In Memoriam -- Ann T. Weick (T-3)
March 3, 1941- May 31, 2014
Born in Portland Oregon on March 3, 1941 to loving parents Thomas Ferdin and
and Cecilia Rose Weick, Ann Weick had a self-described 1950's childhood,
happily ensconced in a close knit family with her older brother Jerry and
her younger sisters Carolyn and Jeanie. A devoted daughter, sister,
sister-in-law and aunt to Sarah and Cathy, Ann's commitment to her family,
and theirs to her, was unwavering. Throughout her life, she was the kind
confidante, quiet leader and strong supporter for her siblings, their
families, and an ever growing community of friends and colleagues.
Ann's lifelong passion for social justice, social policy and community
development took root early. Ann's parents instilled in Ann and her siblings
a strong faith – one that included the importance of service to others.
Family lore about a grandmother's friend who helped establish a mother's
pension program in Oregon as well as her uncle's stories about his work in
Catholic Charities drew Ann to work with the poor and underserved. A college
internship in a public welfare agency confirmed for Ann that social work
would be her chosen profession.
Though ever humble, Ann's path of distinction and accomplishment began
early. Ann was both student body president and valedictorian at an all-girls
Catholic school, St. Mary's Academy, in Portland. Thankful for her good
fortune, Ann received a scholarship to Marylhurst, a small women's college
in Portland after graduating from St. Mary's in 1959. After two years at
Marylhurst, Ann transferred to the University of Oregon. Ann was eager to
explore, to spread her wings – a theme that ran throughout her life and led
to her join the newly formed Peace Corps after her graduation from the
University of Oregon in 1963.
Undaunted by the language barrier, Ann was accepted to the Peace Corps in
Turkey, the first country to invite social work volunteers. While in Turkey,
Ann worked in an orphanage with preschool children. Reflecting on her
experience, Ann remarked, "When you get below the level of politics and
mythology and stereotypes, you find people who are warm and interesting and
supportive." This belief in the inherent goodness of people informed Ann's
academic journey first to the University of California, Berkeley where she
received a Master's in Social Work in 1967, and then to Brandeis University
where she earned a Ph.D. in Social Policy and Planning in 1976.
Shortly after obtaining her Ph.D., Ann accepted a teaching position at the
University of Kansas School of Social Welfare in Lawrence, Kansas. While at
KU, Ann taught a master's level course in social policy as well as an
undergraduate course in social welfare. Her continued professional and
personal interest in the unique challenges confronting women led her to
develop the first class in women's issues at the School. In 1981, Ann became
the Director of the Doctoral Program. In 1987, Ann became Acting Dean of the
School of Social Welfare, and in 1988 she accepted the position of Dean,
which she held until her retirement in 2006. After her retirement, Ann held
the position of Dean Emerita.
Throughout her professional career, Ann's post-modernist, feminist and
strengths-based approach pushed the boundaries of knowledge and upended
traditional practice paradigms. Ann's work included helping to pioneer and
grow the Strengths Model of social work practice. Whether approaching health
from the innovative perspective of resilience and capacity, or pushing the
boundaries with her now classic article "Hidden Voices" in Social Work
(2000), Ann was a pioneer in the field. Acknowledged for her work by
colleagues across the country, Ann received distinguished awards such as the
Council on Social Work Education Lifetime Achievement Award, the Richard
Lodge Award for Conceptual Contributions in Social Work, and the
Distinguished Lydia Rapoport Visiting Professorship at Smith College.
Ann's belief in the power of community and the importance of accessing and
leveraging inherent resources underscored all of her professional and
personal pursuits. She carried her commitment to justice for all to the
community, working at organizations such as the Lawrence Alliance, Van Go
Mobile Arts and the Douglas County AIDS Project. Most recently, Ann founded
Just Food, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing nutritious food
to individuals and families throughout Douglas County. For Ann, food was a
basic human right – ensuring that everyone has access to healthy, nurturing
food is an important part of social justice. Just Food was a dream years in
the making for Ann. She was undaunted by the challenges, modeling for her
family and friends, yet again, the virtue of patience as well as her unique
gift for manifesting vision – one that contains a diversity of skills and
Her personal legacy is carried in the hearts and minds of all who knew her.
A woman of beauty and grace, smarts and intuition and strength and empathy,
Ann touched, and changed, many lives. Her devoted husband and partner in the
pursuit of social justice, Dennis Saleebey, and his – and then her –
children, Jennifer, David, John and Meghan, are better for knowing her.
While she is gone too soon, they remain grateful for the love and wisdom
that she bestowed upon them. In her unassuming and gentle way, she captured
all of their hearts. Proving to Dennis and his clan, who clamored into her
life en masse in 1987, that family can be chosen, that mothers can be made
and that love doesn't have limits.
We are saddened by Ann's passing on May 31, 2014. But, we, her family,
friends and colleagues are grateful to have been a part of her life.
Ann is survived by her husband Dennis, their children Jennifer and her
husband Ken, David, John and Meghan; her brother Jerry and his wife Rita;
her sister Jeanie and her husband Gary; her nieces Sarah and Cathy and their
families; her sisters-in-law Joan and Janet – and many loving extended
family members, friends and colleagues.
Services honoring and celebrating Ann's life will occur in the future.
Contributions in memory of Ann may be made to Just Food, 1000 E. 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66046, or at
Contributions may also be made to the Ann Weick Scholarship Fund, c/o the KU
Endowment, PO Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044.
- From Lawrence Journal World:
The obituary below is from The
University of Kansas website:
University mourns Ann Weick,
former social welfare dean
LAWRENCE – University of Kansas
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and Thomas McDonald, interim dean of the
School of Social Welfare, released the following statements regarding the
death of Ann Weick, former dean of the School of Social Welfare.
“Ann Weick was instrumental in building the School of Social Welfare into
the internationally respected school it is today. In addition to her
exceptional academic leadership, she was a talented scholar and possessed a
great passion for human rights and social justice. I offer my sincere
condolences to her family, friends and former colleagues.”
McDonald: “We are all deeply saddened by
the death of our former dean, Ann Weick. At the school, in our local
community and in our professional community, both nationally and
internationally, Dean Weick commanded the respect and admiration of
everyone. Her kindness and grace masked a determination that our school
stand for diversity, inclusion, social justice and a recognition of the
strengths in every one of us. We are both stronger and better for having had
her as our dean, and poorer for the loss of a great friend.”
Weick died May 31. She was 73.
Weick led the School of Social Welfare
from 1987 to 2006. During her tenure, the school developed a strong
reputation and was recognized for its innovation in social work theory
development. Research and policies developed in the school in the areas of
child welfare, aging, mental health and community development guided local,
state and national leaders. External research funding and philanthropy grew
Weick joined the faculty at KU in 1976.
She was named acting dean of the School of Social Welfare in 1987 and became
permanent dean in 1988. She was inducted into the KU Women’s Hall of Fame in
Weick earned a bachelor’s degree in
sociology from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in social work
from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in social
policy and planning from Brandeis University. Her research interests
included holistic approaches to social work and medical practice, health and
social issues of women, alcohol and drug abuse, and developments in social
work practice and education. She co-edited one of the earliest and most
influential social work books on women.
The former Peace Corps volunteer made
service a priority throughout her life. She chaired the City of Lawrence’s
Task Force on Racism, Discrimination and Human Diversity, which recommended
the formation of the Lawrence Alliance Against Racism and Discrimination.
She founded Just Food, a Lawrence food bank.
- See more at: http://today.ku.edu/2014/06/04/university-mourns-ann-weick-former-dean-school-social-welfare#sthash.3nfpPoDI.dpuf