Maria Osterhoudt was remembered Monday by her colleagues at the Tarpon Springs Campus as a talented, smart, loving person who would do anything for anyone.
“If she was here today she would be the one going around giving everyone a hug to try to make them feel better,” Provost Conferlete Carney said. “She had many, many friends here.”
Osterhoudt was killed Saturday night when she was shot in the head. Her husband Alan has been charged.
“Maria Osterhoudt was one of the most gifted people that I have ever known,” said Susan Cornett, Communications instructor at the Tarpon Springs Campus. “Any creative endeavor to which she put her mind and her hands exhibited her superior talent. She painted, using bold and vivid colors, including creating the ocean on a wall next to her pool by filling it with life-size tropical fish of every hue on a Caribbean blue background.
“She played classical and jazz piano with style and had even played professionally when she was younger. Her talents in web design have benefited both the college and her students over the years, and she was always on the cutting edge of the newest ways that technology could be used from basic power point to flash and animation. Most importantly, Maria knew no strangers and was always quick to flash an open and welcoming smile. “
Senior Security Supervisor Joe Berry was the recipient of many of those smiles. “She was really special,” he said. “She would always greet me with ‘how are you today officer Berry’?”
Math instructor Aurania Z. Stephanides was another close colleague who has fond memories.
“Employees can be replaced, but people can’t. Here at SPC, we are not just employees. We are skilled, talented, and creative people, who connect to each other. Maria Osterhoudt was one such person. Professor O was an O-utstanding professor and human being, who will be missed because of who she was as an educator and as a person.”
Funeral services for Osterhoudt will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 10 at Mt. Olive AME Church, 600 Jones Street in Clearwater. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Creal Funeral Home, 1940 7th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, 896-2602.
Her sister provided the following address for cards and condolences:
Professor Maria Osterhoudt
C/O Sylvia Clark
8121 Nightingale Road
Brooksville, FL 34613