Janet Ruth Sledge died on July 13, 2018 at the age of 68 in Houston, Texas.
She is survived by her sister, Linda Sledge McGlasson of Houston; her brother Wayne Sledge and his wife Debra of Baton Rouge; her brother Ronnie Sledge of Houston, and many beloved cousins, nephews, nieces, and their children. She was preceded in death by her parents, Guy P. Sledge, Jr. and Hazel McGhee Sledge; her spouse, David L. Hawkins, and her sister-in-law, Ann Stewart Sledge.
Janet was born in Freeport, Texas, on January 24, 1950, as her father (and for a while, her mom as well) worked at the Freeport Dow Chemical Plant. At age 6, the family moved to Baton Rouge, LA, where her father “poked a shovel in the mud” to help start the Plaquemine Dow Chemical Plant in the midst of the sugar cane fields. She graduated from Broadmoor High School in 1968. After attending Louisiana Tech for one year, she transferred to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she obtained degrees in Sociology and Psychology in 1972.
Her career began as a Coordinator for the East Tennessee Health Council, helping to provide doctors, nurses, and midwives to the underserved areas of Appalachian-Tennessee. This early start “hooked her” on the concept of health care delivery for most of her career, and sent her searching for relevant graduate school programs. She obtained a Master’s degree in Public Administration – Health Care Administration from Cornell University in 1977.
Her career roles as a Hospital Administrator, Medical Practice Administrator, Medical School Planner, and Physician Management Specialist, led her to call many places “home” – most of them far, far away from her adopted state of Louisiana, including Birmingham, England; Newark, NJ; Manhattan; White Plains, NY; Albuquerque, NM; Stamford CT; and finally to Houston. Her passionate ties to Louisiana and its culture, swamps, music, marshlands, and food remained strong all of her days. She chose Nottoway Plantation in White Castle, LA for her wedding in 1996, and was married wearing her Grandmother Sledge’s dress, which dated to 1901.
Janet loved Contra dancing, English Country dancing, folk music, hiking, gardening, butterflies and hummingbirds, picnics, and making new friends. Her empathy for others was “off-the-charts.”
The family would like to thank Janet’s niece, Elena McGlasson, for her creative and compassionate help as Janet’s Personal Social Director and Partner-in-Crime in recent years. They were a heart-warming team.
The family will host an informal time of remembrance to greet friends and relatives on Saturday July 28, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, at 11:00 am. 1819 Heights Blvd. Houston, Texas 77008. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Janet’s life. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial donations to Houston Public Media, 4343 Elgin, Houston, TX 77204.