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Art patron a founder of museum

Published June 10, 2006

TAMPA -Jeanne Rozier Winter knew how to help artists succeed: Buy their art.

"She did that a lot," said her daughter, Susan Winter of Sante Fe, N.M.

Mrs. Winter, 79, who lived to support the arts, succumbed to cancer June 8 at home.

A founding member of the Tampa Museum of Art, Mrs. Winter was the first board member emeritus in 2005, after nearly 20 years as a trustee. She was the first recipient of the award named in her honor, the Jeanne Rozier Winter distinguished trustee award.

In 1986, she and her late husband Jack were honored at the formal Pavilion gala for their contributions to the museum, including donations of more than 60 works by artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist.

"She gave of herself - time and money- to make Tampa an even better place to live," said Pat Carter, a friend for 40 years.

Marrying Jack Winter in 1947 made her one-half of a creative pair known for putting their passion for art, music, theater and design into practice.

"My sister and I grew up with two parents who designed and built their own furniture and sewed curtains and upholstery," said Susan Winter. "When I was in preschool, they turned their bathroom into a darkroom.

"She cut her own patterns and made her own clothes since she was in junior high," said Susan Winter. "Most people don't know she made and beaded the exquisite designs she wore to Pavilion."

Mr. and Mrs. Winter moved to Winter Park in 1952, then settled in Tampa in 1966. It was love at first sight when they rented an apartment in the Mirasol, then the Davis Islands Tower, while their home was being built on Frankland Road.

"From the first moment they saw it, it was their dream to live in the penthouse," said daughter Rachael Carlson of Portland, Ore.

The couple bought the former hotel in 1979 and restored its original name and circa 1925 splendor. She sold it in 1999 and moved to a condominium.

Mrs. Winter was a founding board member of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and a founding member of the Gasparilla Sidewalk Art Festival.

She had an abiding love of jazz, and once dreamed of singing with a band, and dancing on Broadway.

"Jazz put her into bliss," Susan Winter said. "She grew up in St. Louis listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and that's why there will be a jazz trio at the memorial service."

Besides her two daughters, Mrs. Winter is survived by a sister, Janet "Sue" Rozier MacDonald and husband Alaster; son-in-law Rick; granddaughter Elizabeth Carlson of Portland, Ore.; and many nieces and nephews.

The family will host a memorial reception at the Tampa Museum of Art Monday at noon where works Mrs. Winter donated will be showcased. Donations may be made to the Jeanne R. Winter Endowment for the Arts at the Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa Museum of Art, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, FL, 33602.

[Last modified June 10, 2006, 07:11:48]

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