Theodora Ranchfuss, danced ballet, wrote novels, granddaughter of Teddy Roosevelt, 88
(too old to reply)
La N
2008-01-30 14:40:38 UTC

She downplayed her link to fame
Ballerina and novelist was granddaughter of Theodore Roosevelt
Theodora Rauchfuss, a granddaughter of former President Theodore Roosevelt
who lived in a rural area of Caldwell County without telling most people of
her famous relative, died Saturday at age 88.

Born in New York, she wrote novels and danced ballet before settling in the
pastoral Happy Valley area of Caldwell County, said a stepdaughter,
Christine Gray of Baltimore.

She wanted no funeral or obituary and leaves no children of her own,
according to family and friends.

Gray's father, the late Arthur Rauchfuss, and Theodora met in the 1970s,
when Theodora became acquainted with Gray's mother. At the time, Gray said,
Theodora lived in the N.C. mountains. Later, Gray said, her parents
divorced, and her father married Theodora.

Rauchfuss wrote several novels in the 1950s after marrying her first
husband, artist Thomas Keogh, most following the adventures of young girls
on unorthodox paths. She was a professional ballerina and kept a ballet bar
in her Happy Valley home, using it regularly until several years ago, said
Gray and Rauchfuss' attorney, Houston Groome of Lenoir.

She and Keogh divorced in the 1960s, Gray said, and she married Thomas
O'Toole, whom she also divorced. She married Rauchfuss, who owned a chemical
plant in Caldwell County, in 1980.

Even after her death, Groome, her attorney and friend of more than 30 years,
wouldn't confirm or deny Rauchfuss' tie to Roosevelt, saying only that "she
had a very illustrious family background, but she enjoyed the privacy of her
life and close friends in North Carolina. I respect her enough not to talk
about her."

But Gray said that her father told her his new bride was Roosevelt's
granddaughter. Theodora was also listed as Roosevelt's granddaughter in her
brother's 1990 obituary.

Groome remembered Rauchfuss as cosmopolitan and generous. "She loved to have
her friends over for dinner and for lunches," he said. "I'll miss her."

Brad Ferguson
2008-01-30 15:08:12 UTC
Post by La N
She wanted no funeral or obituary
Well, take *that*, Theodora.