Cover photo for Rose Potter's Obituary
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1930 Rose 2020

Rose Potter

April 4, 1930 — April 3, 2020

Washington, DC and Mitchellville, MD

Rose Ann Early Potter, a resident of Washington, D.C. and Mitchellville, MD, died on April 3, 2020 of natural causes at age 89.

Rose Ann was born on April 4, 1930 in Worcester, Massachusetts. She was the youngest in a family of four children and the only girl. A 1948 graduate of Classical High School, she went on to study English at Wellesley College, receiving her B.A. in 1952. Rose Ann then pursued a Master of Arts in Teaching at Yale University and after graduation, she taught English at Darien High School for several years. While at Yale, she met Orlando “Lan” Potter, a fellow grad student. They married August 20, 1956 and moved to Providence, RI, where Lan worked for the Providence Journal-Bulletin. The couple moved to Washington, DC in 1960.

Always an educator, Rose Ann professionally tutored for many years, privately and as a volunteer, specializing in students with learning issues. She volunteered at Covenant House in the 1960s. Later, she volunteered to teach students within the DC Public Schools and assisted with GED preparation at a local adult center. She also ran her own business tutoring students in her home for many years. She had a particular talent for explaining, teaching and sharing what she knew so well.

Rose Ann was the life of the party! She brought joy, comfort, and fun to all who knew her. She took a real interest in everyone she met. Her keen intellect, wry humor, wonderful enthusiasm, and curious mind were unparalleled. She was knowledgeable, capable, and generous. Rose Ann had an infectious laugh and somehow she made even the most mundane activities fun. Just thinking of her brings a smile.

An outstanding cook who never shied away from a challenging recipe, Rose Ann made marvelous food and threw lovely parties, including a yearly caroling party that started when they lived in Georgetown in 1960 and continued every year well into the 1980s. It is part of many peoples’ happy memories of the Christmas holiday. She also enjoyed gardening, knitting, reading poetry and every genre of books, keeping up with DC politics, vacationing in Maine and the Adirondacks, and spending time with her family and dear friends. Rose Ann and Lan were active members of many community groups, from church and the PTA to political and social groups. And she loved her husband Lan deeply. When he passed away in 2016, the two had been married for 60 years.

Rose Ann is survived by her daughter Ann Potter and granddaughter Charlotte, and son Matthew Potter, his wife Lynn, and grandchildren, Grace and Christopher, and relatives from Texas, New York and everywhere in between. A memorial service will be planned for a future date. Memorial contributions can be made in Rose Ann’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association at

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