Jeanne Mozier, 75, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., passed away at her home on Thursday, November 26, 2020.
Jeanne was a “West Virginian by choice” after purchasing a Morgan County farm in 1975 with her beloved husband of nearly 50 years, Jack Soronen.
Two years later Jeanne and Jack purchased and renovated the historic Star Theatre where she became the official “popcorn empress.” Jeanne claimed that their original Manley machine made the best popcorn in four states. Visitors could find the duo at the theatre every weekend for 42 years until their retirement last year when they sold the theatre.
Jeanne didn’t just move to Morgan County in 1975 – once she was here she began moving Morgan County. Armed with an indomitable spirit and keen sense of direction, Jeanne was committed to giving back to her community. Her passionate efforts in community building through promoting the arts, tourism and local economic development led Berkeley Springs to many awards and becoming, as she dubbed it, “the center of the universe”.
Over the years Jeanne held seats on many influential local boards. In fact, Berkeley Springs’ national reputation as a top small arts town is owed to Jeanne’s unwavering efforts in helping establish the Morgan Arts Council. She tackled fundraising, grant writing and marketing and wasn’t afraid to make the tough calls. She was the founding president of the Morgan County Visitors & Convention Bureau, Travel Berkeley Springs, and served as their marketing director. From creating fun events like Hey Girlfriend Weekend to the internationally recognized Water Tasting Festival that has attracted entries and journalists from across the globe for 30 years, Jeanne always had a plan about how to keep Berkeley Springs in the spotlight.
Jeanne was drawn to the warm healing mineral springs that bubble from the park in the heart of the Town of Bath and immersed herself in the history and culture that surrounded them. She was recognized as a dedicated historian and was the founding president and major driving force behind the Museum of the Berkeley Springs. She was the brains behind and co-producer of the Morgan County Bicentennial project.
Jeanne often shared that when she attended her first Berkeley Springs-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce meeting she found the group ready to dissolve the organization. She made them hold on and then served on the board for 40 out of the last 45 years.
Jeanne believed her mission was to “hold the vision”. To that end, over the years she worked closely with too many friends to mention and accomplished stellar goals. One of the first major feats was resurrecting the floundering Apple Butter Festival in the 1970s and Jeanne took on the challenging role of the “Voice of the Festival”, directing the throngs of attendees from the gazebo. Jeanne was a longtime board member of the Morgan County Economic Development Authority and was an integral member of the Bath Landmark Commission. Jeanne’s impressive and awarding-winning local work led to many invitations to serve on state and national committees, as well as a litany of personal recognitions and awards from local, state and national levels. She was named the very first regional Girl Scouts’ Woman of Distinction.
Born March 27, 1945 to Marge and Gene Mozier in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jeanne held degrees from both Cornell University and Columbia University in New York City. She was recruited out of graduate school by the CIA, worked at the American Political Science Association, then later for the DC Court system as a planner. Jeanne also served as a Capitol Hill staffer for many years, assisting with multiple congressional election campaigns, and at one point traveling to Moscow to work with a national news team.
Jeanne was an award-winning author of six books, several short stories and she staged four plays. She was a sought-after political advisor and renowned astrologer. Her annual Oracles lectures drew hundreds from around the region while recordings are played all over the world. She published daily astrological messages on social media that were followed by thousands.
Jeanne leaves her best friend and husband, Jack Soronen, her sister and brother-in-law Barb and Greg Wolfe, and many friends who know that she’s shining brightly among the stars.
A Celebration of Life will be announced and held at a later date when everyone may gather together.
To honor Jeanne’s memory, contributions may be made to her passion projects – the Morgan Arts Council, the Museum of the Berkeley Springs or simply by volunteering to make your community a better place.