A spirit of service


With Mayor Richard M. Daley, Edith Renfrow Smith at her induction into the Chicago Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, May 2, 2009.  

When she retired as a master teacher in 1976, Mrs. Renfrow Smith began a 40-year second career as a recognized volunteer. From her retirement into her late 90s, Mrs. Renfrow Smith served as an auxiliary board member, treasurer, and fashion model for Goodwill.  For over 15 years, she greeted visitors to the Art Institute of Chicago.  This work was particularly enjoyable to her as she was able to be near art and to “meet different people every day....  The people come from all over the world and it’s interesting to hear about … the things that they have seen and what things that they have found important.  And so it’s really great.”  Mrs. Renfrow Smith also offered her time as a chauffeur and caregiver to other seniors.  In recognition of her years of service to others, in 2009, she was inducted into the Chicago Senior Citizens Hall of Fame. Mrs. Renfrow Smith has been recognized by two Chicago mayors, Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel, and has met President Barack Obama.