Brittinger Simunovic OttersgardAugust 16, 1953 ~ May 7, 2017 (age 63)
Brittinger Simunovic Ottersgard passed away on Sunday evening May 7th at El Camino Hospital after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. While the disease ultimately claimed her life, Britta’s brave fight gave her extra time to spend with her family and friends whom she cherished.
Britta was born in Ostersund, Sweden to Evelyn (Andersson) and Sigvard Ottersgard and raised in the family’s rambling country home, which she later captured in water color in one of her loveliest paintings, “Papa’s House.” Britta graduated from Uppsala University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and joined IBM Sweden in 1984 as a systems engineer and later became product manager for the Nordic region. Britta came to California in the late 1980’s and held a number of management and development positions at IBM Silicon Valley Lab in San Jose.
Britta married noted Croatian artist Miho Simunovic in 1993 and together they created their best work, their loving son Michael who enriched their lives with music and sports. A tuba player in the Valley Christian Marching Band and an avid golfer, Michael fulfilled his parents’ dream of seeing him graduate from Notre Dame de Namur University the day before his mom passed away. A special thanks from the family is expressed to Nandini Shankar, Veronica Eldredge, and Susan Fisher for making it possible through FaceTime for Britta to see the ceremony from her home. This meant the world to her and gave her much happiness in her last hours.
Britta enjoyed traveling to Hawaii, Yosemite and Lake Tahoe and spending summers with family in Sweden and Croatia. Highlights of her life were seeing her son Michael perform with the Valley Christian Marching Band in Beijing, China, and in the Rose Parade in Pasadena.
A superb cook, Britta shared her Swedish specialties and jams made from her garden of fruits with one and all, and made tasty meals for the Valley Christian Marching Band on the road and at home. An avid fan of the Rolling Stones and Leonard Cohen, she also loved the classical works of Handel and Vivaldi.
Britta was a dedicated watercolor artist, exhibiting her work at the Aegis Gallery in Saratoga, the Frame Company and Gallery in Los Gatos, the Swedish Women’s Education Association (SWEA) in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and the Saratoga Rotary Art Show, among many other venues.
Britta is predeceased by her parents Evelyn and Sigvard, and her nephew Markus Brorsson. She is survived by her husband Miho and son Michael, her sister Ann-Kristin Ottersgard Brorsson, her niece Marika Brorsson, and her cousin Hans Jonsson. Many close friends will remember her forever, including the Eldredge family, the Shankar family, the Webb family, Juliana and Anthony Ramsinh , Nancy Tkalcevic, Susan Fisher, Meta Wallin, and Nina and Tony Jurjevich. Britta filled our homes with art, our tables with Swedish treats, and our hearts with love – we will miss her and the warmth she brought to our lives.
The family extends special thanks to Dr. Shane Dormady and the cancer team at El Camino Hospital for their care and compassion during Britta’s long illness and to Hospice of the Valley for their gentle end-of-life care. A private memorial service will be held. In lieu of flowers, Britta requested that friends consider donations to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Foundation, 400 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301, or to the Swedish Church, 2454 Hyde Street, San Francisco, CA 94109.