Coleen Tracey loved music
WGUC events planner remembered as 'an angel'
By Maggie Downs, Enquirer staff writer
Reprinted from The Cincinnati Enquirer, Monday, January 24, 2005
Coleen Tracey was a carnivore. Her husband, Adam Fischer, was a vegetarian.
"But she would go to great lengths to make me something like vegetarian lasagna," he said. "The kind of lasagna that would take all day."
That's the kind of person she was - selfless.
Mrs. Tracey, 34, died Friday from an aneurysm. She was in Athens County with her husband, spending the weekend on his family's property.
Mrs. Tracey's big heart carried over into her work and philanthropy. She threw herself into her jobs at Tender Mercies, Planned Parenthood, Stonewall Cincinnati and the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations. She later worked at City Hall for then-Councilman Tyrone Yates.
Most recently, she was media relations specialist for classical public radio station WGUC-FM. She planned special events for the station, such as the Great Miami Arts Jam, a visual and performing arts showcase.
"She really was the heart of our operation," said Rich Eiswerth, WGUC general manager.
Her supervisor, Chris Phelps, said Mrs. Tracey had "passion and enthusiasm for everything she worked on.
"She was very much a guardian of WGUC and its place in the community," said Phelps. "She was definitely the person you would want in your corner."
Longtime friend Deborah Rambo described her as a "creature of light" - someone who could light up a room the second she entered it.
"She was, is, and always will be an angel," said Rambo. "And she just couldn't stay here with us any longer."
Mrs. Tracey met her husband at the Kentucky Bluegrass Festival in 1997. Music remained a passion for the couple throughout their romance. They would stay up late with friends, playing Mrs. Tracey's favorites - among them Gillian Welch, Alison Krauss, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan.
"Everybody loved to hear her sing," Fischer said. "They would stay up for it."
Mrs. Tracey loved cooking, reading the newspaper and planning parties for her friends. She also filled their house with plants and always left the lights on to help them grow, even when her husband begged her to turn them off.
"She would protest, 'But the plants!' " he said.
The couple lived in Northside with their pets, cat Sophie and dog Stella.
"And the dog was named that so she could go out on the porch and yell 'Stella!' " said Fischer, noting his wife's trademark humor.
Other survivors include her father and stepmother, Gerald and Maureen, and two sisters, Megan and Kathleen.
Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Tuesday at Jon Deitloff Funeral Centre, 4389 Spring Grove Ave. There will be no funeral service.
"She didn't want us to sit around and cry and be depressed," Fischer said. "She wanted us to play music and remember her."
© 2005, The Cincinnati Enquirer. Reprinted with permission.