genealogy of the sudeikis family
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Anne Louise Sudeikis

Anne Louise Sudeikis

Female 1945 - 1998

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Anne Louise SudeikisAnne Louise Sudeikis was born 13 Feb 1945; died 23 Dec 1998, Berwyn, Cook Co., IL; was buried Aft 23 Dec 1998, Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, Lenexa, Johnson Co., KS.


    Anne L. Sudeikis, marketing manager

    Anne L. Sudeikis, who served as a marketing manager at Amtrak and the CTA, helped produce a customer relations campaign at the transit authority that was years ahead of its time.

    It attracted national attention_and got her fired.

    With the brief "Smile-a-mile" campaign, Miss Sudeikis became known as the "Smile-a-mile gal," a nickname that stuck through long legal battles that stemmed from her CTA dismissal, rehiring and agreed resignation.

    Miss Sudeikis, 53, died Dec. 23 at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn after arranging for the donation of her organs for research.

    A native Chicagoan, Sudeikis worked as a fashion model, national tour guide and travel agency manager before joining Amtrak's Midwest regional sales and marketing staff in 1971. A self-described railroad "nut," she soon was on a first-name basis with many of the nation's top rail executives.

    In 1973, federal officials were pouring millions into urban mass transit ordered systems such as the CTA to set up active marketing departments to better woo customers. In response, Miss Sudeikis and Amtrak's Midwest sales and marketing chief, Steve Kabala, were brought to the CTA.

    During a whirlwind year they pepped up CTA ads, urged new, user-friendly bus routes, set up a travel information center and trotted out other innovations that left the CTA's stodgy transportation professionals grumbling.

    In June 1975, after the agency had been suffering high-profile operating problems, Kabala and Miss Sudeikis unveiled the light-hearted "Smile-a-mile" campaign with the self-deprecating theme, "Riding the CTA may not be a laugh-a-minute, but let's make it a smile-a-mile."

    Riders loved it, as did CTA drivers, conductors, ticket agents and other workers. It attracted widespread media attention. But the CTA brass hated it even though they had reluctantly approved it. They fired both Miss Sudeikis and Kabala, contending the program hadn't been sufficiently cleared and that the two had dealt directly with the media instead of going through channels.

    One of Miss Sudeikis' friends, lawyer Bert Jenner, sued in federal court, charging wrongful dismissal, and the two were soon rehired, on the condition that they'd take their settlements and resign.

    They did, but Miss Sudeikis soon found that the favorable job recommendations the CTA had promised weren't being provided, and she was instead secretly being blacklisted throughout the transportation industry.

    For two decades, Miss Sudeikis and Kabala unsuccessfully pursued a number of suits against the CTA in state and federal courts, while Sudeikis held a series of jobs in travel and marketing.

    "She was one-in-a-million, but she was never the same after she left the transit authority," Kabala said.

    Miss Sudeikis is survived by a brother, Daniel.

    Her ashes were interred Saturday in Leneka, Kan.

    Section Charity Gdn, Row 08

    Social Security Death Index
    Name:  Anne L. Sudeikis
    SSN: 356-36-9479
    Last Residence:  60804  Cicero, Cook, Illinois, United States of America
    Born:  13 Feb 1945
    Died:  23 Dec 1998
    State (Year) SSN issued:  Illinois (1961-1962)