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03/02/92

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558

Kimball Hall resident Amy Potter, 19, dies after fall

STANFORD -- Stanford University sophomore Amy Potter died Sunday, March 1, at Stanford Medical Center, one week after fracturing her skull in a fall at a local supermarket. She was 19.

Since childhood, Potter's muscles had been progressively weakened by dermatomyositis, a rare disorder in which the muscles and skin become inflamed and stiff, making it difficult to walk.

After the fall, she spent almost a week at the Medical Center, where she was visited by family and Stanford friends. She appeared to be improving when she developed a fatal blood clot.

"Amy was probably the embodiment of the biggest paradox I ever knew," said Angela Rickford, her resident fellow in Kimball Hall. "She was an incredibly strong, poised, articulate, dignified woman in a very tiny, brittle, failing body.

"She was blessed with the ability to touch the lives of everybody who came in contact with her. Her death has really devastated the dorm."

A native of Westport, Conn., Potter lived in Twain House at Stern Hall as a freshman and served on the dorm government. She also helped to coordinate brunches for the university's Student-Alumni Action Network, served as an advising associate and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.

Students who gathered at Kimball on Sunday night recalled her as a person of tireless good cheer, who took a personal interest in everyone around her.

"Amy had her weak times, but she kept them hidden," said her roommate, sophomore Tania Butkovic. "She always was a figure of strength to everyone. Everyone liked her and wanted to be her friend. Living with her taught me a lot."

Students in Kimball Hall are planning a garden near the dorm's dining room, to be dedicated in Potter's memory.

Potter is survived by her parents, Ken and Marion Potter of Westport, Conn., and two sisters, Nancy and Trudy. Funeral services will be held in Connecticut later this week. A campus memorial service is planned within the next two weeks.

-tj-

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