Suzanne Fitts Valters Phd, M.S.W., 1942-2003

Suzanne E. Fitts Valters died on Sun. Oct. 19 in Sacramento, CA. A native of Framingham, MA, she was a woman of great intellect, education and achievement. She wanted most to be remembered as a gutsy woman, a survivor, and a great mother. A graduate of Boston University, with a PhD. from Columbia University in International Relations, she lived in New York City for over 30 years, working as a guide at the United Nations, where she met and married Erik Nikolous Valters of Riga-Hagensberg, Latvia and Princeton class of 1953. Erik died in 1996.

For the past 23 years, she lived with Rheumatoid Arthritis. During that period, however,she returned to college, earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work from NYU, counseling people with disabilities. Then in 1997, she moved to Sacramento to be near her daughter. She became the legislative chair of Californians for Disability Rights, the vice chair of the California Coalition on Crime Against People with Disabilities, and was instrumental in drafting and supporting legislation to benefit people with disabilities. She was also a member of CALCASA. She was a docent at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, and served as an advisor to make the museum accessible.

She is survived by her daughter, Christine Valters-Paintner of Seattle, Wash., a sister, Nancy Fitts-Neilson of East Boothbay, Maine, and a brother, Dr. Frederick B. Fitts, Jr. of Twin Falls, Idaho.Suzanne was the daughter of the late Frederick B. and Faith Fitts of Framingham.