Today, we celebrate the life of Anne Otterson, a celebrated community leader, author, chef extraordinaire, philanthropist, devoted mother of three, grandmother of six, and a beloved friend of PCI.
A Fulbright scholar, Anne used her considerable intellect and sharp wit to stand up for what she believed in, and as one of the Grande Dames of San Diego philanthropy, her causes were many and varied. For almost two decades, Anne was a tireless advocate for PCI and our efforts to improve the lives of children and families around the world. Whether serving as Chair of our Board of Directors, Chair of the Hands Across Borders gala, PCI ambassador to the community-at-large, or hosting countless events in her home, Anne’s devotion to PCI and her passion to make the world a better place was unparalleled.
Packing a suitcase and her indomitable spirit, Anne traveled to more than half a dozen countries to see PCI’s work in the field, encouraging our staff, volunteers, and the communities we serve all along the way. After visiting PCI in India, Anne said, “The faces of the children, women and families will be forever etched in my mind…PCI is approaching global poverty in just the right way: working with communities to unleash their powers.”
Anne lived her life with great curiosity, a wicked sense of humor and a profound appreciation for the intellectual and spiritual wealth one gains from opening one’s heart and mind to different cultures. In 2014, she was interviewed as part of “My Sister’s Voice,” an exhibition showcasing the courage, wisdom and talents of women in our society. Her words express her core belief that ultimately, it is what we do with our hearts that has deep and lasting impact on the world.
The experiences I’ve had made me realize more and more that we’re all part of this global world, and I had to find my place. Life has taught me that people are the most important thing—people and relationships, how we see them, how we have compassion for them . . . We don’t live individual independent lives, but rather we interact always with people, and we affect others with our actions and our words.
Thank you, Anne, for showing us all how the strength of one woman can change the world!