This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here.
Annmarie Reinhart Smith had worked for Toys “R” Us for nearly three decades when the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017, leading to store closings and the layoffs of 33,000 workers, including her. Left without severance pay, she vented her frustration on a Facebook page called the Dead Giraffe Society, named after the store’s mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe.
A labor advocacy group that was helping Toys “R” Us workers mobilize to demand compensation, like severance and back pay, took notice and recruited her.
Mrs. Reinhart Smith was soon on Capitol Hill, chasing down legislators and meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Cory Booker, among others, to ask for their support. She joined with other former employees to march in protest through Manhattan, shouldering a mock coffin for Geoffrey.
recent profile, like one who threw a Power Ranger figurine at her, leaving a scar on her forehead.