Ellen Stahle Meuse
Updated: Feb 1
Ellen Stahle Meuse, a spirited business and community leader from Bodega Bay, CA; Windham, NH and Lawrence, MA died on Oct. 25th 2020 at her oceanside home in Bodega Harbour. She was 78.
Ellen was born in Lawrence, MA, the daughter of Ellen J. Stahle, an accomplished musician, and Charles J. Stahle, a fitness instructor at the Turn Verein and Lawrence school district. In her retirement, she was currently serving as President of the Bodega Harbour Homeowners Association, as she did in several past terms dating back to 2006. She had also served as President of the Bodega Fisherman's Festival and was a long-time volunteer for the event honoring local fishermen. She was an avid golfer and social supporter with many friends across the community.
Among her other avocations was a life-long involvement in music, which she shared with her mother "Big Ellen" the accomplished pianist, choir director and church organist at United Presbyterian in Lawrence. Outside of choir, she played lead roles as a mezzo soprano in Gilbert & Sullivan productions. Prior to moving to California for a blossoming business career, she conceived and founded the Methuen Young People's Theater. The group has continued performances at the Methuen Organ Hall for 35 years, where she was a past trustee.
Prior to having three boys with first husband, Joseph Batal of Florida, she had earned a BA in Biology at Northeastern University, and taught Biology at Woodbury High School in Salem NH. She and her second husband Paul raised the boys in Windham, NH. Her introduction to Paul, a Vietnam veteran, was a result of volunteerism while knocking on doors for The American Cancer Society.
Her profession in corporate marketing began while representing Godiva Chocolate on the East Coast, after entering an MBA program on the advice of a mentor at mid-life. Her entrepreneurship and business acumen was seeded when she founded and operated a specialty food store in Windham and Salem, NH called "The Kitchen Window".
She moved to Bodega with her husband Paul in 1989, just prior to completing an MBA at the Simmons Graduate School of Management in Boston. She left to join Joseph Schmidt Confections as National Sales Manager to create a national presence with their chocolate business. Ellen drove daily from Bodega to the Joseph Schmidt factory in San Francisco until 2003. She also served as Marketing Director for Scharffen Berger Chocolate and roles in three other startup businesses until retirement into volunteerism and music.
In addition to her social leadership roles, she sang with the Saint Cecilia choir at the Santa Rosa Church of the Incarnation; and with the Sonoma State University Chorus.
She is survived by her children John Batal and wife Julie of Tewksbury, MA; David Batal of California, and son Daniel Batal and grandson Jonas of Seabrook, NH. She was predeceased by husband Paul in 2015, and her siblings, Charles W. Stahle of Florida and William Stahle of Lawrence.
The family sincerely thanks her Bodega Bay community friends; the staff at BolaFiji home care, and Sutter Hospital/Hospice in the effort to keep her at home as she succumbed to cancer during the Covid era. Donations in Ellen's memory can be made to The American Cancer Society.