In my French class, we were taught the "Dr. and Mrs. Vandertramp" mnemonic to learn the main verbs that use être as an auxiliary verb in the passé composé in most cases. Looking at the results from a web search, this seems like a commonly used device for English speakers learning French. How long this mnemonic been used and who invented it?
The oldest reference search engines are able to find seems to be this 1984 document :
native French speaking people are generally unaware of this mnemonic
passer is sometimes included in more recent versions of this list (either as Mrs. P. Vandertramp or Mrs Vandertrampp), although j'ai passé is at least as frequent as je suis passé. There are rules to decide which auxiliary verb to use.