Hoke, Elizabeth Louise (Staples) LAS VEGAS, Nev. Elizabeth L. Staples Hoke (EL), 75, recently of Las Vegas, passed away on December 28, 2012 while vacationing with her family in Phoenix, Ariz. Elizabeth was a former president of the Public Employees Federation (PEF), of New York. She was born September 16, 1937 in Cold Spring, N.Y. to Harold and Josephine Staples and graduated from Haldane High School. She started her career as a corrections officer at the former Matteawan State Prison before gaining her nursing degree from Mt. Saint Mary’s in Newburgh, N.Y. She worked for several years at the Hudson River Psychiatric Center in Poughkeepsie. Her father acted as her source of inspiration for the union worker as he was the secretary-treasurer of the United Auto Workers in Tarrytown, N.Y., in the 1950’s. She worked to ensure the proper representation for the union for the professional New York State workers and was elected to her first position within the union in 1979 as the regional coordinator for the Poughkeepsie region until her election as one of the first female presidents of any public employee union in 1982. She served one term upon completion of which she returned to state service. Afterwards, she earned her master’s degree as a nurse practitioner at Russell Sage College and began what she felt was her most rewarding career, providing mental health services, until she retired. She is survived by her beloved family, daughter, Jeanne Hoke Justice of Olmsted Falls, Ohio; sons, Robert Hoke of Las Vegas and Michael (Ann Elizabeth) Hoke of Phoenix; grandchildren, Christine (David) Bowers of Rotterdam, N.Y., Robert Hoke of Albany; and Catherine and Sarah Hoke of Phoenix. She is also survived by twin great-grandsons, Crono and Grey Bowers of Rotterdam. She was preceded in death by her parents as well as her siblings, Edward, Natalie Jackson, Robert and Bill. She also leaves her sister, Barbara (John) Collins in Basalt, Colo. as well as numerous nieces and nephews throughout the United States. A celebration of life will be held in New York at the convenience of the family.
Published in Albany Times Union on January 6, 2013