Obituary: Elsa Roscoe, longtime Portola Valley resident | April 24, 2013 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - April 24, 2013

Obituary: Elsa Roscoe, longtime Portola Valley resident

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Ladera Community Church, 3300 Alpine Road in Portola Valley, for Elsa Roscoe who died Feb. 18. She was 92.

Born in Cleveland of parents who emigrated from Germany, Ms. Roscoe was a graduate of Ohio University and held a master's degree in economics from the University of Rochester.

She married three times and outlived three husbands. Her first husband, Bob Jobe, whom she married in 1943, was killed in 1945 during World War II. She met her second husband, Raymond Spafford, while at the University of Rochester and married him in 1953.

Both employees of Eastman Kodak, the couple moved to California in 1953 due to a job transfer with Kodak to Palo Alto. They fell in love with Portola Valley and became some of the earliest residents of Alpine Hills, where they designed and built their dream house. Mr. Spafford died of cancer in 1967.

Elsa was married to her third husband, John Roscoe, a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, for almost 40 years. He died in 2007.

After a 40-year career with Eastman Kodak, Ms. Roscoe retired but continued her active life. She was a follower of the Explorers Club and through Earthwatch went on archaeological digs to French Polynesia and New Mexico. She trekked in Nepal, traveled through Pakistan, Burma, Greenland and visited China. Her interest in health and nutrition, which she practiced throughout her life, led her to take classes in yoga and participate in a Stanford Study on Aging.

She is survived by many friends and neighbors, niece Peggy Spafford Golfin, nephew Gene Spafford and their children, and stepdaughters Chellie and Marilynne Roscoe.

Donations may be made to Peninsula Open Space Trust, 222 High St., Palo Alto, CA 94301; ( Donation notation: "In memory of Elsa Roscoe."