July 24, 1928 – June 28, 2019
Gisela Taeuber took her first breath in July of 1928 in a small farming village, Gross Harras, Austria, where her father was the miller. Ninety years later she gently inhaled one last time at Canterbury Woods in Pacific Grove, California. Two of her three children were by her side … son, Clemens (Kathy) Taeuber and daughter, Barbara (John) Palan . Her eldest daughter Christiane (Steve) Riess preceded her in death three years prior and was there in spirit, as were her grandchildren; Melissa (Pete) Riess James, David (Laurel) Riess, Anthea and Lily Taeuber and Jenna (Paul) Krumenauer; great-grandsons, Harvey and Arthur Riess James and great-granddaughters, Abby and Ava Krumenauer. Friends and relatives here and in Austria, and the exemplary staff at Canterbury Woods, all held Gisela in their hearts as she left this world peacefully. Her children are especially grateful for all the support.
Gisela was educated in Vienna and entered the working world at the Austrian embassy in Bonn, Germany. She later met her future husband, Haymo Taeuber, in support of the reestablishment of the Vienna Boys Choir in postwar Europe. After a seven-year courtship that included tours to Scandinavia, Belgium, France and Portugal, Gisela and Haymo married in Vienna in 1953, and she said “Our life has been lively ever since.”
Gisela went on to dedicate the next 20 years to raising her children and supporting her husband’s conducting career which took the family to Turkey, Iran, Austria and Canada. She helped Maestro Taeuber memorize his scores, keep the three children quiet before concerts, and managed his social calendar, all vital to his success on the podium. In addition to these responsibilities, she worked at the University of Calgary, Canada where she was appointed to catalogue a large collection of German literary works for the university’s library.
An avid reader, researcher and meticulous record keeper, Gisela noticed an ad seeking candidates for the position of Director of the Monterey County Symphony in 1967. At her encouragement, her husband applied for the position and they were both delighted to move to the town they had first read about in a book they shared while in Tehran – John Steinbeck’s “Tortilla Flat”.
The Monterey Peninsula became the permanent home for the Taeubers, and Gisela continued her career as a German Instructor and Course Developer at the Defense Language Institute until her retirement in 1993. In the words of one of her colleagues: “Whenever she entered the classroom, the students felt that they were blessed with the utmost professional attention and genuine care. Now--that was Gisi! The students adored her, her colleagues had the utmost respect for her, and the outcomes were — on all levels—great.”
She loved art, opera, studying history, gardening, camping and backpacking trips, and baking — her cookies and apple strudel were enjoyed coast to coast. Although she herself played piano and enjoyed singing, she took great joy in her primary talent -- listening to music and others’ stories.
Gisela is remembered by her family, friends, colleagues and parishioners of Saint Angela Merici Church as a kind, humble and steadfast woman. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you honor Gisela by lending a hand to someone in need, taking an action to promote peace, or making a donation to your chosen charity.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held this Friday, July 12 at 11:00 am at St. Angela Merici Catholic Church in Pacific Grove. To sign Gisela’s guest book and leave messages for her family, please visit www.thepaulmortuary.com.
- Memorial Mass Friday, July 12, 2019
July 9, 2019
Gisi, will be missed. She was a caring person and will always be remembered as a wonderful friend and colleague. Always ready to help and support whomever and whenever with a delightful smile.
Sincerely and Heartfelt Love
July 8, 2019
Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of Gisela Taeuber from Owen L. Dunsford, Rosemarie Dunsford, Robert Padgett, and Donald Padgett, four violinists who rehearsed and performed under the expert leadership of Maestro Haymo Taeuber when he directed the Monterey County Symphony. Gisela's active involvement in support of her husband's leadership of the orchestra made a tremendous difference to so many.
July 8, 2019
Gisi Taeuber was a wonderful teacher, colleague and a dear friend over many, many years. At the weekly "Stammtisch" lunches with fellow former-German instructors, she charmed and entertained all with her anecdotes from her fascinating life. She was a wonderful listener too - always caring, empathetic, genuinely interested in the lives of others, and ever-optimistic and supportive. A kind, gentle, modest, and strong woman, Gisi was loved by everyone who had the privilege to know her. She will be greatly missed.
July 7, 2019
Mrs. Taeuber was a fine person who made lasting contributions to the programs at the Defense Language Institute. At the same time, she was modest and consistently generous toward others.
July 7, 2019
So sorry to hear about the Loss of Beautiful Gisela. Sending sincere condolences and prayers for strength during this sad time. I will always remember her warmth and love she gave me each time she walked into Wells Fargo, Pacific Grove. RIP Sweet Angel, Gisela.