Comments added to an October 2009 blog post telling that Jenny entered the nursing home.

Renée said... Jenny is a beautiful presence in this world - and will remain so long after she physically leaves us. And, Don, your outlook continues to impress me. You two are an amazing pair. May we all be able to find such serenity in our lives. You are both in my thoughts. Love, Renee Beard

Ginnie said... Don, Gerrit and I are so very sorry that this stage for Jenny has arrived. The two of you were both such a great support for us when we joined the NW early stage group, and we have always looked forward to those times when the old group would gather for reunions. You are so right about Jen's optimism - one of her greatest gifts. You both have done so much good as advocates for those of us who lack the political savvy to influence policy. We thank you for that. Please know that you both and Jenny's children and grandchildren are in our thoughts and in my prayers. Fondly, Ginnie

Bob Simpson said... Jenny's wisdom and energy touched so many people's lives. Her original vision for women's health was far in advance of its time...even our own time today. I treasure the times that I was able to be in her presence.

Gillian said... It is incredible how our paths crossed in Cambridge. I too remember the incendiary bombs that hit our house. We also sheltered under a Morrison table and Jenny and I went to school within 2 blocks of each another. So the years passed by and we met again at the Northwestern Support groups. I shall always remember her smile and positive outlook even this summer at our picnic, The photograph is exactly Jenny. Thinking of you both. Gillian

Caroline said... Don, I got to know Jenny here in Chicago through the Oxford network as a sister Somervillian. We had both read History and had some of the same tutors, though I was five or so years behind her. Having been born in London during the war and lived through the bombing, I would agree with her that that gave us a singular perspective on any hardships we later encountered. I admired immensely the calm, simple and straightforward way that she accepted the Alzheimers' diagnosis. May I share your note with Somerville? Warmest wishes to you both. Caroline Pinder Cracraft.

Dan said... I am sad to hear that Jenny can no longer continue advocating for increased funding for medical and social research. But she touched countless lives in this quest. She used her optimism to teach others how to live well with Alzheimer's disease. I am sure she continues to bring joy to others in her new home with just a smile. The fight must contunue in her name and in the names of countless others who can no longer speak for themselves. Don, thanks for all your good work in this fight. Dan Kuhn

Lisa Genova said... Hi Don, I'm saddened to hear this news about Jenny. It must've been such a difficult decision--but I'm sure the right one, as I know your deep love and respect for Jenny. I continue to admire both of you. You are a beautiful partner in life, Don. You are in my thoughts, with love, Lisa

karenrecht said... Don, Thank you for the update on Jenny. My best to you, Jenny and her kids. As I am sure you know, my years working with the Caucus were the most intellectually challenging and topically varied years in my social work career. I always thank Jenny for providing that opportunity and atmosphere. Sincerely, Karen Culberg Rechtschaffen

Mona said... Don, Both you and Jenny are wonderful role models. I'm glad you were able to find a place where she can be happy. Mona

karen said... Jenny sounds like a wonderful lady . I am so happy she likes her new home. Please keep us up to date. You have a great way of putting every thing in to words. I love reading them.

Julia Schopick said... Don: I know both how difficult this has been, and how much joy there has been, too, for both you and Jenny over the years. You have been an amazing caregiver! Love, Julia

Liz said ... Jenny has always been so full of life, always giving 100% to whatever she undertook. She inherited her mother's optimism and later in life Marge's artistic talent came to light in Jenny. During the war years we all (my sister Brenda, myself, Jenny and later Jenny's younger sister Deb) met as often as was possible at the home of our Grandparents, Walter and Elizabeth Webb at Melbourn. Their home was always very special to all of us and we had some wonderful times there. Walter and Elizabeth and their two daughters, our mothers, were a very close and loving family. I so enjoyed my two visits to Chicago catching up over the years. We also managed to be in the UK at the same time, once when Orlando and Olivia were quite small and again in 1984 when I met Don. Fond memories are so important to us all. Thinking of you all love Liz

Ron said... Don, So sorry to hear news of Jenny...Ever since Jane and I went to the WOW meetings you were an insperation on how to deal with AD, we took a lot of strength and peace on your outlook on everything. Jane too is advancing! but yet still laughs at my silly jokes so all is not yet lost! Hope to make this months meeting before heading south if all keeps going for her... Miss you, Ron & Jane

