NC State alumna Jean Marie Wolff-Rossi of Louisburg, a leader in advocating for people with disabilities, died July 3.
As a student at NC State, she formed the Student Organization for Disability Awareness and served as its president. She first worked with the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities in 1994 during a six-month internship her senior year. As a campus activist, she supported fellow students in advocating for the rights mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and becoming full participants in student life.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in social work, she worked as an accountant and bookkeeper for the family business. She represented North Carolina in a symposium for young disability leadership in Washington, D.C. In 2001, she was appointed to the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities, where she was elected vice chair and served on the systems change and finance committees. She was instrumental in helping fund and develop initiatives such as the Participant Involvement Fund, which she later managed, and NC Disability Action Network (NC DAN). She supported the Association of Self-Advocates of North Carolina and was appointed to the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC).
Jeannie is survived by her husband, Paul Rossi; her mother, Phyllis Wolff; her father, Peter H. Wolff; and three sisters, Bonnie, Kimberly and Merisa.