Elizabeth "Betty" Mathesius Gaude passed away on December 31, 2015 in Roseville, California, after a brief illness. She was born on April 14, 1934 in Spring Valley, Illinois, to Anton and Anne (Oberleitner) Mathesius. Betty grew up in Mendota, Illinois with her parents and her sister, Nancy. While Betty was a freshman at Mendota High School in 1948, she was elected the city's first Sweet Corn Queen, a tradition that continues to this day. After graduation Betty attended nursing school in Chicago, but soon discovered that nursing was not her calling. At a suggestion from her mother, she visited Nancy, who was then living in Los Angeles. Betty made Los Angeles her home and found work in the engineering library at Douglas Aircraft. While at Douglas she met Francis "Frank" Gaude, whom she married in Santa Monica in 1955. Betty had always been a remarkably caring person, so it was no surprise that she became a devoted wife and mother. Their four children, Cynthia, Michelle, Joseph, and Suzanne, were all born in the Los Angeles area. In 1963, a job opportunity for Frank took the family to Huntsville, Alabama. Betty volunteered at church, school, and charitable organizations and still found time to make clothes for the kids, including Halloween costumes, on an antique sewing machine passed down from Frank's mother. She made numerous quilts for family members which continue to keep them warm, and over the years she stitched Home Sweet Home pictures for each of her children. Betty had shown exceptional artistic talent from a young age and she found a creative outlet in oil painting. She also loved the water, and while in Huntsville she insisted that all her children learn to swim. Summers were spent swimming at the local pool, water skiing with friends and vacationing in Panama City, Florida. A new job opportunity and the lure of the West Coast took the family back to California in 1969. While living in Los Altos Hills, Betty began studying ceramics at the local college. Her ceramics were soon shown and sold in galleries and gift stores in the greater Bay Area. Never afraid of hard work, Betty and her son Joe hand built a brick kiln in the backyard to fire her ceramics. She continued to volunteer at church and school while she cheered on her children through all their endeavors. She knew how to make people feel special and took great delight in celebrating birthdays and holidays. Over the years, numerous wanderers found a haven at the Gaudes - all creatures, great and small, were welcome in Betty's heart and in her home. While the children were in high school, Betty and Frank's relaxed and friendly attitudes made schoolmates feel more than welcome at the house. Even long after the children left home, old friends would call and visit Betty and Frank to share stories and memories. In 1987 Betty and Frank retired and moved to South Lake Tahoe to enjoy the lake and mountains. Their daughter Sue and son Joe were already living there. Betty continued to sell her ceramics at galleries and shops in Tahoe. By 1990 she had four grandchildren and adored babysitting -- Betty was well-known for her late-night cookie and ice cream parties, grab bag gifts, crafts and hikes. In 2002 Betty and Frank moved to Cameron Park, California. They were drawn to a warmer climate and the chance to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Betty was a talented cook, baker and preserver. She was a regular blue-ribbon and best-of-show winner at both the El Dorado County and California State Fairs for her outstanding jams and preserves. She was a humble competitor who entered only at the insistence of her daughter, Sue. Betty said her list of recipes was not deep, but so many of her recipes have become beloved traditions that are prepared regularly by her extended family. Betty enjoyed entertaining and found creative ways to amuse her guests. She threw tea parties complete with antique tea cups, homemade pastries and jams, and fancy hats. She also started a family Christmas tradition where the holiday could be celebrated on whatever date allowed the entire family to visit at the same time. Betty remained an active volunteer for the rest of her life, most recently at Snowline Hospice Thrift Store in Folsom. Betty enjoyed playing the piano, singing and gardening, but her greatest joy was spending time with her family. Spending time with Betty was a treasure - she was gracious and giving, and she saw beauty everywhere. A nature hike with Betty always included a search for wildflowers, birds, or driftwood. Playing a lengthy game of Scrabble with Betty meant she would probably win with her extensive crossword skills, but she would also assist other players in boosting their scores. Movie night at home with Betty might include a screening of uplifting movies like Pride and Prejudice, Mamma Mia or Music and Lyrics. No matter what Betty was doing, she was always willing to lend a compassionate and supportive ear to anyone's tale of woe. Betty is survived by her sister, Nancy McMaster (Gene); her husband, Frank; her children, Cynthia Gebhart (John), Michelle Pierce (Grant), Joseph Gaude, and Suzanne White (Larry); and her grandchildren, Joseph, Jessica, Grant, Genevieve, and Sophia. -------------- Some of Betty's favorite things: Flower: Daisy Tree: Dogwood Film: The Quiet Man Charity: St. Jude's Children's Hospital Books: Pride and Prejudice, The Woman in White, Boys in the Boat Recipes: Apricot-pineapple jam, triple berry jam, baked ham, pork chops, fried chicken, beef stew, chicken divan, vegetable beef soup, split pea and ham soup, banana bread, pecan tassies, scones, bran muffins, molasses cookies, cranberry sauce, apple pancake, sweet potato casserole, pineapple upside-down cake, chocolate-chip date cake, and many more. Poem: If by Rudyard Kipling. Before Cindy was born, Betty stitched a beautiful Yours Is the Earth and Everything In It tribute to the poem, which was framed and hangs in Cindy's home. If by Rudyard Kipling If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise: If you can dream--and not make dreams your master; If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools: If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!' If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings--nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!