Sherdie Jones, a longtime labor leader in Champaign-Urbana who helped forge the civil service system at the UI, died Sept. 21 in Williamson, Mich. He was 98.
As president of the Twin Cites Federation of Labor (now the AFL-CIO of Champaign County) in the early 1940s, Jones first proposed that the UI establish a labor institute. Working with members of the UI board of trustees and with his long-time associate in the federation, Cliff James, Jones drafted the board of trustees resolution which lead to the founding of the UI's Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations in 1947.
Jones was a longtime participant in ILIR colloquia programs, courses and conferences. He made himself available to ILIR faculty members and students who were interested in labor developments in the Champaign-Urbana area. Jones also was instrumental in drafting and passing the Universities Civil Service Act, which established a personnel code for the university's non-academic employees.
Jones is survived by a son, three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations plans to recognize Jones' contributions during its 50th anniversary conference Oct. 3-4, 1997.