Jane Bergman Stone, 84

Jane Bergman Stone
Jane Bergman Stone

Jane Bergman Stone, 84, a lifelong resident of Hyde Park-Kenwood, died at home on June 18, 2016 after a 38-year on again off again battle with cancer.

Bergman Stone was born in Chicago on November 14, 1931, to Hyde Parkers Lewis and Ruth Genzberger Bergman. An unrepentant Trotskyite, she was active in radical political causes ever since high school. She graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory High School in 1947 and earned her four-year diploma from Hyde Park High School in 1949. She then attended Roosevelt University, where she met her husband, William Bruhn Stone.

She was proud of the range of jobs she had, including waitress, telephone operator, and interviewer for the U.S. Census Bureau. One of her first jobs brought her into the fight against cancer long before she had the disease; in the 1950s, she worked as a lab technician at U of C Hospitals in a cancer research lab.

She volunteered at the American Civil Liberties Union. She also worked as a volunteer tutor and fundraiser for a program that helped mothers in Woodlawn earn their high school G.E.D.

In later years, she was active in Hyde Park book clubs, and swam in Lake Michigan until the age of 83 with friends at Promontory Point. Until a few years ago, she joined them for an icy dip in the lake every January 1.

According to her daughter, Joyce, Bergman Stone “raged fiercely against the dying of the light,” and encouraged her children to work for a better society.

Bergman Stone was preceded in death by her husband, William B. Stone, who died in 2000.

She is survived by her brother, Robert Bergman (Julia Putnam), who lives in Seattle; two sons, David (Deborah Caldwell) and Daniel, both of Chicago; a daughter, Joyce, of Minneapolis, Minn.; a granddaughter, Elizabeth, of Chicago; niece Helen Bergman Moure (Charles) of Seattle; and nephews Eric Bergman (Julia Nephew) of Glen Ellyn, Ill. and Joel Putnam of New York; and sister-in-law Edna Heatherington of Glen Ellyn.

A memorial service will be held after her remains are returned in a few weeks by the medical research agency to which she donated her body.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Bergman Stone’s name to Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union’s James Baldwin Foundation.