Martyl Reinsdorf, wife of Chicago Bulls and White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, died peacefully Monday afternoon while surrounded by family at her home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, the teams jointly announced.
Martyl had four children — daughter Susan, sons David (deceased), Michael and Jonathan — and nine grandchildren. She was 85.
Born in Denver, Colo. on March 4, 1936, Martyl moved with her family to Chicago in 1944, where she attended Morgan Park High School. She then majored in Japanese and Chinese History at George Washington University, where she met Jerry.
Martyl went on to become a renowned jeweler, designing five of the Bulls' six NBA championship rings and the White Sox' World Series ring in 2005. She was involved in the creation of the Bulls' sixth championship ring as well.
She also created coloring books for children under the pseudonym “Grandma Martyl." According to a release, Martyl created and distributed over one million coloring books, crayons, markers and toys to hospitals, orphanages and shelters across the world in her life.
Those beneficiaries include but are not limited to: survivors of Hurricane Katrina, residents of Ronald McDonald Houses, and patients at Lurie Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and The Spectrios Institute for Low Vision.
“My mother had such a heart for children,” said Bulls President and COO Michael Reinsdorf. “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.”
A well-known philanthropist, Martyl in 2004 received Clarence Troyer Volunteer of the Year Award; in 2011, she received the Torch of Learning Award from the American Friends of Hebrew University.