At Fenwick High School in Oak Park, the memories of Anne Smedinghoff, a River Forest native killed Afghanistan this weekend in Afghanistan this weekend circulated among the faculty who knew the 2005 graduate well.
They say she was very spiritual and part of the campus ministry team and a great speaker and listener, two qualities that had her on a path to being a great leader.
The 25-year-old worked for the US foreign service as a diplomat. She died at the hands of a suicide bomber in southern Afghanistan Saturday. She and four others killed were on a mission to bring books to school children.
Smedinghoff had a sense of adventure and service that comes as no surprise to her former American government teacher at Fenwick, Mary Beth Logas.
“She was that kind of person,” she said. “She was very intelligent and a superb writer. One of the best I ever taught. She was someone of a quiet authority and intelligence. She was very brave and courageous for what she was doing in Afghanistan.”
Her high school counselor recalled Smedinghoff’s drive to do good, by herself and by others. She came back to Fenwick in December to talk with several classes about her life so far.
“ It was kind of nice she didn’t forget us and that she wanted to talk with the kids about how excited she was for what she was doing and why she was doing it,” said Tom Egan, counselor at Fenwick.
On CNN this afternoon, her parents expressed their pride in their daughter and appreciation for the outpouring of support coming from Secretary Of State John Kerry Sunday.