The New School Institute for Retired Professionals and Elderhostel were honored that Rosanne McVay included generous bequests for them in her will.

Rosanne McVay lived a rich and full life, from building a professional journalism career to developing lifelong interests in New York organizations. She spent many decades as a writer and editor for top periodicals during the heyday of the American magazine.

Rosanne was “a New Yorker by choice,” having made the trek from Buffalo in the early 1920s to be part of the exciting world of publishing that New York represented. Linda Goetz Holmes, now president of The Society of the Silurians, a group of distinguished veteran journalists dedicated to excellence and journalistic integrity, said that Rosanne had been the “quintessential Roaring 20’s New York gal.”

One of her closest friends was Edith Evans Asbury, former reporter at The New York Times and doyenne of New York City newspaper circles. For many years, Rosanne’s name was on the masthead of publications like Newsweek, Redbook, and True Story. Her freelance articles appeared in Glamour, The Saturday Evening Post, Coronet, and Collier’s. She worked directly for Harold Ross, legendary founder of the The New Yorker, and had a very close friendship with E.B.White. Friends were amazed to learn that Rosanne was born in 1902, not 1912, as she had claimed for more than 75 years.

In addition to her professional life, Rosanne was an avid theater and opera goer and an aficionado of New York architecture, which she admired during daily walks along city streets. She enjoyed a long marriage to former football player and sportswriter Revere “Moose” McVay. She loved to dine at favorite clubs, including the Overseas Press Club (when she had known her hero, Edward R. Murrow), the Salmagundi Club, the New York Women’s Press Club, and the Deadline Club.

Later in life she traveled with a beloved sister and attended participated in Elderhostel programs. In 1986, she joined the New School Institute for Retired Professionals (IRP), the first Institute for Lifelong Learning. Rosanne was an active and supportive participant in the IRP Writers Workshop and in the IRP Acting Group, where she memorably played the Old Nurse in Romeo and Juliet.

Through bequests in her will, Rosanne very generously supported 11 organizations, including the Silurians, the Central Park Conservancy, CityMeals, public television, the New School IRP and Elderhostel. Along with remembering friends and family members in her will, these gifts cap a truly remarkable life.

Thanks to Michael Markowitz, Director New School Institute for Retired Professionals, for researching and sharing this story.






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