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April 07, 2004

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Publication Date: Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Obituaries Obituaries (April 07, 2004)

Jay Theodore Rusmore
Psychology teacher, early resident of Ladera

Jay Theodore "Ted" Rusmore, one of the first residents of the idealistic community of Ladera, died at home March 25 after a long illness. He was 88.

For many years a teacher and researcher on industrial psychology at San Jose State University, Dr. Rusmore was an avid reader who pondered the meaning of life and quizzed his family and friends on their thoughts and perspectives.

"He was a philosophic type," said Dr. Paul Miller of Portola Valley, who worked with him on the board of the local chapter of the United Nations Association. "He had a great interest in peace and the downside of war. He spent a lot of time thinking about the state of the world."

Ted Rusmore gained a love of the outdoors growing up in Fresno, when he skied and backpacked in Yosemite. His wife Jean remembers he was one of the first kids from Fresno to ski with the legendary ski instructor Hannes Schroll.

He graduated from Fresno State College in 1938, and went on to receive a master's degree at Stanford, and a Ph.D. in industrial psychology at U.C. in 1944. He also served as an ensign in the Navy.

After World War II, Dr. Rusmore joined the Psychology Department at San Jose State University, where he taught and researched for 35 years, before retiring in 1983. One of the earliest experts on fair hiring practices, he served for many years on the California Fair Employment Practices Commission.

Dr. Rusmore's later work focused on creativity in management and leadership. He was a member and fellow of the American Psychological Association, and published numerous papers.

At home, Dr. Rusmore was a founding member of the Peninsula Housing Association, which planned and developed Ladera, a cooperative housing development of 400 homes on 250 acres off Alpine Road. In June 1950, the Rusmores and their growing family were among the first 20 families to move into the new community.

"Ted and Tully Knowles took care of the water mains, which kept breaking," Mrs. Rusmore recalls.

Dr. Rusmore was also an enthusiastic gardener who kept family and friends provided with flowers and vegetables.

Besides Mrs. Rusmore, Dr. Rusmore is survived by six children, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. The children are: Mary Lynette Villaume of Cairo, Egypt; Teri Coppedge of The Dalles, Oregon; Barbara Rusmore of Bozeman, Montana; John Rusmore of Elk Grove, California; Kaki Rusmore of Aptos, California; and Margaret Rusmore of Los Angeles.

A memorial service has been held. The family suggests donations to the Yosemite Association, P.O. Box 230, El Portal, CA 95318; or Sempervirens Fund, 2483, Old Middlefield Way, Suite 110, Mountain View, CA 94043.

Edgerton Scott
Venture capital partner

Edgerton "Edgie" Scott III, managing director of Lighthouse Capital Partners, a venture capital firm in Menlo Park, died unexpectedly February 22. He was 60.

Mr. Scott had more than 25 years of experience investing in emerging growth companies. He joined Lighthouse Capital Partners in 1999; prior to that he founded Imperial Bank's emerging growth division.

From 1984 to 1990, he was president and founder of BNP Venture Capital, the U.S. venture capital arm of Banque Nationale de Paris.

Mr. Scott lived in Point Arena, California, and is survived by his wife, Sandy; four children; and one grandchild.

A memorial was held February 28 at the Menlo Circus Club. Donations may be made to Friends of Coast Community Library Renovation Fund, P.O. Box 808, Point Arena, CA 95468.

Nellie Preuss
Sequoias resident

Nellie Riedel Preuss, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday, died March 3 at The Sequoias retirement community in Portola Valley, where she had lived for the past 20 years.

Ms. Preuss was born in Coronado, California, the daughter of Peter and Atsje Riedel, who immigrated to America from Friesland, Holland, at the turn of the 20th century. The family moved to Santa Barbara, where her father, Peter, became widely known as a horticulturist, landscape designer and associate of noted horticulturist, Dr. Francesco Franceschi.

She received her bachelor's degree from U.C. Berkeley in 1925. Before returning to Santa Barbara, she taught at the Katherine Burke School in San Francisco. After her children were grown, she returned to Northern California where she lived, first in Menlo Park, then in Carmel, before moving to The Sequoias.

With the help of her daughter, Mary, she compiled a 252-page bound book on "Our Dutch Heritage," which traced her family back six generations. Relatives were presented a copy as a Christmas gift.

Ms. Preuss loved to read, write, garden, sew and play bridge; she was a good listener, keen observer and loyal friend, say family members.

She is survived by her children: Mary Randolph of Menlo Park, Patricia Rinaker of La Jolla, Charles Preuss of Atherton, and Pamela Ellsworth of Los Altos; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

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