Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0787
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Full Text of HR0787  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of Helen
4Marie Ramirez-Odell of Chicago, who passed away on March 22,
52022; and
6    WHEREAS, Helen Ramirez-Odell was born to Irving J. and
7Jessamine Hershinow in Chicago on July 22, 1942; she grew up in
8the Lincoln Square neighborhood; she attended Loyola
9University Chicago, where she earned her Bachelor of Science
10in Nursing and her Registered Nurse license in 1964; and
11    WHEREAS, Helen Ramirez-Odell worked as a nurse at Chicago
12Public Schools for over 40 years before retiring in 2001; and
13    WHEREAS, Helen Ramirez-Odell's activism began in the 1960s
14when she discovered she could not secure credit to make a
15purchase from Goldblatt's because she was a woman, leading her
16to join the Chicago National Organization for Women (NOW),
17where she became an activist for the passage of the Equal
18Rights Amendment; and
19    WHEREAS, Helen Ramirez-Odell joined the Chicago Teachers
20Union in the 1970s and became a member of its Women's Rights
21Committee, which she chaired from 1984 to 2009; during her



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1tenure, the committee worked to end sexual harassment,
2supported women's advancement at the Washburne Trade School,
3sought to improve conditions and employment for women in
4sports, promoted women's labor history, supported women
5political candidates, and fought for women's health, birth
6control, and reproductive choice; she was also active in the
7Chicago Coalition of Labor Union Women and Cassandra, a
8Radical Feminist Nurses Network; and
9    WHEREAS, Helen Ramirez-Odell helped found the Women in
10Labor History Project in 1995, later called the Working
11Women's History Project, which is a nonprofit organization
12focused on preserving and promoting the stories of historical
13and living Chicago women who have contributed to achieving
14justice and equality in areas of labor, women's health, and
15civil rights; her book, Working Without Uniforms: School
16Nursing in Chicago 1951-2001, which is a collection of oral
17histories of Chicago Public School nurses, was published as
18one of the first acts of the Working Women's History Project;
20    WHEREAS, Helen Ramirez-Odell, with a coalition from across
21the City of Chicago, worked on the Mother Jones Heritage
22Project, campaigning for a Mother Jones statue to honor the
23contributions of Mother Jones to the Labor Movement and to
24women; and



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1    WHEREAS, Helen Ramirez-Odell was a loving wife, mother,
2sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunt and a fierce
3activist; and
4    WHEREAS, Helen Ramirez-Odell was preceded in death by her
5parents; and
6    WHEREAS, Helen Ramirez-Odell is survived by her husband,
7Paul A. Odell; her daughter, Moira (Ramirez) Melendez; her
8stepchildren, Cyndi (Odell) Christel and Stephen (Merri)
9Odell; her grandchildren, Michael Melendez, Carson (Sarah),
10Steve, Ryan (Emily), and David; her great-grandchildren,
11Makailyn, Isabelle, and Ryan Junior; her brothers, Bob (the
12late Pat) Hershinow and Paul Hershinow; her nephew, Kevin
13McLinden; her cousins, Ellen Nyberg and Larry (Marianne)
14Nyberg; and a host of other friends and family; therefore, be
18we mourn the passing of Helen Marie Ramirez-Odell and extend
19our sincere condolences to her family, friends, and all who
20knew and loved her; and be it further
21    RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution be



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1presented to the family of Helen Ramirez-Odell as an
2expression of our deepest sympathy.