We’re saddened by the loss of one of our founders & a generous friend of Abilities United, Elizabeth “Bobbi” Wilson Letts. RIP Bobbi, you were always a trailblazer & mentor to many at Abilities United. The world is a much better place because of you!
Elizabeth Wilson (Bobbi) Letts
Jan. 21, 1921 – July 18, 2018
Resident of Los Gatos
Elizabeth Wilson (Bobbi) Letts passed away on Wednesday, July 18, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Gatos after a brief illness. Her son Philip was at her side.
Bobbi was born in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to Samuel and Marguerite Wilson. She had an older brother, Philip, and a younger sister, Eloise. Bobbi earned a bachelor’s degree at UCLA and a master’s degree at Columbia University in New York before going to work at the San Francisco Chronicle during World War II. She became the newspaper’s first woman copy editor and remained with the Chronicle until the late 1950s.
Bobbi married Truman Robert (Bob) Letts of San Francisco in 1959. They were married until Bob’s death in 1987. Bobbi’s brother, Philip, died in 2007. Philip’s wife, Jan, resides in Merced. Bobbi is also survived by her sister, Eloise, and brother-in-law, Sidney, of Woodland Hills, CA; a son, Thomas Letts of Durham, NC; a daughter, Elizabeth (Bitsy) Letts of Santa Clara; and her son Philip Letts, of San Jose.
Bitsy was born with Down syndrome. The doctor recommended institutionalizing her, but Bobbi refused and took her new daughter home. Within months, Bobbi found a small group of Palo Alto-area parents with intellectually disabled young children, who were forming a community organization to support their kids and each other. Bobbi became an important part of that group for the next three decades, volunteering countless hours in various roles. The organization is now known as Abilities United.
Bobbi also spent many hours working with the PTA, including one year as PTA president at her children’s elementary school. She continued to support her children as adults, helping them through difficult times, lending an ear, and providing immeasurable wisdom. She was a talented craftswoman, knitting and crocheting sweaters, blankets, and other items for the people she loved. She became close to several of her neighbors in Palo Alto, appreciating how they befriended and supported Bitsy. Bobbi remained in that neighborhood until she moved to Los Gatos in 1999. She lived her final years at the Los Gatos Meadows retirement community where she greatly valued the wonderful staff and residents.
A memorial service was held Sunday, July 22, at 11 a.m. at Chapel Of The Hills, 615 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, CA.
Bobbi’s family asks that memorials be made in the form of donations to Abilities United in Palo Alto.
Write a note in memory of Bobbi on the Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills Tribute Wall