Rozene Supple, a cultural pioneer, philanthropist, and radio entrepreneur from the Coachella Valley passed away on Wednesday at her Smoke Tree Ranch home in Palm Springs. She was 97 years old.
Who was Rozene Supple? (Wiki, Age, Bio)
Supple’s life narrative dates back to the earliest days of Palm Springs. She attended Palm Springs High School before relocating permanently to the desert in the 1970s. She was born in Detroit and spent time in the family house her father built at Smoke Tree Ranch in the 1930s. She and her husband Ric Supple constructed a network of radio stations that dominated the desert, acquired and gave the theatre that became the heart of the Palm Springs Cultural Center, and contributed to the survival of the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
About Rozene Supple’s spouse:
former Palm Springs mayor Robert Moon said, “She and her husband Ric are pioneers of Palm Springs.” They were instrumental in constructing Palm Springs into what it is today. In 1972, Supple wed her spouse of 50 years, Ric. A number of years ago, the two had attended Stanford University together and gone on a single date, which was purportedly cut short because Ric brought Rozene home late. They reconnected during a Stanford reunion following the deaths of their respective first marriages.
Friends and business associates praised her as a cornerstone of the Palm Springs community who generously supported causes ranging from animal welfare to the arts. In the mid-1970s, the couple went to the desert to operate an AM radio station she had acquired a decade earlier. Supple followed in the footsteps of her father, George A. Richards, who owned prominent radio stations in Los Angeles and Detroit, by acquiring and expanding a network of stations that came to dominate the Coachella Valley’s radio industry for decades.
In the 1990s, Supple played a crucial role in the early growth of the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Before the second festival in 1991, she joined the festival’s board and, along with her husband, served as board president, supervising the birth of the Palm Springs International ShortFest and the short-term corporate sponsorship of Nortel Networks. In the festival’s first decade, she donated more than $1 million. Radio talk show host Joey English stated, “She believed in radio.” She believed in bringing joy to others. In 1995, according to English, Supple had her own radio show on KPSI, and the two became good friends. English remarked that she was always astounded by Supple’s ability to mix being a talented and diligent businesswoman with being a dedicated wife, mother, and philanthropist.
Animal Samaritans, the Richards Emergency Trauma Center at Desert Regional Hospital, and the Richards Center for the Arts at Palm Springs High School were among the local organizations to which Supple contributed.
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