Former state senator Susan Tucker dies | News
ANDOVER — Former state senator Susan Tucker died Monday, Nov. 20.
“She was a good friend for many, many years,” said Susan Stott, Andover Community Trust founder. “I think she was the best state senator Andover has ever had. She will be very missed.”
Tucker served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1982 to 1992 and in the Massachusetts Senate from 1999 to 2011, representing the district of Second Essex and Middlesex.
Tucker was predeceased by sons, Mark and David, and survived by Mike Tucker, her husband of 57 years.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
This is an ongoing story and will be updated.
Update at 12:30 p.m.
Tucker was a champion of housing initiatives, having served as the chair of the Joint Committee on Housing. She was also on the executive board of the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council and a member of the Andover Industrial and Development Commission.
Tucker said in 2011 that she wished she could have ended the state’s housing plan to put homeless families in hotels, an issue that continues over a decade later. She sponsored bills like an act to preserve publicly-assisted affordable housing, working to retain or secure subsidies affecting housing developments in order to maintain at least the same number of affordable units for low-income households.
“She was truly a tireless advocate for the underdog, for people that didn’t have a voice,” said state Sen. Barry Finegold, who is Tucker’s successor. “She was someone that just really stood on her principles. There are not many elected officials today that do that.”
She sponsored another bill to stabilize neighborhoods to create community housing. She proposed rates for rest homes to provide affordable options for elders and people with disabilities. She at one point secured $8.25 million to implement recommendations of a special commission to end homelessness.
Other issues that caught her attention include her opposition to casino gambling. She had argued that the negative social impacts and expensive bureaucracy that would be required to support expanded gambling outweigh any potential benefits.
“Susan Tucker dedicated her life to serving hardworking families across the Merrimack Valley,” said U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, D-Westford. “She entered the State House at a time when few women held public office, paving the way for countless others to follow in her footsteps.
I had the great fortune of working with Sue when I was a congressional staffer, and her deep devotion to helping folks in Andover, Lawrence, Dracut, and Tewksbury is a standard we all strive to live up to every day. Today, I join the thousands of people Sue touched in mourning her passing, and my heart goes out to her loved ones as they grieve this tremendous loss.”
She announced her retirement in 2011, noting how much of a “wonderful privilege” it had been to “be of service to the communities and the people who put their trust in me.”
Tucker was a teacher in both Lexington and Andover Public Schools prior to her legislative career.
Tucker and her husband returned to the local school district to honor her efforts. The Andover School Committee voted in 2021 to name the track and field for the former senator, behind the Doherty Middle School and Cormier Youth Center.
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