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Mary Schott

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"She was blissfully happy. She was lying next to her husband," said New York journalist Felecia Taylor, who spoke to her mother the morning she died. "The one thing she was worried about was where my dog would stay."

Mrs. Schott, born in San Diego in 1934, was a top international model in the '50s and '60s, gracing the covers of magazines like Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Cosmopolitan.

"She was a very beautiful woman," said friend Anita Dubnoff, a fellow Palm Beacher.

Mrs. Schott married famous actor Rod Taylor, Felecia's father, in 1963. After a divorce, she remarried to Chicago developer Arthur Rubloff, and moved to Palm Beach shortly after Rubloff's death.

She lived the life of a socialite in Palm Beach, including throwing high society parties at a condominium on Breakers Row that she sold in 1989 for what was then a record-setting price of $4.3 million.

In 1990, the Palm Beach Post followed her around for a day to see what life for a socialite was like. It included lunches at private clubs, massages, shopping trips, and spins in some of her collection of fine cars, such as a 1979 Mercedes and a 1982 Rolls Royce.

"She loved beautiful jewelry and beautiful things," Taylor said.

Mrs. Schott, who remarried in 1995 to Lewis M. Schott, president of the LMS Securities Corp., also spent her time helping to raise money for local causes, especially for domestic violence victims.

"She thought women were underserved," Taylor said. "She grew up in the '50s and '60s when women had nowhere to go."

Dubnoff said that in the early 1990s when she was trying to raise money for a battered women's shelter through the YWCA, Mrs. Schott donated the money needed to finish what would become the Mary Rubloff Harmony House. The Palm Beach County shelter is still open today able to serve up to 50 women.

Taylor said her mother also donated or helped raise money for the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and for 211 of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, the 24-hour hotline for people in crisis.

A funeral service will be 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 141 South County Road, Palm Beach. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: the Mary Rubloff YWCA Harmony House, 2200 N. Florida Mango Rd., Suite #102, West Palm Beach.

Published in The Palm Beach Post from Mar. 10 to June 16, 2009
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