Ann Rehme, Sever academic adviser, 60

Ann Behan Rehme, academic adviser at the Henry Edwin Sever Institute in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, died Dec. 30, 2011, of pancreatic cancer. She was 60.


She had worked at Washington University in St. Louis for more than 25 years, most of that time as an adviser at the Sever Institute.

Steve W. Bannes, program director of graduate studies in construction management at the Sever Institute, says that the Sever Institute programs serve working professionals whose lives sometimes throw obstacles in the way of their educational plans.

“No matter what the problem, Ann always took the time to listen to students and to do whatever she could to help them,” Bannes says.

“She was a deeply authentic person who represented herself and our programs with a great deal of character and integrity. You can teach someone the business of being an adviser, but you can’t teach someone how to care,” Bannes says.

One of Rehme’s advisees was Stephen P. Thibodeaux, a quality engineer at the Boeing Co.

Thibodeaux says he had reservations about attending WUSTL until he connected with Rehme. Rehme was “one of the nicest advisers I’ve ever had the pleasure to deal with,” Thibodeaux wrote to the school after hearing of Rehme’s passing.

“When I think of my enrollment in Washington University, I think of her pleasant personality and the encouragement I garnered from such a kind and dedicated person.”

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education from St. Louis University.

Born and raised in Clayton, Mo., Ann is survived by her husband, Joel F. Achtenberg of Webster Groves, Mo.; and her mother, Virginia Behan Rehme, of St. Louis. Her father, Roy, Sr., died in 1985.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorials be sent to the Humane Society of Missouri, 1201 Macklind Ave., St. Louis, Mo., 63110.