In memoriam - Elsbeth Ruth (Betsy) Stauss
Betsy Stauss passed away December 28, 2017, surrounded by her family, and her great friend. Soft-spoken, but confident and determined, she was a highly competent woman of great faith. She lived every day of her life filled with great love for God, her family, her friends, and others. Her positive approach to life was infectious - it made you feel good to be around her. Many were drawn to her, and greatly affected by her remarkable life.
Born to a German immigrant household in Milwaukee, her upbringing was strict, to say the least. Later, her mental discipline and ability to recall minute detail (gained from memorizing bible verses, she said) served her well as she graduated at the top of her class in nursing school and later worked as a nurse while her husband, Chuck, finished his engineering degree. She was also an accomplished pianist, preferring Beethoven.
She met her husband as a teenager at a Junior Achievement meeting when they were both in high school. It was love at first sight. They married in 1956, and the two were inseparable.
They moved constantly early on. Their oldest son counts nineteen houses they lived in before he was ten years old, which took a heavy toll on the lad. So, when they finally settled in Los Altos in 1966, they promised him they would stay there, in that house, until he graduated from high school. They kept that promise, and only then did they move to Los Gatos, a town they came to love and where they remained.
In an earlier time, this valley was dotted with “mom and pop” startup companies, even in the high-technology fields. Chuck and Betsy Stauss embodied that ethic. In 1975, the couple co-founded their own high-tech company on the kitchen table. They mortgaged their house, gambled their life savings, and committed their time and energies into making it survive, and eventually thrive. They did this all while raising their rambunctious family and contributing mightily to their community, their church, and to many charitable causes, and people, they loved and believed in around the world. Over the years, through their efforts and generosity, they had an enormous impact on many thousands of lives.
Her relationship with Chuck was a true partnership, and fully participatory in every aspect of their lives together. She was always concerned not only whether a particular decision she and Chuck had to make would result in a positive outcome for them personally, but also whether the decision needed to be modified to make sure others were affected as positively as possible, even if the result for her and Chuck was less positive. The words that come to mind are "selfless" and "giving" - she put herself in other peoples' shoes, always considering their needs before her own.
Betsy Stauss is survived by her husband of 62 years, her three sons and daughter-in-law, seven grandchildren, her brother, a large extended family and a world of friends. She was 83 years old.
The memorial service is Saturday, February 3rd at 2pm at Saratoga Federated Church.