Marie Prange Oetting, a longtime volunteer with Washington University in St. Louis and former chair of its Alumni Board of Governors, died Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, in St. Louis after a brief illness. She was 91.
Oetting graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Arts & Sciences in 1949 and almost immediately started volunteering for the university. With classmate John (Jack) Barsanti Jr., she co-chaired reunions for the university every five years starting with her fifth reunion in 1954 through the 55th in 2004. She also served as the university’s overall reunion chair for many years.
Oetting served as chair of the Alumni Board of Governors in 2001-02 and as alumni representative to the Board of Trustees from 2000-02. Her suggestion that university professors lead the alumni travel trips has become a hallmark of that program.
Oetting was a lifetime member of the university’s Women’s Society and served on many committees, including the University Planned Giving Committee, the Endowed Scholarship Committee, the Dean’s Advisory Board for Arts & Sciences and the Arts & Sciences Eliot Society Membership Committee.
She also was actively involved with the university as an undergraduate, serving as president of the Mortarboard Society, the Panhellenic Society and the Women’s Athletic Association, among other roles.
Oetting was married to her childhood friend and fellow graduate William J. Oetting, BSBA ’47, JD ’49, for 44 years until his death in 1994.
She and her husband sponsored an annual scholarship in Arts & Sciences. In 2001, she endowed the William Julius and Marie Prange Oetting Scholarship.
Oetting was a life member of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society. In 1994, she received a Distinguished Alumni Award at Founders Day, and in 2003, the Eliot Society’s Search Award. She also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Arts & Sciences in 2001 and the school’s Dean’s Medal in 2013.
Oetting was also an avid community volunteer, serving on the boards of the Charless Home assisted-living facility, Edgewood Children’s Home, the Missouri Historical Society, the American Youth Foundation and others. She also devoted time to the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.
Oetting is survived by two sons, David Prange Oetting (Mary) and James William Oetting, a 1976 alumnus; grandchildren Jonathan Oetting (Katie) and David Oetting Jr.; and a great-grandchild, Georgia.
A celebration of her life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 19, at Ladue Chapel, 9450 Clayton Road, in Ladue. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Washington University, the Danforth Plant Science Center, American Youth Foundation or Ladue Chapel.