2013-06-13 / Obituaries

Anne Wotherspoon Ross

Anne Wotherspoon Ross,

90, of Newport, passed away on June 9, 2013, after a brief illness. Born Sept. 18, 1922, in Washington, D.C., Anne was a ninth-generation Washingtonian and the daughter of the late Margaret Larner Wotherspoon and Rear Adm. Alexander Somerville Wotherspoon of Jamestown, and granddaughter of John B. Larner, president of Washington Loan and Trust Company, and of Gen. William Wallace Wotherspoon, U.S. Army chief of staff. She was the sister of the late Margaret Wotherspoon Miller of Washington, D.C., and Jamestown, and of William Wallace Wotherspoon of Santa Fe, N.M.

An alumna of the Holton Arms School in Washington, Anne graduated from Vassar College, class of 1945, majoring in biochemistry. In 1946, she married Hugh Ogburn (Princeton, class of 1945) and together they had two children: Margaret, also known as Peeky, and Scott. The family settled in Springfield and Gladwyne, Penn., where Anne developed a lifelong interest in art and education. She was a founding member of the Children’s Museum of Philadelphia, one of the first museums of its kind in the country. The family spent summers in Mifflintown, Penn., and Jamestown.

Following a move to Greenwich, Conn., in 1962, Anne became an active member of the Junior League and Vassar Club, and later taught art in the Greenwich public school system. An avid tennis player, she played competitively until the age of 82. A movie enthusiast, she won a part as an extra in the 1974 production of “The Great Gatsby,” starring Mia Farrow and Robert Redford.

Following a divorce from Mr. Ogburn in 1972, she married William Ogden Ross and settled in New Haven, Conn., where she dedicated much of her time to local art museums, serving for many years as a docent at the Yale University Art Gallery and as a board member of the Yale Center for British Art as head of the friends committee. In 1976, Anne and Oggie, who was chair of the New Haven Bicentennial Commission, were on hand to greet Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip during their tour of the former British colonies for the U.S. bicentennial celebration.

In 1980, the couple moved to Newport where they became active members of the community. Anne’s passion for art led her to the Newport Art Museum, serving as a board member for a number of years. Longtime antique enthusiasts, Anne and Oggie spearheaded the establishment of the Griffon Shop, a popular art and antiques consignment shop at the Newport Art Museum. In more recent years, she served as a volunteer at the Redwood Library.

Anne is survived by her daughter, Margaret Mathews Berenson, and son-in-law Richard Berenson of New York City; a son, Scott Alexander Ogburn, of Pennsburg, Penn.; a grandson, Alexander Scott Mathews, a great-grandson, Mason William Mathews, and a granddaughter-in-law, Kym Nelson Mathews, all of Costa Mesa, Calif.; and by her beloved extended family by marriage, Donald and Susan Ross of Newport, Philip and Amy Ross of North Haven, Stuart and Wendy Ross of Katonah, N.Y., and seven Ross grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She will be interred in a private ceremony next to her husband Oggie at Cedar Cemetery in Jamestown. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on July 20 at Trinity Church in Newport. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her memory to Vassar College.

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