Steamboat Springs resident Anne Lucille Schottler Rooney died March 9, 2007. She was 63.
She began her life of celebration in Austin, Minn., on Aug. 13, 1943. Born the youngest of six children to Julius and Bernadette Schottler, she grew up on the family farm near Austin. At an early age, she began to develop her love of life, nature and all things beautiful. Anne's siblings were all active 4-Hers, although Anne was not content to cook, sew and garden. She took these skills to a higher level, designing her own (and friends') clothing, creating recipes and nurturing a gift for art and culture. She was the Minnesota state 4-H style queen in 1961, modeling an original which she herself had sewn. After earning a degree in art education from the University of Minnesota, she taught high school, then moved to Tripoli, Libya, where she taught at the American School from 1971 to 1976. There, she was active in the Libyan Art Society, became an expert at making homemade wine and met and married Patrick J. Rooney. In 1974, they were blessed with a daughter, Michelle Kathleen, who, at the age of one, attended birthday parties for the son of Moammar Qaddafi, their neighbor.
In 1976, Pat's work for the Conoco oil company moved them to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where they were again blessed in 1978, this time with a son, Colin Patrick. Anne's family has been a great source of pride and joy for her, and will always treasure memories of her creativity, playfulness and sense of humor, which made for many memorable adventures. Her graciousness as a hostess was enjoyed by all - with the possible exception of some customers during her brief stint as a waitress while in college. She laughingly recalled dropping trays of glasses and plates and spilling wine on them, but, "it was very good wine."
Anne built her reputation as a sculptor while living in Dubai, and during her 17 years in the Arabian Gulf, she studied and portrayed customs in animates bronze sculpture. She will be remembered as a prime mover in the Dubai art society and community activities, using her pottery kiln in the back yard as a focal point for gatherings with friends. She shared her time and knowledge with a giving spirit and desire to help others develop their skills, to celebrate cultural differences and to promote understanding. Her sculptures of local figures were well received by the ruling family, and can be seen at the Dubai International Airport.
Examples of her work are included in the permanent collections of Conoco, Houston, the government of Dubai, U.A.E., the Malcolm Forbes Museum in Palais Mendoub, Morocco, numerous embassies and private collections, including those of President George Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush, U.A.E. Ambassador and Mrs. Easa Saleh of Gurg and Senator Hillary Clinton. She has had exhibitions of her work in Dubai, U.A.E., Houston, Hamburg, Germany, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., Bahrain and Washington, DC. Recipients of her sculptures include Desmond Tutu, via UNICEF.
After the family moved to Houston in 1988, Anne continued to create sculptures for the Global Children's Foundation, the Jo Kelly School for Handicapped Children, the "Angels with an Attitude" series and numerous corporate gifts and commissioned works.
Anne had been residing and sculpting in Steamboat Springs since 1997. She generously gave her time as a docent for the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, as a tutor for Comunidad Integrada, and to groups such as the Community Alliance, the Opus Book Club and Routt County Democrats. She will be missed by her many friends at the Old Town Hot Springs, the Circle of Women, Peace and Justice, yoga and the Course of Miracle.
Anne is survived by her daughter, Michelle Rooney, of Paris, France; her son, Colin Rooney, of Durango; her husband, Patrick Rooney, of Denver; and numerous sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Anne's family is extremely grateful for the friendships, love and support she has enjoyed here in Steamboat Springs and during all her life's adventures. You all know who you are. We also thank you for your generous support and gifts of food and flowers during this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be donated to the Steamboat Art Museum, Healing Paws or Partners in Routt County.