Mary said... Don, My thoughts and prayers are with you and Jenny. So glad you have this blog and can see how Jenny was before the advances of Alzheimer's. Am glad to be able to spend some time with you in the WOW group meetings. Hopefully see you next month. Mary

Cheryl said... Don, I hope that all the good memories of Jenny will bring you and her children an everlasting strength through difficult moments. Her smile, laughter and positive attitude are Jenny trademarks! I have a pretty good idea what you are going through right now. I am thinking of you, Jenny and her children. Anything I can do, you know how to find me. Cheryl

Anonymous said... You are truly inspirational people with whom we've been lucky enough to spend many special hours with as founder members of 'His. Soc.' These were happy times- always fun and to be cherished. We felt an immediate connection with both Jenny and yourself- as if we'd known you for years. There is no doubt that Jenny will continue to bring happiness and laughter to those around her. Don, you could not have done more than you did and have simply been incredible. Your love, support and total commitment to Jenny were absolutely apparent from the first time we met and continue to be so now. Love Sarah, Rahul and Kalyani

Mia said... Don, I am so saddened to hear about Jenny. She was an inspiration to us as we grew up. She is lucky to have such a loving husband. Mia

Angela said... Don, it was clearly a hard decision but I'm sure it was right for both of you .. and your journey together through these past years remains as inspirational as ever. I sometimes send links to your blogs to other friends with similar experience,I hope that's OK, and am glad someone else has already suggested she would share it with Somerville. Jenny is one of the very few people I always wanted to find again after leaving Oxford, and it was great to see her again,and to meet you, in 1995 (or whenever it was). She's a great person, always had an original, creative, direct and funny way of seeing things. Bless you both. Angela

Anonymous said... Don, As you know Val and I have been living in Arizona part of the year and coming to Chicago for the summer. We saw Jenny many times at the musical events at the Chicago Cultural Center. She and I were always so pleased to see each other. I think she always remembered me in part, because of our English connections. We could see over the years the changes. We first saw her when she was on her own and then with a companion. The last time I saw her about a month or so ago, I noticed a big change. Val and I are so pleased that she is in a safe and good place. Our love to you and please remember us to Olivia and Orlando. Love Betty and Val

Megan said... Don, Both you and Jenny are unique and passionate individuals and I am so happy that I was part of your lives even if it was just on Saturday mornings. Jenny was so inspirational to me, our weekly excursions together kept me going and helped keep my head straight through my transitional period in Chicago. I looked forward to our time together because I knew I would leave your apartment feeling elated in the simplest of ways. Although Jenny was not able to articulate clearly what was on her mind all of the time, the tone of her voice, the look in her eyes and her overall demeanor said it all. I can honestly say I'm a stronger person because of her. Megan Bauman

Anonymous said... Oh Don- It took me awhile to find your new location on here. I had been wondering for some time how you and Jenny were. I hope you are taking care of yourself in this challenging time of transition. Know that you are thought of and cared for. Kind regards, Heather Rose Video Memoirs

Anonymous said... Hi Don, I was glad to find your update about Jenny posted here. She was very much a mentor to me during the years I worked at the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health. She pushed me to think about people in new ways and influenced how I came to understand this work of making change. She had a brilliant vision for developing programs. I have thought much about her since I left the Caucus and subsequently found out about her diagnosis. I ran into her briefly two years ago at a concert at the Cultural Center, and then did not see her again. She has remained in my thoughts. My best to all of you. Carolyn Gordon

mary said... i met Jenny in 1969 as a young college student and mother. Jenny and Quinton Young were leading the Urban Preceptorship Program. That began a very long firnedship and I later was asked by Jenny to join and lead her board at the Caucus. Jenny shaped my life. She taught me about social justice, she introduced me to the women's health movement, she nurtured y intellect and my heart. As a young teenage mother she affirmed me with her work. I am saddended right now. It sounds like she is content and its nice that she is in a place where she can be near her children and grandchildren. I remember the last time I spoke with Jenny (we were on the Girls Best Friend Foundation board together) and she missed not being closer to her grandchildren. I feel closer to her family knowing that I share a birthday with Olivia, I remember you as a very young girl. I remember the crazy get togethers on Magnolia. I'm sorry I did not get to know the love of your life Don, as well, but I did know of the love you too shared. I will always remember and love the spirit of Jenny Knauss. I will stay in touch here and wish very much that I could see Jenny again. May the Peace of God be with you all.