Investiture of Judge Susan Baker Ross

While we were in Ohio, Tom and I got to attend the investiture of Judge Susan Baker Ross.  We had never been to an investiture before, so it was a new and interesting activity.

Susan has been a friend for a long time.  She and her family moved across the street from us in Mogadore in 2000.  I watched her kids grow up and we supported each other through changes in our lives.  Susan, Alex, and Kevin recently stopped by Fort Frederica to see us and we try to see her whenever we are in Ohio.

Susan has always been very politically active.  As a lawyer in Summit County, she answered legal questions for me and helped me sort through political ideas.  She is also a very strong Christian.  When she was looking for a new church after her divorce, I invited her to attend Wedgewood.  She said she would rather have me as a friend than a pastor.  Of course, she said it in a very nice way and I knew what she meant.  Susan is now an active member of Cornerstone Free Methodist.

There are many things I admire about Susan.  She sold her house and moved in with her father when he required more care.  She built a good life after getting out of a bad marriage.  But the thing I admire most is that she ran for judge in Summit County last year.  I can’t even imagine running for political office.  Campaigning means being out every night and putting your personal life out there for everyone to see.  Susan was very open about spending time in jail when she was a college student for DUI.  I think a lot of people saw her openness and past as an asset.  I know that she will be a better judge for having grown through her own struggles with addiction.

Susan’s investiture was Tuesday, May 14, two days before we left Ohio.  The stars aligned for Tom and I to be at the ceremony and Susan asked me to give the opening prayer.  I felt honored to comply.  The investiture was held in the atrium of the Ocasek Building and about 150 people attended.  Tom and I were especially impressed by the number of judges who came to support Susan.

After the opening prayer, we said the Pledge of Allegiance.  Ginger Baylor, who will be Susan’s bailiff, sang “America the Beautiful.”  Several people gave glowing testimonies about Susan (kind of like funeral eulogies but Susan was listening).  Then Judge Joy Malek Oldfield swore Susan in while Susan’s daugher Alex and mother Rosemarie held the Bible.  Susan’s son Kevin helped her put her robe on.  Susan gave some thank you’s and then Daren Brake gave the closing prayer.  The ceremony lasted 45 minutes and was very impressive, especially in the beautiful setting.

I celebrate women everywhere who achieve their goals in life.  I was proud and pleased to be able to celebrate the investiture of Judge Susan Baker Ross.  She will serve with compassion, justice, and fairness.