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Jean Tiz was an amazing woman.  

She raised 5 kids with my grandpa Joe and made their house in Flossmoor, IL a place where the 9 grandkids always had a blast. Each bedroom was a specific color ("the blue room"), the carpet was thick and shaggy, and the kitchen was a hub of activity.  During the summer, we picked tomatoes and strawberries from the garden and ran through the sprinkler.  The train across the street provided the soundtrack.

"Grandma Jean" is the reason I love tennis and where I get my red hair. She was one of my first examples of a professional woman (she worked as a "secretary" at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business).  I remember being so impressed at her retirement party.

She loved to gamble, loved to travel and loved to laugh.  Oh, her laugh was unmistakable.

Jean was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at 75 and died five years later in 1998. It was heartbreaking to watch this amazing woman who had such an impact on my life slowly fade away.  Awful to see how hard being a caregiver was for my mom and her siblings.

I've walked in honor of my grandma in Chicago and New York City. This is the second year I will walk in San Francisco. She was a big fan of SF and would have had a great time walking by the piers, laughing her unique laugh all along the way.

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