It is with the deepest sadness and regret that we share the passing of Roz Plummer-Reid, a treasured member of the Jemicy School faculty for 18 years, a former Jemicy parent, and the most devoted of friends. Roz passed away Monday morning, April 22, 2019, after courageously, but quietly, battling an illness for several years.
Roz could easily be described as the heart of Jemicy. Although most people were aware of her effective teaching skills and her obvious attachment to the school, its students, and her colleagues, it was the myriad of things Roz facilitated behind the scenes, which no one ever knew about, that made her such a remarkable person. She was truly Jemicy’s silent angel. Her caring and enormous generosity enabled countless students to participate fully in all Jemicy had to offer, and she was equally compassionate toward fellow teachers who needed any type of helping hand. No one ever asked…Roz just heard there was a need and gave with her full heart and soul.
We will miss our dear Roz. She always wore a smile, not to mention the perfect outfit. She was always “all-in” – the best Halloween costume and the most perfect Fall Unit theme attire. She was the first to volunteer, no matter what, where, or when. There isn’t a student or teacher you could ask that would not immediately be able to tell you a Roz story and share a list of ways she touched their lives. Roz was just simply a rare, special, and selfless human being. Her passing is an immeasurable loss for the Jemicy family and all who knew her.
The news of Roz’s passing has evoked an outpouring of beautiful sentiments and memories, shared with us by the Jemicy community.
Roz has been my friend for so very long. We met when we were both doing Outreach for Jemicy. Roz and I worked for a couple of weeks together in inner city schools training teachers. It was a great experience for me to work alongside of her. I credit my dear friend Roz for giving me the confidence and the ability to train teachers in a loving, non-condescending, respectful way. Roz always wanted people to be their best and her often times blunt but loving opinions were one of my favorite things about her.
I would see my friend Roz daily at school. Each morning she would greet me as I walked into school, since she was always there ahead of me and had the early morning job of greeting the students. It made my day to see Roz, and it always made me happy to start the day with such a warm greeting. Some days we would only have time for a wave, other times we would chat a bit, and other times a hug was needed to start our day. It got to the point that we both knew exactly what the other needed, and we would make it happen. Everyone should have a Roz in their life to start each day with. I am going to miss my Roz moments each morning. She always had the ability to somehow make any day a good day! – Cathy Rommel, Jemicy faculty
Roz was real. She was a mom, a wife, a grand mom, a sister, a friend, a colleague, and a skills teacher...she was one of us. I will forever be grateful for the helpful nature she tirelessly extended. She cared for and loved her students with every bit of herself. She was stern when they needed it, yet she remained caring. She kept snacks for all, she shared books, she played music. Personally, I’ll always remember when she first taught my child skills, and she came to me one day with a huge hug and just said, “I get it.” She knew the ins and outs of different types of kids, and empathy was just one of her tools. We will remember and be thankful for her each day. – Erin Gittings, Jemicy faculty
There are so many wonderful things about Roz that I will carry with me. Roz is one of my mentors, and I write "is" because there are life lessons and career advice that she has given me that will stay with me. Roz made sure that I understood that life is an action word meant to be experienced, appreciated, loved, and be meaningful; and when Roz thought I was not living my best life, she would pull me aside and lovingly correct. We planned to take a couple of cultural trips together, and I am saddened that I was unable to have those adventures with her. My promise to Roz is to have the adventurous life she thought I deserved. I love you, Roz. – Christal Henry, Jemicy faculty
She was a powerful force and will be dearly missed. – Andrea Seurkamp, Jemicy faculty
To my sweet, sweet Roz. You meant the world to so many of us. You were my personal cheerleader and very first mentor. And boy did I get lucky, because I am not sure many could have taught me what you did. You understood me, and that I will always be so grateful for. Back in 2007, my very first year at Jemicy, I was lucky enough to have you take me under your wing. Boy did you have your hands full with me as your intern. The lessons you taught me that first year will never be forgotten.
Thank you for being the kindest soul. Thank you for accepting me fully. Thank you for pushing me to get my masters. You made sure I never gave up. You made sure my 23-year-old self had lunch on days I would forget. And once I became a mom, you constantly rooted for me and told me how strong I was when I didn’t have the strength. You would call, text, and visit me after I had the boys, and you made sure we had fresh meals and food in our bellies after long days and nights in the NICU and hospital.
I am so grateful for our friendship. You taught me so much. You were so incredible to us all. You were truly one of a kind. You were our angel on earth. May we learn from you and care for one another always! May you rest in peace and be our angel from above. – Erin Berman Welsh, Jemicy faculty
Whenever there was a missing piece: a child who needed a friend, a colleague who needed reassurance, a play that needed a helping hand, a committee that needed a member, a day that needed a smile, Roz filled the gap and what was incomplete became whole. She just was “there”, seamlessly, graciously, on the spot and in the moment, without any need or even desire for acclaim or credit. We are lessened by her loss, but so blessed for having known her. – Mike Sicher, former Jemicy faculty
She was there to celebrate some big milestones in my life - including getting married, getting pregnant, having my twins, as well as a myriad of work and personal accomplishments. She was incredibly supportive. Always there with a smile and good advice. And, she often gave sweet and meaningful gifts to commentate life events. – Shanti DiMucci, former Jemicy LMS teacher
She was truly amazing and touched both of our children deeply in different ways. – Colleen Shine Rives, former Jemicy parent
My wife and I are both college educators and so we understand what a difference Roz made in the lives and futures of her students. Her expectations were high, and she saw the unique capacity and challenges in our daughter. We are grateful for all she did to prepare Amalie for high school at BSA. – Tim Nohe and Lisa Moren, Jemicy parents