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Obituary for Sally Jean Lewis Dodgson

Sally Jean Lewis Dodgson died March 6, 2017, at Shepherd Home in Penfield, New York, of metastatic ocular melanoma.

Born August 2, 1928, in Terre Haute, IN, she was the second daughter of William E. Lewis and Irene Stark Lewis. She graduated from Wiley High School, Terre Haute, in 1946 and from Franklin College, Franklin, IN, in 1950, earning a B.A. cum laude, majoring in English with a minor in history. She received the M.S. in education from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1952. A firm believer in life-long learning, Sally enrolled in postgraduate studies in psychology at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (1962-65), and entered Colgate Rochester Bexley Hall Crozer Divinity School in 1981, receiving the M.Div. degree in 1984.

Sally met Kenneth V. Dodgson when they were both members of the Executive Committee of Indiana Baptist Youth Fellowship (BYF) and the BYF National Council. They were married July 4, 1952, in the Terre Haute First Baptist Church. In April 1955, the Board of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (now Board of International Ministries) commissioned Sally and Ken as medical missionaries to Northeast India. In March 1957 they began 24 years of work and family life at the Jorhat Christian Medical Centre, Jorhat, Assam, India. Returning from India in 1981, they settled in Rochester, NY.

Sally’s teaching career began at Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown, NJ, where she taught English from 1952 to 1955. In India, she was on the teaching faculties of the Eastern Theological College and the School of Nursing of the Jorhat Christian Medical Centre, teaching English and psychology. She was editor of The [Assam] Baptist Leader and edited the 125th anniversary publication of the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India. From 1984 to 1996, Sally was director of communications at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rochester, NY; and from 1996 to 1998, she served as assistant to the president for institutional research.

Sally wrote and spoke in support of racial and economic equality, demonstrated for peace and against the death penalty, was active in interdenominational and interfaith dialogue, tutored refugees, and was active in children’s reading programs.

She was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Church Women United Valiant Woman Award; the Justicia-Community Activism Award from the Judicial Process Commission of Rochester (2010); with Jean Bartlett, the Helen Barrett Montgomery Women of Vision Award (2001); and, with Kenneth Dodgson, the Franklin College Distinguished Alumni Award (1962) and the Howard Moody Award of the Coalition for Baptist Principles of American Baptist Churches, USA. She received an honorary D.D. from Franklin College in 2005 and the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School Distinguished Alumni/ae Award in 2015.

She is survived by her husband, Kenneth V. Dodgson, M.D.; her three daughters, Kim Labinger (Marc Labinger) of Los Angeles, CA, Kathryn Dodgson (Chris Cleary) of Arlington, MA, and Carol Klooster (Dale Klooster) of St. Louis, MO; and five grandchildren: Cooper and Eli Labinger, Jeremy Lyon Taylor, and Alison and Anya Klooster.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at 10AM, First Baptist Church, 175 Allen’s Creek Road, Rochester, NY 14618.
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