1985-86 Volunteer Extraordinaire


Mrs. Amanda Ochse


Every year the Junior League is proud to honor a sustainer as its Volunteer Extraordinaire.  She exemplifies the purpose of the League-voluntarism, and has translated her volunteer training and education into community commitment and involvement.  This year it is a privilege to recognize Amanda Ochse as our Volunteer Extraordinaire 1986.

At the age of 19, Amanda joined the SAJL, and her first placement was waitressing at the tearoom.  During her years as waitress, World War II broke out, and she saw that her ability to work with people could be utilized and found more volunteer work with the Children’s Free Clinic, Red Cross, British Relief, and the Aircraft Warning Service.  She served as Membership Chair and Tearoom Chair.  While she was Chair of the Future Policies Committee, the first manual on job descriptions and policies was written.  Other League placements included Corresponding Secretary, Placement Chair, and Treasurer.  Amanda became one of the youngest Presidents at the age of 34.  During her presidency, the Junior League was named the outstanding organization in San Antonio by the President’s Council.

As a new sustainer, Amanda saw the community around her needing experienced and willing volunteers and had “always felt that as Americans, it was our duty to do more than vote and pay taxes.” She also felt that “if we’re to continue to live in a free society, we needed to assume our share of the responsibilities.”

Thus, in the 1950’s, Amanda became interested in politics and in 1973 was the first woman to be elected to the Terrell Hills City Council.  She served three consecutive terms.  One of her most memorable experiences was in 1976 when Mayor Lila Cockrell asked here to be Chair of the State Dinner given by the City of San Antonio honoring President Echeverria of Mexico.  Other community involvements include two terms as President of The Battle of Flowers Association, President of the Charity Ball, St. Mark’s Altar Guild (3 terms), The Fiesta San Antonio Commission during the Bi-Centennial, Mistress of the Robes for the 1961 Court of the Americas Coronation, and two terms on the Bexar County Historical Survey Commission.  In 1980, she was on the Steering Committee for the Texas War on Drugs Education Seminar in San Antonio.

When Amanda’s husband was appointed Civilian Aide for Texas by The Secretary of the Army, she became involved with a whole new aspect of the community.  She was invited by the Texas Air National Guard to participate in Operation Understanding in 1973.  In 1977, she served as President of the Military Civilian Club.

Her views on voluntarism haven’t changed at all through the years, and she is currently on the Board of the Association of the U.S. Army and an associate member of the San Antonio-Air Force Community Council.  She is on the Advisory Council of Sunshine Cottage, the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of American, Alamo Area Council, and the Zoning-Planning Board of Terrell Hills.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Amanda moved to San Antonio when she was eight and grew up on King William Street.  When asked what she enjoys most, she answers without hesitation, “my family,” with five grandchildren being her primary concern now.  She loves to be a substitute carpooler.  “It’s the best way to get to know your grandchildren’s friends!”

In her spare time, Amanda enjoys a game of bridge, loves to travel, and is currently building a garden home on Auburn.

Amanda is truly a woman to admire.  She has applied the knowledge and experience, gained from her Junior League years, to unselfish community work.  Thank you, Amanda, for being such an inspiration, and congratulations on being our Volunteer Extraordinaire 1986!