It was clear that Janet Thompson, who was a teacher and administrator in Pittsburgh Public Schools for more than 30 years, would become an educator.
Her brother Carl Edward Redwood Jr. of the Hill District can vouch for that.
"She got me reading before I went to kindergarten. She got a lot of people reading," said Mr. Redwood, who is 14 years younger. "Education and teaching were really in her blood from early on."
Ms. Thompson died at the age of 74 Wednesday at the Family Hospice and Palliative Care unit in Lawrenceville after a lengthy illness.
Ms. Thompson was hired by Pittsburgh Public Schools in May 1961 as a day-to-day substitute teacher and became a regular teacher that fall at what was then Letsche School.
She retired in 1993.
Her tenure included serving as principal of the former Schaeffer, Regent Square and Clayton elementary schools and as a supervisor who helped schools to improve, according to newspaper clippings.
"It was something she loved to do, was well prepared and trained to do," said Mr. Redwood, who added that her career included a stint teaching communications on a show televised by WQED.
About a year after her retirement, Ms. Thompson was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, her brother said. In the past decade or so, she was limited to bed or a wheelchair.
She and her mother, Dolores Thompson Redwood, now 98, resided together in Lincoln-Lemington, her brother said.
The product of Pittsburgh Public Schools -- the former Madison Elementary, Herron Hill Junior High and Schenley High School -- she belonged to Future Teachers of America in high school.
She earned a bachelor's degree in education and a master's degree in reading, supervision and administration from Duquesne University. She helped start a local chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and remained active in it for years.
She had speech therapy certification from Columbia University and a doctorate in education administration from the University of Pittsburgh. She also studied in Germany and England.
She had been active in her church, Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church in the Hill District, where she previously sang in the choir and had been a trustee, ruling elder and a member of the pulpit nominating committee.
Surviving are her mother and brother. Friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church in the Hill District. An Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority memorial service will be at 7 tonight at the church.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Thursday at the church.
Donations may be made to the Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1000 Bryn Mawr Road, Pittsburgh 15219, c/o the clerk of session, Yvonne G. Addison.
Eleanor Chute: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1955.