Rosellen Mastoris, age 93, a Watsonville, CA resident, died peacefully on August 1, 2020. Rosellen was born on July 25, 1927, to Miriam and Harry Frerichs and grew up in the small town of Tracy, CA. it is in Tracy where she met the love of her life, Theodore (Ted) Mastoris, whom she wed in 1950. Together they had four children, Rebecca, Michael, John, and Anne. After Ted’s untimely passing in 1965, Rosellen went back to San Jose State University where she obtained a degree in education. Rosellen joined the faculty at Elkhorn School where she taught for over 20 years. While teaching, Rosellen became a student of esteemed educator and scholar of children’s literature, Kay Goines. Rosellen worked with Kay for numerous years, including helping establish the Bring Me A Book Foundation, created in Kay’s honor. Rosellen delighted in sharing her passion for children’s literature and poetry with many students and adults. After retirement, she continued her mentoring ways by teaching English as a second language and taught others to read. Additionally, Rosellen was a docent at Elkhorn Slough and a volunteer at the Pajaro Valley Historical Association for numerous years.
Rosellen had wit, style, and sparkling blue eyes. She welcomed all, taught her children to see the world with open eyes, and experience it with an open heart. Her zest for life showed through her love of her family, Corralitos, the Pacific Ocean, herons, and a great margarita or a glass of wine. Her loving heart, sense of humor, quiet strength, and wisdom enriched the lives of many of her friends. You could bet that every Christmas one would receive a book from her that was either from her massive collection of children’s literature or one that had a special meaning between the two of you. She could engage anyone in conversation, appreciated a good looking man and if she saw an exotic car in a parking lot, she would pace around it, checking out all the details, all in hopes of engaging the owner in dialogue. Her eyes would twinkle when she spoke, and she would lean in to let you know she was genuinely interested in the conversation.
Rosellen was preceded in death by her parents, her older sister Jean, and younger brother Jack. She is survived by her children; Rebecca Mastoris, Michael (Becky) Mastoris, John (Dyann) Mastoris, and Anne Mastoris, five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and two great, great-grandchildren. The family will be commemorating her life in a private celebration. Mehls Colonial Chapel was entrusted with the arrangements.
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