961 with honors as a Wellesley College Scholar, receiving a degree in Sociology. Upon graduation she worked as a case worker for the Massachusetts Pardons and Parole office in Boston from 1961 to 1963. In this capacity, she interviewed and evaluated individuals who requested a pardon of a prior offense or commutation of a current sentence of incarceration. In 1963 she married her husband, Russell, who was then serving in the US Navy. They had two boys during this military commitment and the family moved to various Navy communities on the east coast. While her husband deployed at sea for months at a time, Susann steadfastly held the family intact, as well as volunteered to support other Navy families in need with the Navy Relief Society. In 1968 with the military obligation completed, her husband embarked on a number of engineering assignments with various technical and consulting firms, moving the family to numerous locations throughout the Northeast. The family finally settled in Shillington, PA (Flying Hills) in 1976.

Susann was always interested in community involvement, the nuclear family unit, and the nurturing and support of children. As a result, she began to volunteer in a number of capacities with various local organizations, including hospitals, libraries, elementary schools, and children and youth organizations. As her boys grew and became more independent, she became a case worker at the Berks County Children and Youth Services (BCCYS) in 1981. She worked at BCCYS until retirement in 2004. She always carried a full case load of children in need of support. Eventually, she became a supervisor of adoption, taking children from a foster care setting and placing them with loving, adoptive families. In her final year at BCCYS, she was nominated by the county to the Federal Department of Health and Human Services as an individual contributor in adoption excellence. Susann was selected for the award and in accepting the citation in Washington, DC, she was acknowledged for having been responsible for over 700 adoptions during her tenure at BCCYS.

In retirement, she enjoyed cruising to many foreign locations with family and friends. She was devoted to her five grandsons and cherished the time involved in as many of their activities as possible. The numerous trips to Portland, OR and Bethlehem, PA included sporting events, school plays, classroom visits, spring breaks, and graduations. Susann also continued her active volunteerism. She was a member of the Berks County Youth Aid Panel Program, meeting monthly to prevent youth from becoming more involved in delinquent behavior. She also continued in her role as a board member for The Children’s Home of Reading and her weekly volunteer support in the emergency room at the Reading Hospital. On the social side, Susann truly enjoyed playing bridge on a weekly basis with her gal pals. On many occasions she would say that sometimes they actually opened the decks and played cards.

Throughout her life Susann had one obsessive passion – knitting. She started as a teenager and literally had knitted hundreds of sweaters, blankets, afghans, and Christmas stockings for family and friends. Her needles and yarn were always a constant companion. These gifts were always accepted with gratitude and worn or displayed with pride.

Susann will be deeply missed and fondly remembered for her devotion to her family and friends, her kindness and compassion for others, her generous spirit, her quick mind, the strength of her convictions, and her tireless work ethic.

In addition to her husband, Susann is survived by her two sons: John R. III (husband of Karen) of Portland, OR and R. Wilson (husband of Shanen) of Bethlehem, PA, and five grandsons: Riley, Owen, Elliot, Wyatt, and Quincy. Susann was the oldest of eight children in the Hayes family of Scituate, MA. She had a twin sister, Nancy Sweetser (Verona, NJ). As identical twins, not only did they have the same attributes and traits, and looked exactly alike; but they shared a unique bond and relationship which seemingly bordered on telepathic qualities.

They each played a very important and supportive role in each other’s lives for a span of 81 years. The other surviving siblings include: Robert Hayes (Duxbury, MA), Ellen Hayes (Scituate, MA), Joseph Hayes (Scituate, MA), Elizabeth Schrader (Aiken, SC), Michael Hayes (Scituate, MA), and Patricia Gordon (Barrington, RI); along with 19 nieces and nephews.

Due to the current health crisis, a celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the McGlinn Cancer Center, Reading Hospital Tower Health Medical System, 420 South Fifth Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611 or to the Tower Health at Home Hospice, 1170 Berkshire Blvd, Wyomissing, PA 19610. Edward J. Kuhn Funeral Home, Inc. West Reading is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be expressed at
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Elvin, Lynn and Ally

Posted at 11:29am
The found memories you left us with are alway close.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Susann Hoke

debra a peters

Posted at 05:49pm
I saw Susann's obituary . I knew that I remembered her warm smile. After reading thru her life I realized that she had been a wonderful volunteer in the Ed. Susann had been really helpful. She knew just what to do to pitch in and make the patients comfortable. Seems she led a very full life . I am very sorry for your loss and grateful to have known Susann
Debra Peters (retired nurse)

James Fegley

Posted at 09:47am
Russ - We haven't seen each other since Bruce's death. Your wife's obituary prompted me to reach out to you. I am sorry to hear about her passing. May you continue to enjoy your health and your family. My condolences to you and your family,

Jim Fegley

Jay and Jane Leininger

Posted at 08:36am
Hello Russ,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Susann’s obituary is a very nice tribute to her well lived life.

The Hancharik Family

Posted at 12:38pm
We only had the privilege of meeting Susann Hoke on a few occasions but were touched by her kind spirit & cheerful smile. Sending prayers your way,
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Susann Hoke

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