by Trish Rudder
About 100 people gathered around the Star Theatre last Saturday morning to honor former Star owner, historian and tourism leader Jeanne Mozier, who passed away in November.
A star with Mozier’s name on it was gifted to the community by family friends Eric and Andrea LaRue and is embedded in the sidewalk in front of the theatre in downtown Berkeley Springs.
Honoring Mozier with a sidewalk star was approved by new Star Theatre owners Paul and Trey Johanson and Town of Bath officials.
Mozier’s brother-in-law, Greg Wolfe, unveiled the marker with cheers from the crowd, many in tears.
Donned in a bright red hat, local singer/musician Jill Klein-Rone sang and played “You Are My Sunshine” on her accordion while folks sang along.
She said it was rumored to be Mozier’s favorite song, and she had played it some time ago to honor Mozier’s mother, Marge.
Local business owner Jenna Hansroth said April 24 was chosen to dedicate Mozier’s marker because the “Uniquely West Virginia” yearly event was created by Mozier “as part of her tireless work in promoting Berkeley Springs,” Hansroth said.
Mozier and husband Jack Soronen bought the Star Theatre in 1977. They and friend Joe Lillard “saw the shuttered theater as a potential economic driver for the community and they weren’t wrong. With an operating theater in the heart of town, a new larger restaurant and retail shops followed,” Hansroth said.
“Under Jeanne’s watch, the theater became more than just a theater. It became an integral part of the town,” she said.
“This morning we are honored to unveil Jeanne’s star in recognition of one of our community’s brightest stars, whose time here was a gift to us all,” said Hansroth.
Barb Wolfe, Mozier’s sister said a celebration of Mozier’s life is being planned to be held at the Ice House in August.
“We look forward to sharing more of her life and hearing everyone’s stories,” Hansroth said.