Anne Otterson touches many people’s lives through kindness, caring … cooking

Anne Otterson

Anne Otterson was born in Minnesota, graduated from the College of St. Catherine in St Paul, and was a Fullbright scholar in Germany. She worked as a chemist for Chevron Research in San Francisco where she met her late husband Bill Otterson.

Otterson is a 40-year resident of La Jolla, and served as the grand marshal of the 2009 La Jolla Christmas Parade. The honor was given to her, in part, for her role with Responsibility, a nonprofit that provides education and medical aid to the poorest street children of Tijuana. To date, the organization has served some 3,500 destitute children.

In addition to her work on the UCSD Foundation, Otterson has served on the Board of
Directors of the Friends of the Library, she is member emeritus of the Moores UCSD Cancer
Center Board, and serves on the Advisory Council of The Rady School of Management, another of her husband’s legacies.

Otterson is a topnotch cook who for many years taught classes as director of the Perfect Pan School of Cooking on Goldfinch Street in Mission Hills. She turned that talent into gold for UCSD Cancer Center by founding the annual Celebrities Cook gala.
Otterson is active with the Carmen Pampa Foundation in Bolivia, and also benefitting from her involvement is Project Concern’s International Relief, The Monarch School, La Jolla Music Society, San Diego Opera, San Diego Museum of Art and College of St. Catherine.

What brought you to La Jolla?
My late husband, Bill, was asked to turnaround a San Diego hi-tech company that was in financial difficulties. When we came to La Jolla, we immediately fell in love with its charm.

What makes this area special to you?
Certainly its beauty and climate made La Jolla attractive … at that time, La Jolla had a nostalgic air of Europe, which I liked. It also had a diversity of people who the university was recruiting to the area.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?
I would use my historical architecture background to prevent the loss of character the village had, and I don’t mean saving humble shacks.

Who or what inspires you?
People. Most people have a personal approach to life, in a variety of ways, most inspiring and amazing. Those who do not let fear interfere in their lives and risk change, perhaps, appeal to me most.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
That is a difficult question, for one thinks of great minds of the past. But as I reflect on the question, I think that I would arrange a fascinating dinner party with local San Diegans and La Jollans. Such persons as Deborah Sekeley, who reaches across the border in her eleemosynary efforts and supports changes in lives and attitudes on both sides; Lucy Kilea, who achieved remarkable accomplishments in her life, one being the establishment of the International Community Foundation; Abby Silverman, a brilliant lawyer and friend, who works pro bono on many women’s issues and serves on several community boards involved with the arts, health, social issues and the San Diego Library; Dr. Constance Carroll, a scholar in Latin and Greek, who is chancellor of 200,000 students in the community colleges; Mary Walshok, for stirring UCSD Extension to have a world-wide influence, and who is a cofounder of CONNECT; Dick Atkinson another CONNECT cofounder who had the vision to make UCSD one of the major research universities of the world; Nobel Laureate Dr. Chen, a distinguished researcher at UCSD engaged in search for the cure for cancer; and Malin Burnham, a civic leader in many areas, including great support for the Burnham-Sandford Institute.

Tell us about what you are currently reading.
Titles of novels, I rarely remember, but I did just read “Ransom,” a fictionalized story of King Priam’s attempt to retrieve the body of his son, Hector, written by an Australian author I like very much, David Malouf. I also just read Laurence Bergreen’s “Marco Polo,” a scholarly investigation of the various manuscripts of Marco Polo’s travels, including those where he is mentioned in court records of the Kublai Khan. I am now reading about another Italian in 17th century China, Matteo Ricci, and the establishment of Jesuit missions that existed for over a century, 300 years after Marco Polo.

What is your most-prized possession?
Of course what I treasure most are my three children and six grandchildren!

What do you do for fun?
As my friends know, I love to cook, read cookbooks, and, of course, break bread and drink good wine with my friends!

Please describe your greatest accomplishment.
My greatest accomplishment would be raising three reasonable, responsible and delightful children. John, the oldest, is a partner of SVB Capital, the founder the UCSD Cancer Center Luau, and is involved with both the Preuss School as well as Project Concern International. Eric, my other son, is vice-president of business development for Cooley, and is active on the Board of the French School and on the Board of The CONNECT Foundation. My daughter, Helen, a ceramic sculptor, is director of the ceramics department at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach. She gives workshops and exhibits her work throughout the country.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?
Laugh at yourself, be curious and care about others, and listen to the world about you — whether is it the babbling brook, the melodious sounds of a flute, or the plaintiff cry of oppressed people.

Related posts:

  1. Melinda Underkofler welcomes newcomers as the club’s president
  2. Barb Mulligan lends her energies to causes that support families
  3. Life’s lessons keep Mariola Stojic content and moving forward
  4. Her belief in service leads Lisa Lindgren to Soroptimist International
  5. Michael S. Rosenberg guides the Playhouse to higher heights

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=5279

Posted by Susan DeMaggio on Nov 3, 2010. Filed under 10 Questions, Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Man pleads guilty in fatal Del Mar hit-and-run case April 17, 2014
    A man who drove drunk and struck a marine biologist in a crosswalk in Del Mar, then fled the scene, pleaded guilty April 16 to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and a hit-and-run allegation. Christopher ``Chip’’ Stockmeyer, 41, faces between nine and 15 years in prison when he is sentenced June 20 for the March 28 death of Rachel Morrison. […]
  • Del Mar Powerhouse 10U Champions April 17, 2014
    The Del Mar Powerhouse 10U team played two pool play games and two elimination games to go undefeated in the Triple Crown Sports San Diego Open and win the Division 1 Championship. The boys showed great determination and fight to come away victorious in elimination play and battle for the win with a one-run margin of victory for both semi-final and champions […]
  • Canyon Crest girls crack top three at Arcadia, set new school record April 17, 2014
    Several young women runners from Carmel Valley high schools raced well in the Arcadia Invitational on April 11-12 in Los Angeles. Arcadia is considered to be one of the most competitive high school track and field meets in the country, drawing both national and international athletes to compete. […]