Mary “Becky” Stauffer
Published 10:01 pm Thursday, November 30, 2023
May 6, 1925-Nov. 22, 2023
Mary Louise “Becky” Stauffer, 98, of Niles, Michigan, passed away on Nov. 22, 2023. She was preceded in death by her husband Robert in 2004 and her daughter Carol (Charles) Bosler of Niles in 2021. She is survived by her three sons, John (Michelle) of Grand Rapids, MI, Thomas (Elizabeth) of Glendale, CA, and Brian (Lisa) of Creston, CA. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Born Mary Louise Beckman on May 6, 1925, in Naperville, Illinois, she was the youngest child of Herman and Nellie May Beckman. Becky graduated Valedictorian from Naperville High School, where she met her sweetheart and eventual husband, Robert “Bob” Stauffer. They both sang in the school choir, and had lead roles in the school’s musical production of H.M.S. Pinafore. Becky’s love of music would be the lasting hallmark of her life.
As a Music Major, Becky studied voice and piano and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1947 from Oberlin College. Becky and Bob were married on Dec. 27, 1947, after his return from military service in Europe during World War II. They lived briefly in Ann Arbor while Bob earned his MBA from the University of Michigan. Next, they resided in Mishawaka, IN for several years. In 1957, they moved to Niles where they raised their four children in the family homestead on Tomahawk Lane. Ultimately Becky lived in that same house for 63 years!
For over 60 years Becky taught generations of piano and voice students in her home studio and led choirs in schools from Niles HS to Southwestern Michigan College. Her superior expertise and patience enabled her to teach students from beginners to professionals; from St. Mary’s elementary to over 25 years teaching Voice at Andrews University and Notre Dame.
Becky also had a beautiful and powerful professional soprano voice. She performed at many venues and weddings and was often the lead soloist with the choir at the First Presbyterian Church. She worked for several years at the United Way of Greater Niles and was a volunteer board member and a driver for Meals on Wheels. She also taught music to special needs children at South Side School as a volunteer. What a life!
Becky will be most remembered for her positive outlook on life and her kindness. Always smiling, quick to laugh, and with nary a critical word for anyone. She will be greatly missed by her loving family and fondly remembered by all who knew her.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at the First Presbyterian Church of Niles. In accordance with Becky’s wishes it will include an organ recital by Sharon Simons Hettinger D.M.A. of Lawrence Kansas. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Becky’s name to Meals on Wheels of Southwest Michigan.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Niles. www.BrownFuneralHomeNiles.com