Jane Bierdeman-Fike

Jane Bierdeman-Fike, 89, of Fulton, passed away March 13, 2012, at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia. For over 50 years, Jane Bierdeman-Fike touched many lives during a remarkable career as a professional social worker. Colleagues, former employees, civic leaders, politicians, students and patients who have had the opportunity to work with Jane can attest to her passion, commitment and dedication to social and economic justice issues, especially as they relate to chronically mentally ill offenders. Jane graduated Magna cum Laude from Maryville College in 1944 and received her MSW degree from St. Louis University in 1949. She was a loyal supporter and friend of many schools of social work including the University of Missouri, St. Louis University, Maryville University and William Woods University. She served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Missouri School of Social Work, teaching social policy in the late 1960s and 1970s, and established the Jane Bierdeman-Fike Doctoral Fellowship Fund in Social Work in support of the PhD program. As Director of Psychiatric Social Work at Fulton State Hospital (FSH) for 38 years, Jane was a mentor, role model, leader, educator and friend to many employees and students. Jane became a state and national leader in developing forensic social work practice and was committed to providing culturally competent training to the staff. She estimates that FSH trained several hundred Missouri University social work field instruction students. Following her retirement in 2000, Jane served as a consultant for the FSH Cultural Competence Council that continues her work in this area. In 2008, Jane was recognized as one of the most influential social workers in the United States by Social Work Today magazine. She was a formidable force in her commitment to serving her community and academic social work programs across the state. Her achievements are noteworthy and include: Maryville College Recipient of Alumni Professional Achievement Award (1971), University of Missouri School of Social Work Executive of the Year Award (1988), Elected office: Board of Trustees, Missouri State Employees' Retirement System (Chairperson 1977-1988), (Vice-Chair 1989-1990), University of Missouri Honorary Alumni Award for contributions to the School of Social Work (1991), Saint Louis University Social Services Alumni Merit Award (1991), Gubenatorial appointment: Member of the Board of Trustees, Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (1993), Social Worker for the Year Award, Missouri Chapter NASW (1995), William Woods University Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters (2001), National Association of Social Worker's Lifetime Achievement Award (2004), Maryville College Dean's Award from the School of Liberal Arts and Professional Programs (2005), Elaine Aber Humanitarian Award from the Missouri Association for Social Welfare (2010), Missouri Mental Health Foundation Lasting Legacy Award (to be awarded in June 2012). Jane led an active life filled with family, friends, and travel. She was preceded in death by her husband, Don Fike; step-daughter, Ellen Sue Williams; parents, Arthur Edward Bierdeman and Adele (Bienevenue) Bierdeman; and step-father, Walter. Survivors include: her stepdaughter and family, Ruth Ann, Terry, Angel, Doug, and Jeff Atkinson; cousins Theodore C. Bierdeman and wife Julia, Herbert Bierdeman, Georgia Brown, Greg Brown, Karen Carleton, Theodore K. Bierdeman, and Carl Bierdeman; godchild Mary Nurenberg; and special friends Anna and Jerry Allen. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 17, 2012, at The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury on the campus of Westminster College, northwest corner of Westminster and 7th St. in Fulton. Reception will follow. Memorials may be made to the Foundation for the Benefit of Patients and Staff of Fulton State Hospital. The family would like to express its appreciation for the care and support of the staff at Boone Hospital Center.