Silicon Valley Down Syndrome Network Membership

In Memory of Ellen Hovey

13 Oct 2017 2:10 PM | Anonymous

In Memory of Ellen Hovey 

October 2017

We are sad to announce that one of our founding members, Ellen Hovey, passed away recently. Ellen contributed to our community in so many ways, and we are grateful for the time we had with her. If you would like to help support her family please visit this page, ‘In Memory of Ellen Hovey’.

Passion and positivity characterized Ellen Hovey as most of us in the Down syndrome community knew her. She welcomed countless new parents into the Down syndrome family and gave us hope through her encouragement and example.

Ellen was a woman of faith who placed her relationship with God and her family, Dave and Jeremy, above all. She was a steadfast friend and powerful voice in the special needs community, opening her home every month for years to host the SVDSN Educational Advocacy Meeting.

Ellen believed in the power of inclusion and raising awareness of all that individuals with Down syndrome can do. She founded the Bay Area Buddy Walk in 2005 and served as the Buddy Walk chair in recent years, even as she was battling cancer. She spearheaded celebrations in San Jose on World Down Syndrome Day. She pulled together family dinner nights to connect families and build a community of support. She answered countless emails and posts on the message board, providing guidance, practical advice, and hope. She worked tirelessly supporting organizations that helped people with Down syndrome in various ways, such as Parents Helping Parents and Dale Law Firm.

She fought every battle that came her way with grace and patience, advocating for her son to ensure he had every chance available and finding ways to pave a path for those following after.

As a mother, Ellen empowered her son to advocate for himself and to be independent in the world. She taught through her example advocating for our children but also empowering them to carry the torch and advocate for themselves. She encouraged parents to believe in themselves, to embrace their power of knowing their child best, and to fight the good fight while remaining positive.


Ellen demonstrated the power of building bridges, bringing together community, and leading the charge. She provided us with an example of how to raise our children to open doors and break barriers.


Ellen will be missed deeply by the SVDSN community of families. She touched many lives through the outreach and work that she did through the years. We will carry her in our hearts as we remember all that she did and will do our best to continue the work that she believed in so deeply.

Silicon Valley Down Syndrome Network

 SVDSN is a program of Valley Medical Center Foundation who is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

 2400 Clove Drive, San Jose CA 95128

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