UICUF President Janet Smith Has Passed Away

19 Jan UICUF President Janet Smith Has Passed Away

Dear Colleagues

It is with great sadness that we must pass along the news of the death of one our most steadfast, determined, and beloved comrades.

After an inspiringly cheerful and determined fight against cancer, our Union President and dear colleague, Janet Smith, died last evening.  She was able to be at home, with her family.

As many of you know, Janet put her heart and soul into the union—as with so much else that she did to make the university, Chicago, and the world a better place.  And we were on her mind at the very end.  Yesterday evening, just hours before her passing, her husband Jim sent along a message that said that “before it’s too late, she wants the whole union to know how much she loves you all, how much she’s been blown away by working with you.”

We have already received so many words of shock and grief, as well as fond and warm words of remembrance of her amazing passion, creativity, and solidarity.  One member wished us to emphasize how much Janet “encouraged everyone and gave them the courage to share their own voices.” This is very much the essence of Janet’s work building and leading our union.

Janet’s passing leaves a huge hole that, even in these pandemic times, we simply must find ways to memorialize.  We will let you know as soon as we can of any and all services and commemorations we become aware of, including those that the union will surely be convening in the coming weeks and months.  We will also let you know of any charitable funds to contribute to in her memory.

In the meantime: we will mourn, and we will organize.  And we will long remember our UICUF foundation, and closest of friends.

Solidarity forever,

UICUF Executive Board and Staff