Spokane, Wash: Musician and artist, Arleen Tanner Ruggeri, died Wednesday, May 1, 2013 in Spokane, Wash. at the age of 91 due to complications of old age.
She was born August 3, 1921 to Dr. Alfonzo and Vera Noall Tanner in Layton Utah. She grew up in Layton where she attended Davis County High School, and studied piano at the McCune School of Music. She then went on to the University of Utah where she received her BA in Music and Art in 1943. While at the University of Utah she was the piano accompanist for the Women’s Double Quartet. She also studied at the University of Mexico in Mexico City, and at Utah State University in Logan.
She married Robert Henry (Hank) Ruggeri from Price, Utah in 1943, and worked as a bank secretary until 1946. Their first child was born in 1947. In 1954 she moved to Moab, Utah where she continued to study and paint and in 1972 she opened the Jail House Art Gallery.
During her long painting career she produced many works of art, served on the Utah Council for the Arts, the Utah Humanities Endowment, and the Board of the Utah Arts Council. She received many awards for her paintings and displayed her work in numerous juried exhibits and one woman shows. She specialized in watercolor and described her work as a spontaneous reply to the Southwestern landscape. From realism to abstract, her paintings related to music, and the beauty she saw in the world around her.
Her artwork was exhibited in shows throughout the world including shows in Massachusetts, Virginia, California, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Kansas and Taipei, Taiwan; and in private and corporate collections throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Holland, France, Greece and South Africa. She was a signature member of the National Watercolor Society and the Watercolor Societies of Montana, Utah, Kansas, and Colorado.
She moved from Moab to Grand Junction, Colorado in 1986 and continued to live and paint there until the death of her husband in May of 2009 after which she moved to Spokane, Washington to be near her daughter.
She is survived by two sons and a daughter: Robert T. (Olwen Morgan) Ruggeri, Seattle, Washington; William (Dharm Khalsa) Ruggeri, Flagstaff, Arizona; and Elizabeth (Daniel) DeRuyter, Spokane, Washington. She had five grandchildren: Carrie Boyd, Luke and Alexander Ruggeri, and K.C. and Tanna DeRuyter.
A funeral service will be held on Friday, May 10, 2013 at 10 a.m. at Leavitt’s Mortuary, 836 36th Street, Ogden, followed by a graveside service Kaysville City Cemetery. A reception and celebration of her life will follow the services. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Western Colorado Center for the Arts, 1803 N. 7th St., Grand Junction, CO 81501.