Obituary: Wendy Moore
February 18, 1947 – October 5, 2022
Wendy Moore, life-long educator and theatre artist, 75
Wendy Moore, a beloved and well-known teacher, school principal and theatre artist, died Oct. 5 at her home in Glenwood Springs surrounded by her family.
She was born Feb. 18, 1947 in Milwaukee to Joseph and Bernice Preiss. Wendy graduated from Wauwatosa High School in 1965 and earned her BA in education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1969.
She later earned a Master of Arts degree in education from the University of Colorado-Greeley in 1989.
After teaching for a year in Wisconsin following her graduation, Wendy moved to Colorado to continue her education career as an English teacher at Merritt Hutton High School in Thornton. There, she was told she would also be responsible for either the speech and debate team or the theatre program. Wendy chose the latter, bought a book about how to direct a play and entered into a lifelong love of live theatre that saw her acting in or directing in nearly 200 productions, mostly in Colorado.
She met her husband, Bob Moore, who was working as a bartender at Golden’s Heritage Square Opera House in 1971. Wendy was working there part-time as a waitress while also teaching in Thornton. Bob was also acting in the shows, and they immediately hit it off over their love of theatre. In the coming decades, Wendy and Bob were to become a theatrical powerhouse, with Bob mostly onstage and Wendy primarily in the director’s chair — although she acted in a number of plays and musicals as well.
Wendy and Bob were married Dec. 27, 1972 at Heritage Square Opera House.
Taking an opportunity to run a showboat on the Mississippi River in 1975, the couple moved to St. Louis where Wendy was the artistic director for the Goldenrod Showboat and Bob was the general manager. Both also acted in the melodramas that made up most of the showboat’s entertainment. Wanting to move back to Colorado after a few years, it came down to who got a job first, and Wendy secured a position as an English and theatre teacher at Summit High School in Frisco in 1978.
Although they thought they’d be there a year, Bob and Wendy stayed for 20 and became a fixture in the community. The duo became active at the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre, where Wendy was again the artistic director and Bob was acting and managing the theatre. Under their leadership, the theatre grew its audience and expanded its season while also becoming active in the Colorado Community Theatre Coalition, where Wendy was on the board for 18 years and served four as its president. As part of CCTC, the Backstage won numerous awards and traveled to play competitions around the state, in the U.S. and ultimately to Switzerland in 1998.
Meanwhile, Wendy’s education career continued apace, and she became vice-principal at Summit High and later took over as principal at Summit Middle School. She was also a finalist for Colorado Teacher of the Year in 1983.
Wendy and Bob left Summit County and moved to Carbondale in 1998, where she worked as the principal at Roaring Fork High School until her retirement in 2005. The pair continued to be active in the Roaring Fork theatre community, with Wendy directing shows at Aspen Community Theatre, Thunder River Theatre and others. She also served as president of the Rotary Club in Carbondale in 2006 and was an adjunct professor of speech at Colorado Mountain College from 2005-2015.
Wendy is survived by her husband, Bob; children Mandy Moore and Missy Moore; brotherWilliam Preiss (Dee Dee) of Minneapolis and sister Joleen Preiss of Wauwatosa, Wisc.
A celebration of life for Wendy is planned for Monday, Jan. 9, at the Thunder River Theatre in Carbondale. The family prefers that any memorial contributions in Wendy’s name be made in the following order of preference: “1. To any local theater company of their choosing; 2. To the Denver Actors Fund; or 3. To any other charity they would like to support.”