Obituary for Anne Sanquini

Anne Sanquini, beloved wife, daughter, sister, aunt, colleague and friend passed away peacefully at her home in Saratoga, California on November 1, 2020 following a two and a half year courageous battle with cancer.

Anne was born on December 11, 1952, in Minnesota, the third child of Herbert (Hippy) and Dolores Wagner.

In addition to her mother, Anne is survived by her husband, Richard, and siblings Mary, Joseph, James, Robert, Anthony, William and Gerald. Her father, and brothers, Thomas and John preceded her in death.

Anne was a true “renaissance woman.” Her talents were numerous: gifted singer, musician, marketing and communications genius, successful high tech executive, talented gardener and florist, geological scientist, and avid hiker.

The many chapters of Anne’s life were characterized by a love of adventure and discovery. While still in college, working toward a B.A. in Journalism and Advertising at the University of Minnesota, she won a prestigious internship with the 3M Company, St. Paul, MN, where she became a marketing coordinator. She was shortly recruited from 3M to Silicon Valley, where she worked in high tech for 30 years. In an era when there were few female role models in the industry, she quickly became one.

Anne joined Syntex Medical Systems in Palo Alto, CA to coordinate their marketing and sales programs. Concurrent with additional studies in computer science and electrical engineering, Anne became a product-marketing engineer at National Semiconductor (now Texas Instruments) where she was progressively promoted with increased marketing responsibility for microprocessors, data networking and telecommunications devices. Her last position at National Semiconductor was as corporate marketing vice president where she led global marketing and positioning programs and drove the early adoption of online information systems for customer engineers, which won an industry award.

Anne was recruited to join Sun Microsystems as corporate vice president of marketing for SunSoft where she led the development of strategy and marketing programs for the software group. Anne’s last occupation in the technology industry was as vice president and general manager for Mentor Graphics Corporation, where she was a company officer and headed up a $200 million software business with global responsibility for product development and marketing.

Anne and her husband Richard were avid hikers, and traveled the world with extended family members. During this time, Anne became curious about the stunning geography and geology of the earth. She returned to school after turning 50 and earned a M.S. Geology, San Jose State University and a PhD Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University.

She pursued a dissertation of mixed dimensions, including social sciences from her Journalism/Advertising background. Anne wrote and produced a film designated to motivate community members to upgrade their schools in earthquake-prone Nepal. She developed a randomized controlled trial to test its effectiveness, which she implemented in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Anne was finishing up her research in Nepal when the magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck in 2015. Amid the destruction, all of the schools that had been retrofitted or rebuilt to be earthquake-resistant, survived.

Following graduation from Stanford University, Anne joined GeoHazards International, a nonprofit organization that works with people in developing countries to make them safer from natural hazards. At the time of her cancer diagnosis, Anne was serving on the board of GeoHazards International and also on the board of Acterra, an environmental nonprofit. She also actively served as a uniformed volunteer for Henry Coe State Park.

Dr. Sanquini is the author or co-author of scientific papers on paleoseismic studies and methods to accelerate the mitigation of natural hazard risk and improve community resilience.

To colleagues and friends, Anne was creative, hard- working, compassionate, loyal, funny at times and just plain smart.

All the members of her family will sadly miss her. Despite extensive professional and academic commitments, she was extraordinarily generous with her time and support, making many trips to Minnesota and New York for holidays, graduations, and weddings. Anne was especially devoted to her nieces and nephews, as well as her husband Richard’s children and grandchildren, and had an endearing relationship with each one.

If you wish, a donation may be made in her memory to or to

In keeping with COVID-19 guidelines, funeral attendance, in Minnesota, will be limited.

Funeral Arrangements through the Wagner Funeral Home Jordan.