by Joan K. Teach, State Presidents’ Representative
We are sad to announce the passing of Dr. Jane Blalock, at the age of 74, in Orlando FL on April 8, 2014. Born and raised in Gainesville, Florida, she showed, even as a child, that she had a spirit dedicated to learning. After graduating from Gainesville High School and the University of Florida, she received a Master’s Degree in speech pathology from Vanderbilt University. Her earned doctorate was in Learning Disabilities from Northwestern University where she later spent several years on staff as a professor. Having a passion for teaching, she moved to Atlanta as the Director of Educational Services at the Atlanta Speech School, but never left her passion for the GATORS behind.
Jane’s consummate dedication to those she served was ever evident in all she did. As an early pioneer, she was involved in the early Bridge to LDA, Just a Parent. She was dedicated to the mission of understanding and helping children and adults whose major stumbling block was wanting to learn like everyone else. On the North Shores of Chicago, she promoted her vision, even to the halls of Congress in the early ‘70s. Her passion of equal education for all children with special needs pushed others and PL 94-142 was passed in ’75. During her lifespan she was a stalwart supporter of LDA, its mission, serving in many capacities, presenting, and joining the Program and Conference committees with competence and dedication. Jane was not only intelligent, as she shared her knowledge of the field, but was witty, charming, with a dry sense of humor. She entered a room and it brightened with her presence and wisdom. Her work with families gave them a sense of warmth, security and understanding. She had a gift for translating the confusing into a meaning that could be understood.
LDA of America and all whose lives she touched send our sincere sympathy to Dr. Blalock’s family. We will miss her dearly, but know that those of our LD Family who have left before her will embrace her homecoming, perhaps with an LD subcommittee meeting up above to guide us on our way to helping others.