Sharon Rae Hovey-Wilkin was born July 1, 1941, to Raymond and Evelyn Hovey, and died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, Fairfax, Va.
When Sharon was 17, she was injured in an amusement park accident in Belgium that drastically changed the course of her life.
She graduated from the University of Illinois with her bachelor's and master's degrees in education in 1965. That same year, she married Jonathan Wilkin, a quadriplegic disabled in a motorcycle accident, who she met while in college. She was often known to say, "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space!" As a self-proclaimed thrill-seeker and biker babe wannabe, she has led a wonderfully fulfilling life since her ac-cident. Some of her amazing accomplishments include being twice named Outstanding Handicapped Federal Female Employee of the Year, helping to lob-by Congress to overturn President Nixon's veto of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, attending the inau-gural parade for Jimmy Carter and being one of 10 federal employees to meet with him. She was also instrumental in helping draft the legislation to help get the Americans with Disabil-ities Act into law.
She was preceded in death by her father, Raymond; her mother, Evelyn; and her brother, Milton.
She is survived by her brother, Martin (Mary Lou) of Lakewood, N.Y.; a nephew, Owen Hovey (Denise) of Ashville; a niece, Jocelyn (Jacob) Hovey Jones of Ashville; four great-nieces: Marra and Corrine Hovey, Jessalyn and Jenica Jones; and two great-nephews: Mitchell Hovey and Jaden Jones.
A celebration of life will be held at Sunset Hill Cemetery in Lakewood, N.Y., on Saturday, March 15, at 10 a.m. Friends and family are welcome.
An inspiration to all that met and knew her, she will be sadly missed.
Online condolences and fond memories of Sharon may be offered to the family at www.moneyandking. com.