Obituary: Stephanie Woehrmann loved family, the arts

Stephanie Woehrmann

Graphic designer and musician Stephanie Woehrmann, 45, died last week after a week-long hospitalization. A passionate advocate for the arts, she was working as a production manager and section editor at the Hollister Free Lance while studying music at San Jose State University.
Woehrmann, a Hollister resident, graduated from Gilroy High School in 1988 and had just celebrated her 25th anniversary with husband Oliver, with whom she had two children, Hannah, 19, and Ethan, 15.
She began working for Metro Newspapers, owner of the Free Lance, in 1993 as the principal editorial designer of its weekly newspapers in Cupertino and Sunnyvale and spent 15 years with the community newspaper group, including serving as its webmaster.
In 2006, she began exploring musical theater, scoring productions at El Teatro Campesino. She also left her mark at the Gilroy Center for the Arts as its administrator in 2010 and 2011, where she explored homelessness through a series of videos.
She was asked to return to the newspapers as Metro prepared to purchase the Free Lance. Woehrmann was excited about the opportunity to revitalize the newspapers in her two hometowns, supervising the redesigns of the publications and the modernization of their publishing systems while serving informally as a strategic advisor to the company’s CEO.
Noted publication designer Roger Black, who worked with Woehrmann on the redesigns, called her “a great person, a fine designer and a real collaborator.”
Woehrmann began her musical training at the age of six. She studied classical piano, classical voice, jazz bass and jazz vocals. She began exploring visual art at age 12 and studied art until her early 20s. She worked as fine art photo technician at the Calypso Color Labs in Santa Clara in the early 1990s.
Her collaborations with Kinan Valdez at El Teatro Campesino include Basta Basura (2006), Watt-a-Waste (2008), The Fascinatrix (2007) and Sam Burguesa and the Pixie Chicks (2009). In 2010 she created an all-female visual and performance art piece called Sisters, Spirit and Songs, writing original music and dialogue, designing the lighting and photographic set projections. She donated all money collected at the door to the theater.
Woehrmann loved her family, her work and the South Valley communities, and she brought passion and energy to everything she embraced. Social media pages have been filled with tributes from shocked friends as news of her premature passing spread.
For anyone who wished to honor her memory, the family suggests a donation to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rather than sending flowers.

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