Elsie Monson, 105: Active community volunteer, longtime resident

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Courtesy of Marilyn Groves
Mrs. Monson is the guest of honor at her 100th birthday party in 2014.

Elsie Monson, whose Los Altos residency extended back to the beginning of the city’s incorporation, died Aug. 6. Mrs. Monson was one month shy of her 106th birthday.

Mrs. Monson was born Sept. 26, 1914, in San Francisco, the youngest of eight children. While working at McKesson Corp., she met Reinhart “Reinie” Monson, who owned a pharmacy in Sonoma. They married in May 1939.

The Monsons moved to Los Altos in 1952 after living five years in Mountain View. They operated a pharmacy for many years, Monson’s Drugs, at El Camino Real and Castro Street. Members of the Monson family also worked at Kahn’s Pharmacy on Main Street in Los Altos. Mr. Monson died in 1998.

Mrs. Monson’s long life was marked by active, independent living, volunteerism and devotion to family. Her social nature ensured no shortage of friends.

She played tennis until she was 90 and gave up driving at age 100. An avid sports fan, she regularly followed the San Francisco Giants. She lived in her Los Altos home until she was 102. She spent her final years at The Forum in Cupertino.

Mrs. Monson was a member of the Mountain View Quota Club for many years. A longtime member of First Presbyterian Church of Mountain View, she donated countless volunteer hours. She and her husband sponsored a youth group at First Presbyterian, and Mrs. Monson made dinners for nearly 100 children every week.

The Town Crier featured an article on Mrs. Monson’s 100th birthday party in 2014, reporting that more than 100 family members and friends attended the celebration.

Mrs. Monson is survived by daughter Marilyn Groves (Tim Groves), daughter Judy Monson, granddaughter Cara George (Darrell George), grandson Major John Principe (Arin Yoon Principe) and great-grandchildren Mila and Teo Principe.

She was preceded in death by her husband and seven siblings.

Due to the pandemic, there will be no memorial service.

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