December 05, 2016

St. Kate's community mourns loss of Anne Schmidt Otterson '55, trustee emerita

Anne Schmidt Otterson '55 served as a St. Catherine trustee for 19 years.

Anne Schmidt Otterson, alumna, trustee emerita and philanthropist, died November 23. She was 83.

Anne was a trustee emerita, having served on the St. Catherine board of trustees from 1989–1998 and 2002–2012. She, along with her late husband William, were thoughtful and generous donors to St. Kate's, providing leadership support for the Women in Mind campaign.

An alumna of St. Kate's, Anne received a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1955. She went on to earn a master's in architecture and history from the University of California-San Diego. She was also a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Tübingen in Germany. She worked as a chemist for Chevron Research in San Francisco, where she met and married Bill.

Anne was a community leader in a broad range of social and cultural causes. Whenever Anne became involved, she did so creatively, wholeheartedly, and effectively. She served on numerous boards including the LaJolla Music Society, San Diego Opera, San Diego Museum of Art, University of California-San Diego and Project Concern International.

In a media interview, Anne once said that her philosophy on life was to, “Laugh at yourself, be curious and care about others, and listen to the world about you—whether it is the babbling brook, the melodious sounds of a flute or the plaintive cry of oppressed people.”

She was preceded in death by husband William Otterson. Anne is survived by daughter, Helen, sons Eric (Benedicte) and John (Gabriele) as well as six grandchildren. A celebration of her life was held on December 1 in San Diego.