Martyl Reinsdorf, a noted philanthropist and jewelry designer and wife of longtime Chicago Bulls and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, has passed away at the age of 85 after a long illness, her family announced Monday.
Reinsdorf was best known for her work as a designer with Cloisonné jewelry, where she worked for more than 25 years. She also helped design the White Sox championship rings after their 2005 World Series title, and she designed five of the six rings given to the Chicago Bulls following their runs of championships in the 1990’s.
Reinsdorf also created and distributed more than one million coloring books, crayons, markers and toys to hospitals, orphanages and shelters around the world, according to a statement from the White Sox.
“My mother had such a heart for children,” Michael Reinsdorf said in a statement. “The joy she brought through her coloring books made me so proud to be her son. As a father, I loved seeing her being such an involved grandmother with my children. They had so many shared interests and spent time together developing computer programs, creating costumes and starting her coloring book program. These are memories that we all treasure as a family.”
Get Chicago local news, weather forecasts, sports and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Chicago newsletters.
Reinsdorf was born in Denver in March 1936. She moved to Chicago in 1944, and married Jerry Reinsdorf in 1956, according to a press release.
Jerry and Martyl had four children and nine grandchildren.
“My mother lived life to the fullest,” daughter Susan Reinsdorf said in a statement. “A devoted artist, a big heart, a big personality, a strong woman, she always fought for the underdog and was so compassionate and thoughtful of others. She was such an influence on me, and as I was growing up, was always accepting of me and my friends, as if everyone was always part of the family.”
Services will be private, according to the family. The family requests that donations be directed to The Spectrios Institute for Low Vision, a group that aims to “help individuals with low vision lead full, productive lives,” according to the institute’s website.