It is with heartfelt sadness that we share that our beloved UNR Med Advancement and Engagement Content Marketing Manager, Roseann Langlois, suffered a brain aneurysm and passed away unexpectedly.
It is a tragedy to be writing these words. For Roseann, our colleague and teammate, and for me, our jobs revolve around words. A million words cannot bring her back. Words seem so feeble in moments like these. The passing of one of our most lively and fit colleagues is illogical.
It is a tragedy, but also an honor to share this tribute to Roseann - our colleague and friend, a mother, daughter, sister, fitness teacher, healthy lifestyle advocate, LGBTQIA ally, public relations student mentor, shelter volunteer, and so much more.
Roseann was a storyteller at heart and told the stories of UNR Med's faculty, students, residents, researchers, donors, community faculty and others through this very newsletter. Each week, she gathered the School of Medicine's stories, announcements and kudos, and packaged them into an informative, often fascinating collection of newsworthy highlights from around UNR Med and University Health.
It's said that marketing is no longer about what you make, but the stories you tell. What follows is an attempt to somehow tell a tiny portion of Roseann's story - to honor and remember her bright life and contributions to our world.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of languages in the world. A smile sparks them all. An unforgettable physical attribute that Roseann was most famous for was her megawatt, magical smile. It told the story of her zest for life, it matched her personality, and it was her signature, genuine Roseann radiance.
I first met Roseann wearing her signature smile, fresh out of her interview, as she was beginning her career with UNR Med. Her editorial and Associated Press whiz-kid abilities and vibrant personality were readily apparent! It was clear that she was an outstanding fit for the role. Our friendship was instant, our collaborations were close and the walls of our office, which we referred to as the UNR Med newsroom, heard more laughter and inside jokes than most people probably realize.
Roseann brought us 20 years of experience writing and editing copy for various print and online media. Prior to UNR Med, she served as digital content editor and managing editor of Renown Health's bestmedicinenews.org. She previously was associate editor and senior writer for the University's Department of Development and Alumni Relations, at which time she wrote for the Silver and Blue magazine.
During her early career, Roseann spent a decade as a journalist producing breaking news and award-winning features at media outlets including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Reno Gazette-Journal, Napa Valley Register, Chico Enterprise-Record and Los Angeles Times. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Chico.
Roseann was wildly passionate about fitness, running and health and was an active fitness professional with more than 20 years' experience who made exercise accessible and fun for all populations through a variety of modalities at Yoga Pod, Full Pedal Reno and Double Diamond Athletic Club. She loved motivating her students to work toward their best selves. She enjoyed running in fun runs and races and competing in marathons. She'd do her daily work at a race pace rhythm, often jamming out to the custom playlists she'd create for her Full Pedal spin classes.
In addition to her devotion to her career and work life, Roseann always found time for her colleagues, her friends, and her family. Having shared an office with Roseann, I learned a great deal about her love for her family. Roseann's world revolved around her children, daughter Bridget (16) and son Daniel (13). She encouraged Bridget and Danny's academics, was so proud of their interests and activities and fostering their futures something fierce. She was an astonishing mother and loved her children more than anything, along with their adoptive cat, Screech.
It was a privilege for me, and my A+E teammates, to have been a tiny part of Roseann's life. I'll miss her mentorship and having her as my cohort. She was someone I could talk to about anything and she would understand. Oftentimes on Friday evenings, our text chats would end up going into the late hours before we'd officially tie a bow on the week we'd just wrapped.
Although much too short, hers was a life well-lived! She was a determined, visionary, collaborative, goal-oriented, caring person who loved life and all that it offered. She made significant contributions to UNR Med and everywhere she ventured. Her enthusiasm for that next big project was infectious, and a huge component of her and her colleagues success.
Roseann fulfilled her wish to save lives through organ donation. An "honor walk" was held as a dignified way to honor Roseann's final contribution, her bed decorated with dozens of race medals and her favorite Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Big Truck hat.
An honor walk is a powerful act of community. Though solemn, something sacred happens in those few minutes in the hallway. We waited and talked with people from across the community. Together, we all gathered to honor a great sacrifice. We gave thanks for Roseann, for her life and her wish to save lives through organ donation.
Death is the final destination for all of us. One way to look at it is that our eager, race-pace colleague, runner, rider and friend, Roseann arrived to her final destination, faster than any of us. Her journey was fast, but we take comfort in that her life was full.
A light like Roseann's can't go out. Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories. May we all find comfort in our many happy memories of and with Roseann. She will be tremendously missed by everyone who ever had the opportunity to receive one of her megawatt smiles or overhear her infectious laugh.
Although the void created by her absence can never be filled, a GoFundMe has been established for the Langlois family.
Benjamin Franklin said it best: "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." Roseann did both.
Carry on, Roseann style: push your edges, eat your vegetables and always wear a smile.