Andrew Boettcher, a longtime member of the UCSF community, died recently in his home in San Francisco. He was 51.
A principal designer in the UCSF Public Affairs office for more than two decades, Boettcher designed numerous publications, including the UCSF School of Nursing’s premier magazine, the Science of Caring, now in its 22nd volume.
“Andrew did all of the design work for the School of Nursing’s many publications, most principally our Science of Caring magazine, for many years,” says Zina Mirsky, associate dean of the School of Nursing. “He was our first selection, always, for any of our work—his vision, his ability to brilliantly translate our science into art and design, and his steady good nature and humor made him our choice. Our last phone call was so positive and upbeat, and that will keep me smiling at his memory.”
Boettcher also designed many other print and electronic publications for campus clients as part of the Public Affairs recharge unit, which was disbanded in 2009.
Those who worked with Boettcher remember him as a creative artist with a great sense of humor and boyish giggle. He was easy going, patient and accommodating with his colleagues, spending time to teach tricks of his profession, such as using Photoshop, or lending a helping hand to co-workers for any number of reasons.
Susan Merrell, a staff photographer who worked with Boettcher for nine years in Public Affairs, sums him up this way: “Andrew was a kind, generous, funny and talented man, a truly lovely person.”
“Andrew was a really generous soul. He always would take the time to help you with something his designer skills, or artist’s eye or just plain practical skills, could provide,” says Wallace Ravven, a former and now freelance writer for Public Affairs.
Victoria Magbilang, a former staff designer who worked with Boettcher for six years, describes him like this: “Andrew was always very helpful. He was the first person I’d go to if I needed assistance doing something using Photoshop, lifting something heavy, or even if I just wanted advice on the best driving route. I saw him as sort of a big brother, someone I could count on to be there when I needed him.”
Outside of UCSF, Boettcher was an avid sailor and enjoyed competing in races in the San Francisco Bay. He was a longtime member of the Bay View Boat Club, a friendly and familiar place where everyone probably knew his name and where he tossed back a few with his many friends, including his old buddy Daniel Rowe, a retired copy editor of Public Affairs.
A world traveler and an avid scuba diver, Boettcher loved good music and he loved to dance. He was an excellent cook and a talented photographer. He not only produced art for a living, he also produced art for his own pleasure, says his sister Nora Boettcher.
Boettcher earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1982 from the Rhode Island School of Design, where he studied graphic design, photography and illustration and served as yearbook editor.
Born in Albuquerque, NM, Boettcher lived in Littleton, CO, Cupertino, CA, Owensville, MO and North Stonington, CT, where he graduated from Wheeler High School in 1977.
The sixth born of seven children, Boettcher is survived by his brothers Charles Boettcher (Spokane, WA), James Boettcher (Eugene, OR) and Joseph Boettcher (Columbia, MO) and his sisters Mary Boettcher (El Cerrito, CA), Joanna Boettcher, (Sacramento, CA), Monica Boettcher (Santa Rosa, CA) and Nora Boettcher (San Jose, CA).
A memorial gathering for friends and former colleagues to celebrate his life will be scheduled at a date yet to be determined.
Photo by Susan Merrell