Virginia Stalder

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Virginia Hall Stalder

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Virginia Hall Stalder, a resident of Palo Alto, after a long and adventurous life passed away peacefully in her sleep on Nov. 25, 2012, near her English holly farm in Beavercreek, Ore., at the age of 87.

Born Jan. 20, 1925, in Salisbury, N.C., to the late Hallie Shaver and John Floyd Hall, she grew up in Salisbury and Woodleaf, attending Salisbury and Woodleaf public schools and Catawba College, where she graduated with a degree in physics.

Upon graduation from Catawba, she was employed by NACA, the predecessor of NASA, at Langley Field, Va. Shortly thereafter, seeking adventure, she transferred to Ames Research Lab at Moffett Field, Mountain View, Calif. She advanced to the position of "Head Computer" before the advent of calculators and main frame computers.

At Ames she met and married Jackson R. Stalder, an aeronautical research engineer.

She continued to work for various firms on the San Francisco Peninsula, an unusual achievement for women in the 1950s, while raising three children.

In 1964, Virginia and Jackson purchased an English holly farm in Beavercreek, Ore. Jackson passed away in 1968, and Virginia managed and developed Beavercreek Farms - purveyors of fine English holly seasonal gifts - for 48 years. When asked why she was once again making the annual trek to Beavercreek at the age of 87, she replied "to make a few people happy." She deeply appreciated her holly customers and treasured providing jobs for her loyal and talented seasonal workers.

Although an accomplished career woman and business owner, Virginia described herself as a "country girl at heart." Nothing pleased her more than a long, slow Sunday drive on back roads. She enjoyed three cross-country road trips with her children and grandchildren during her last years.

She is survived by her three children: Suellen Stalder (James Corrie) of Berkeley, Calif., Barbara Allen (Judson Allen, deceased) of Palo Alto, Calif. and Kenneth R. Stalder (Patricia Nassos) of Redwood City, Calif.; three grandchildren: Suzanne Allen of Portland, Ore., Katherine Stalder of Menlo Park, Calif., and Julia Stalder of Pasadena, Calif.; two nieces: Donna Schulken of Santa Nella, Calif., and Lisa Simmons of San Mateo, Calif. Additionally, she is survived by numerous loving Shaver and Hall cousins in North Carolina.

Private services were conducted at Beavercreek Farms Nov. 29, 2012.
Published in Salisbury Post on Dec. 6, 2012