Judith Grace Cosin Roothaan, 92, of the Hyde Park neighborhood in Chicago, died at home at 10 p.m., Wednesday, October 26, 2016. She was born October 13, 1924 in Brooklyn, New York to Etta and Joseph Cosin. She is survived by her beloved husband of 66 years, Clemens C. J. Roothaan, 98.
Also surviving are her two daughters and three sons, Karen (Laurie), John (Lynn), Peter (Brooke), Charles M., and Susan (Stephen). Cosin Roothaan is survived by five grandchildren as well: Nishi, Steven, Stephanie, Maia, and Oliver. Cosin Roothaan’s father, mother and brother preceded her in death.
Cosin Roothaan was a long time resident of Hyde Park, where she lived since 1947. She was actively involved in the community, serving as an articulate spokesperson for many causes. Her civic engagement included membership of the Cleaner Air Committee, a group of faculty wives that policed Hyde Park landlords who burned dirty coal, and presidency of the Charles Kozminski Elementary School PTA. She later served on the board at The Ancona School.
Before coming to Chicago, she was a statistician with a trade publisher. She produced a nationally published marketing study, and had experience with survey research and with Paul Lazarsfeld’s seminal work on opinion leaders and personal influence. After part-time graduate study in sociology and anthropology at Columbia University and the New School for Social Research, she became a full time student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago, where she specialized in race relations. She held several fellowships and research assistantships, and was awarded a B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League grant to study inter-minority attitudes under the auspices of the American Council on Race Relations.
After a 15-year break in her professional life, during which time Judith raised her children, she returned to work as the Executive Director of the Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. In 1969 she did graduate work in counseling psychology at Loyola University. There she conducted research on stress and illness, and on women’s career and life stage issues. She took specialized courses in group process, change management and leadership. She was a senior associate with Worthington Hurst and Associates, a management and educational consulting firm, and was one of the first women who gathered at the First Unitarian Church in 1988 to form a local chapter of OWL, then called The Older Women’s League. She later served as an OWL representative on the Illinois Department of Health Advisory Committee on Breast and Cervical Cancer Research. Cosin Roothaan was also a breast cancer survivor, since 1978.
Cosin Roothaan loved to contribute to society and enjoyed many a conversation with strangers as well as friends and family. She will be deeply missed.
Visitation is at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at the Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 5472 S. Kimbark Ave. Chicago, IL 60615, (773) 324-2626.
Mass will follow at 10 a.m., also at the Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.
The burial will be at the Oak Woods Cemetery at 1035 E. 67th Street, immediately following Mass.
There will be a repast following the interment, at the longtime home of Judith and Clemens Roothaan, at 5235 S. University Ave. Chicago, IL 60615, (773) 324-5116.