Wendy Moore, a beloved and well-known teacher, school principal and theater artist, died Oct. 5 at her home in Glenwood Springs surrounded by her family.
She was born 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 earned a Master of Arts degree in education from the University of Colorado-Greeley in 1989.
After teaching for a year in Wisconsin, Wendy moved to Colorado to continue her career as an English teacher at Merritt Hutton High in Thornton. There, she was told she would also be responsible for either the speech and debate team or the theater program. Wendy chose the latter, bought a book about how to direct a play and entered into a lifelong love of theater that saw her acting or directing in nearly 200 productions.
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, and they immediately hit it off over their love of theater. In the coming decades, Wendy and Bob became a theatrical powerhouse, with Bob mostly onstage and Wendy primarily in the director’s chair.
They 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 its general manager. Wanting to move back to Colorado after a few years, Wendy secured a position as an English and theater teacher at Summit High School in Frisco in 1978.
Although they thought they’d be there a year, Bob and Wendy stayed for 20. The duo became active at the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre, where Wendy was again the artistic director. Under their leadership, the theater 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 years 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 were active in the Valley’s theater community, with Wendy directing shows at Aspen Community Theatre, Thunder River Theatre and others. She 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; brother William 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. Any memorial contributions in Wendy’s name can be made to a local theater company, the Denver Actors Fund or to any other charity.