• Obituary for Jean Haider, Wife of Don Haider (WHF 76-77)

    Jean Wright Haider, Obituary (July 10, 2017)

    Jean Wright Haider, 75, died peacefully at her home in Chicago on July 10, 2017 following a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. Born in Evanston, IL on December 4, 1941 to Edith Nixon Wright and Theron Woodward Wright of Winnetka, Mrs. Haider graduated from the North Shore Country Day School in 1960 and Smith College in 1964 where she was the class president.

    Mrs. Haider is survived by her husband, Donald Haider [WHF 1976-77], Emeritus Professor at Northwestern University; her three children, Donald Blake Haider of New York City (Patrice Altongy), Elinor Redfield Haider of Philadelphia (Matthew D. Lee), and Paul Campbell Haider of Chicago (Jeanne Phillips); her six grandchildren, Pierce, Blake, and Alden Haider and Campbell, Ross, and Nolan Lee; her stepmother, Jean Mayhew Wright; and her half-brother, Theron Woodward Wright, Jr.

    Jean’s fondest memories were of her ten summers spent at Camp Holiday in Hackensack, MN where lifetime friends nourished her until the end of her life. As a lifelong lover of literature and poetry, she began her career at Harcourt Brace Publishing in New York City and continued her passion as a member of multiple book clubs in Evanston and Chicago. Jean loved the three dogs (Sammy, Joe Blatz, and Jody) in her life and knew the name of every canine parading by the front porch of her home in Chicago’s Lakewood-Balmoral community. Jean’s gift of song, always present for the world to hear her beautifully harmonizing alto voice, was demonstrated with passion in school hallways, community and church choirs, and during Christmas with her joyful participation in the singing of Handel’s Messiah. Jean was also involved in the civic life of her community and city; she served on the Women’s Board of the Lyric Opera and the Chicago Foundation on Education. Jean served as president of both the Guild of the Chicago History Museum and the Friday Club.

    Most important to the hundreds of friends, family, neighbors, and people who loved Jean, she invested herself fully in giving a love that was deep and authentic. Many would attest to Jean being truly his or her best friend throughout an entire lifespan.

    In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Chicago’s Midtown Education Foundation’s Metro Achievement Center, Girl’s Summer Program. Visitation will be held from 9:30am until 11:00am when a funeral Mass begins at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church: 5545 N. Paulina Street, Chicago, IL, 60640 on Friday, July 21, 2017.


    posted: October 11, 2017
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