Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Founder of ADAPT Chicago, Jerry Orphans, Cris Matthews, dies

From the Chicago Tribune obituary. Read about her work co-founding Jerry's Orphans, an anti-MDA Telethon group, in this 1992 story in The Disability Rag. (Pictured is an anti-telethon protester. If anyone has a picture of Cris, please send it to me for this post.)

Stephanie Cris Matthews, who was founder and past president of the Chicago disability rights groups, ADAPT and Jerry's Orphans, died Sept. 15.

She was the wife of David Smiskol and sister of the writer and disability rights activist Mike Ervin.

Matthews was born and raised on Chicago's southwest side. She was a graduate of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

She was a former staff member of Access Living and Equip for Equality, and past president of Chicago Ridge Animal Shelter. She also was an avid animal lover and she loved yard sales.

The Memorial Service for Cris Matthews will be 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24 at LaGrange Bible Church, 850- 7th Ave., LaGrange, Ill.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to LaGrange Bible Church, 850- 7th Ave., LaGrange, IL 60525 or Peoria Rescue Mission, 601 SW Adams St., Peoria, IL 61602 are appreciated.