Pamela Westfall Bochte of Mill Valley
Photo by Barbara Ries
Pamela Westfall Bochte will be busy this Mother’s Day. She’ll be celebrating stepdaughter Captain Dee Bochte’s safe return from Afghanistan, as well as welcoming visitors to WildCare’s Mother’s Day open house, where they will have a chance to see the care and feeding of orphaned baby animal patients. You may have seen Bochte at various fundraisers throughout Marin (she’s been involved with the California Academy of Sciences, the Marine Mammal Center and NPR’s New Voices Radio), but her passion is fostering a healthier relationship between people and the natural world. She says that people want to do the right thing when it comes to wild animals, but often they don’t know what that is. As the director of development at WildCare she helps raise the funds to support the group’s many programs, including a wild animal hospital, the Wildlife Hotline and nature education programs that reach over 40,000 children and adults each year.
What are you wearing?
A vintage dress from the ’40s, something I would wear to the WildCare Mother’s Day Open House or lunch with a donor. The antique amethyst pin and deco bracelet are gifts from my mother and the Indonesian silk wrap is from a boutique in Sausalito. My earrings are from the Mill Valley Arts Festival, and the shoes are Ann Taylor Loft.
Who are your fashion influences?
My friend Patricia Ziegler—she has a great sense of style—and my mother, who loves beauty in all its forms. I’m a big fan of Armani as well, from suits to ball gowns.
Where do you love to shop in Marin?
I like Millie K in Mill Valley; the owner always has something exuberant to recommend. If I’m pressed for time, Cindy Sandner at Nordstrom; she’s always helpful, no matter what your budget.
What is always in your bag/pockets?
A lip gloss by Burt’s Bees and WildCare’s Living with Wildlife hotline number (415.456.SAVE) because it seems that I’m always rescuing something; last time it was a cormorant from Stinson Beach! Oh, and a blank journal for quick notes for my novel.
What is your best cheapo secret?
I like Diamonds in the Rough, a consignment store in Mill Valley; she has lovely, fun and affordable items.
What’s your fashion pet peeve?
I think there’s room for style and eccentricity, and that we do well to appreciate other people’s quirkiness—it’s good practice for citizens in a democracy.
What is your view of Marin style?
Sometimes I think women are a bit timid to really dress beautifully, to enhance their own personal beauty and expression, like it’s not PC or something. The universe worked hard to create all this beauty and diversity—we would do well to express it!
Where do you love to eat in Marin?
My favorite spot is at home with my husband, Bruce; he’s an amazing cook. When we go out, we like Sushi Ran in Sausalito, or the Olema Farmhouse Inn after a hike at the National Seashore. I host a lot of donor lunches and the Panama Hotel in San Rafael and Insalata’s in San Anselmo are great places for lunch—not too noisy, and good vegetarian choices.
How do you spend your weekends?
Writing! Or hiking in the Headlands, doing yoga, reading an inspiring book.
Where do you go to pamper yourself?
To the sea; horizons are so healing. I also love Evo Spa and couldn’t do without my acupuncturist, Dr. Marty Rossman; he works wonders for my health.
What was the last book you read and why?
The Great Work by Thomas Berry. He’s a brilliant thinker regarding how we humans can reinvent ourselves and live in harmony with the life support systems of the planet.
If your life were a movie, what would be your theme song?
I truly love the “Flying Theme” from E.T., and any horn concerto. Music that celebrates the wonder of life.