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Helen Lois Sause
June 13, 1934 ~ October 28, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
Helen Lois Sause (1934-2023)
Celebrated leader, visionary and servant, Helen’s Sause’s love of life didn’t come to an end with her death. Helen passed away peacefully after a courageous battle with the inevitable on October 28th, at her senior residence in St. Paul’s Towers on Lake Merritt. Her friends, family and colleagues will continue to honor her legacy by living their lives to the fullest.
Helen was born on a dairy farm in Smith River Oregon to Howard and Blanche Perkins in 1934. Raised in a rural area, Helen and her older brother Jim would ride on the mail boat to school. As a child, Helen loved spending time up in a tree she’d climbed, reading a book and learning about the world beyond her home. Helen went on to have two children at an early age, which drove her to find a career that would sustain her young family.
Her early focus as a Director of Urban Development, would evolve into a lifelong commitment to transforming neighborhoods and improving the lives of countless individuals. Helen dedicated much of her life to the betterment of San Francisco. She worked tirelessly in the field of housing and redevelopment for decades. Her unwavering commitment embodied the true essence of compassion and selflessness, not only in her work, but in her family, community and friendships
In 1960, Helen met the love of her life, Sam Sause, on a blind date. As they were both beginning their careers in Northern California, Helen claimed that she invited Sam over for coffee, and he never left! Excited to start their new lives together, the two were married in 1964, and moved to Alameda where they enjoyed 50 years of marriage. Helen and Sam had an instant family with Helen’s two young children, Paula and David. To complete the picture, they added a third child, Carole, in 1965. Having delayed college, Helen would earn her bachelor’s degree from UC Hayward at the age of 42, while working full time and raising 3 children at home.
Though Helen was passionate about her career, traveling, volunteering, and hosting social events, she cherished her role as grandparent. Helen treasured the time with her grandchildren, never failing to give them unsolicited advice and teach life lessons. She relentlessly encouraged getting a good education and believed that it was the key to success. Always instilling discipline and responsibility, Helen would often fold the laundry for her grandkids while visiting, warning them that their clothes would be folded inside out if they didn't turn it right side out. She would often remind them to clean up after themselves and make their beds every morning. She believed that these small tasks would help them develop good habits and a sense of order in their lives.
Helen loved being able to pass on her knowledge and watch her grandchildren grow into confident and successful individuals. She knew that her love and support would always be with them, even when she wasn't physically present.
Helen had a soft spot for her pets, treating her cats like the valuable family members they were. Helen would refer to Kato and Clouseau as her children’s siblings.
Helen’s friends meant the world to her, she would do anything for them, as they would for her. From walking together, going to the opera, having coffee around the kitchen table, watching a movie, crying or laughing, they were together through it all.
Christ Episcopal Church in Alameda was an important part of Helen’s life. She devoted her time and energy to almost every level of the parish for decades, as vestry member, stewardship chair, and altar guild member. She also served the wider church as co-chairman of the Bishop search committee in 2005 and was a board member of the Episcopal Senior Homes Communities. Helen always had a smile, words of encouragement and a loving ear for everyone she met.
Those who knew Helen well knew how much loved to travel. She loved to take tours and learn everything she could about whatever adventure that she and Sam took. There is barely a continent that she didn't step foot on, from South Africa to Alaska, Asia and the South Pacific.
Helen will always be remembered for her grit and determination, her stubbornness, and her will to make the world a better place. We couldn’t have asked for a more inspiring example of a woman who broke the mold. Helen’s legacy will live on in the hearts of all those who loved her.
Helen was preceded in death by her beloved husband Sam in 2014 and her son David in 1990. She is survived by daughters Carole and Paula, and six grandchildren, Campbell, Malcolm, Hunter, Theresa, Debbie and Jolene.
A service to celebrate Helen’s life will be held at 10:30AM on December 9, 2023 at Christ Episcopal Church, 1700 Santa Clara Ave., Alameda. Donations to the Friends of Alameda Animal Shelter are welcome, (510)337-8565 www.alamedaanimalshelter.org
Saturday December 9, 2023 10:30 AM Christ Episcopal Church (Santa Clara, Santa Clara Ave. 95011C Alameda, Lone Tree Cemetery, Fairview Ave)