Janice Brogue Spofford was a lifelong resident of Hyde Park and Kenwood in Chicago, with the exception of a childhood spell in Mason City, Iowa.
A graduate of Hyde Park High School, she entered the University of Chicago with an academic scholarship from earning the top score on a statewide Latin competition. The youngest faculty member when she began instructing in 1949, she ultimately obtained her Ph.D., and spent her entire career teaching and researching biology and genetics at the University. She remained fascinated with Drosophila Melanogaster throughout.
Gentle and caring, she travelled the world with her husband and family for conferences and vacations while remaining firmly rooted in her neighborhood. Travel fit well with her love of collecting antiques and rugs.
Though her career and science were important to her, her family was always first. She threw herself into annual holiday feasts for over fifty years, sang in the choir of the United Church of Hyde Park, was a member of the University’s Service League and enjoyed the Symphony Orchestra and the Lyric Opera. She was also an avid gardener who knew the names for all the bugs.
Predeceased by her sister Roslyn, she is survived by her husband Richardson, her two sons John and George, and her four grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, at Montgomery Place, 5550 S. Shore Drive.