Winifred Rockefeller Emeny


Winifred Rockefeller Emeny

Winifred Rockefeller (21 December 1904, New York City - 15 March 1951, Deer Park, Greenwich, Connecticut) was a daughter of Percy Avery Rockefeller, one of the richest financiers and industrialists of his time. Percy was the son of William Rockefeller, who made a fortune from the Standard Oil Co. Winifred's maternal grandfather, James Jewett Stillman, was an immensely wealthy banker and President of the National City Bank.

Winifred was sent to Westover School and was a member of the Junior League. She was introduced to New York high society on 15 December 1923, at a Colony Club reception held by Mrs. William G. Rockefeller. She was accompanied by her close relative, Miss Elizabeth Stillman, daughter of Charles Chauncey Stillman. Winifred was never highly active in the social circles she was encouraged into, but she did not completely shy away from the limelight.

She was married at St. Bartholomew's Church on 15 December 1928 to Brooks Emeny. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Robert Norwood, and was attended by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Ezra Parmalee Prentice. Her sister, Faith, who had only recently made her appearance in high society, was maid of honour. Her sister, Gladys and Mary A. Bowman of Cleveland, Ohio were bridesmaids. The "New York Times" described her gown in detail: "She wore a gown of cream coloured satin made with a long semi-fitting bodice and a circular skirt with an uneven hem. The bodice was finished with a V neck and long mitten sleeves of satin. She wore a veil of point appliqué lace over another of tulle and which fell in graceful folds over her long court train of satin. The lace veil was arranged in cap fashion and caught on each side of the head with a cluster of orange blossoms. Instead of a bouquet the bride carried an ivory bound prayer book."

On 15 March 1951, Winifred committed suicide at her home in Deer Park, Greenwich, Connecticut. She had suffocated herself by leaving two cars running in the garage. As well as taking her own life, she took the lives of her two young daughters, who were found dead in one of the cars. The scene was discovered by a governess returning from New York. Winifred had been sent to a sanatorium in July 1950 for a nervous disorder.

References

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