Former Dance Magazine Publisher Roslyne Stern Passes at 91

July 13, 2017

Roslyne Paige Stern (née Gross) passed away peacefully, if not willingly, at the age of 91 in her residence in Palo Alto, California on June 23, 2017. She was full of life until the end, hand in hand with her beloved husband of four decades, Robert Stern.

Roslyne was born in Chicago in 1926, to parents Clara and Benjamin Gross. Her parents, her brother, Leonard Gross, and her daughters, Elizabeth Paige and Sandra Weber, predeceased her. Her husband Robert, and her daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Martin Kaplan, and granddaughter Meredith Dimon (Ron) survive her.

As Roslyne described her backstory: “I first got hooked on the arts at age 8 while watching a bad copy of a 16mm film of Cavalleri Rusticana—and then Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy. It was my turn on and I wanted to sing. I never made the opera I loved so much. My wonderful teachers thought I should be The Merry Widow on Broadway and that did not happen either, but I did do some professional singing over the years until I lost my voice. Many years later, the movie Turning Point appeared just about the same time I had a great turning point in my own life.

In 1978, I left an advertising business I had spent 16 years building and began a learning experience beyond anything I might have dreamed. With it came relationships with wonderful people whom have enriched my life beyond measure. The dance world became part of my extended family.”

Roslyne entered the University of Chicago at age 16. Her life experience included being a model, a singer, a businesswoman, a publisher, a philanthropist and a founding member of EMILY’s List. She raised three daughters and two stepsons, and mentored countless young professional women over the years. She was publisher of Dance Magazine from 1985 until 1997.

About the preservation of dance, Ms. Stern said, “There is a separate reason to concentrate on preservation at this time when our social fabric is being torn on so many levels. The arts provide an essential structure of stability and continuity even as choreographers and dancers create new work. Good people—men and women, artists and audiences, teachers and students must stand and move together to resist extremists from every direction who would destroy.”

Roslyne received awards from the Dance Library of Israel and The Dance Notation Bureau. But her true rewards came from the passion she felt at each performance, the pleasure of a good meal and the excellent conversation with those she called friends. Like most, she had her fair share of tragedy, but she picked herself up and grabbed life with a passion as best shown by some of her dear friends.

“Roslyne was …iconic.”

“She was a force to be reckoned with right to the end and why should it be any different? Roslyne lived life well and pretty much on her terms but in a way that made her always entertaining to be with even if a little exasperating from time to time.”

“When I think of Roslyne, I think of the kind and loving person who was always there to cheer me on at some of the best moments of my career.”

“Roslyne was a force of nature, a bright, smart woman, ahead of her time.”

We love you Roslyne. May your name be for a blessing!