Lucretia Leonard Romey died unexpectedly on December 2, 2012 in Orleans, Mass.
Born in Akron, she was the daughter of George H. Leonard, Vice President of the Firestone Bank, and June Bolinger Leonard, an elementary school teacher at King School and a special reading teacher for minority students. Her grandfather, Ralph Leonard, was Assistant Treasurer of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Akron. She received her elementary and secondary school education at Old Trail School and received their Lincoln Gries Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001. She graduated from Indiana University with an AB in Fine Arts in 1955. Several of her works were exhibited at the Akron Art Institute during that period.
Lucretia was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma fraternity, receiving an alumnae achievement award from them in 1996. She served for several years as staff illustrator for The Key, the group's national magazine. She was a member of the Junior League and of the Cuyahoga Portage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Akron.
After leaving Indiana University she began a brilliant career as a painter, watercolorist, quilter, illustrator, writer, and teacher, winning awards in major national art shows. She traveled widely, always with sketchbook in hand. She moved to England with her Navy husband Bill in 1955. They moved to Washington, DC and Berkeley, Calif. where Bill earned his Ph.D. In 1962. Bill began teaching Science Education and Geology at Syracuse University, and she did further studies in sculpture there. During a research leave in Norway in 1967 and 1968 they spent summers working in the Lofoten Islands in the Arctic. She was in Boulder Colorado from 1969-1972 while Bill directed the Earth Science Curriculum Project. There she participated in many art shows and began her work as a fabric artist and quilter.
From 1972 to 1993 they were in Canton, N.Y., where Bill chaired the Department of Geology and Geography at St. Lawrence University. She earned honors in many art shows while running an art gallery and teaching art. The Romeys returned frequently to Akron to visit her parents and friends.
In 1991-92 she accompanied her husband to Rouen, France while he directed the St. Lawrence University Program Abroad. She entered international quilt shows, taught quilting (in French), sketched, entertained the French faculty members, and acted as the resident "mother" for the St. Lawrence students.
Returning to "retirement" in their family home on Cape Cod, for 15 years she accompanied her husband on cruise ships traveling around the world, while he lectured and she sketched, quilted, and taught art classes. In 1992 and 2000 she taught art on the University of Pittsburgh's Semester at Sea Program involving trips around the world and the shores of Europe. Subsequent cruises included over two dozen expedition cruises to the Antarctic and the High Arctic and up the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. She visited over 100 different countries. Quilting became her dominant activity.
Lucretia was a warm and loving daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother. She loved good food, good wines, good companions, good theater, and good music. She especially loved the beach and her house and studio on Cape Cod.
She leaves behind her grieving husband of 57 years; daughters, Catherine Keener (an actress and model) and Gretchen Romey-Tanzer (a fiber artist and head of the art department at Cape Cod Academy); a son, William (Professor of Biology at the Potsdam State University); and seven grandchildren. She also leaves her sister, Polly Keener; nephew, Ted Keener; and niece, Whitney Keener (all of Akron) as well as Romey; nephews, nieces, and cousins. She will be sorely missed by her many relatives, friends, colleagues, and students. Her spirit lives on brilliantly in the many beautiful quilts, paintings, sketches, jewelry, sweaters, silver pieces, sculptures, and photos she has left behind.
For online condolences and an expanded version of this obituary please visit www.nickersonfunerals.com.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Dec. 11, 2012