Date Created: 10/24/2015
Last Updated: 10/24/2015

In loving memory of Beryl Nelson
9/16/1957 - 10/23/2015

Location: Mountain View, California

Visits: 25,987

This memorial was created in honor of Beryl Elaine Nelson of Mountain View, California. Beryl was born on September 16, 1957 in Buffalo and passed on October 23, 2015 of metastatic renal cancer 17 months after the initial diagnosis. Beryl was loved and respected by many and will be dearly missed by all friends and family.


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From: claudia genung Tuesday, November 03, 2015
I met Beryl in Japan in 1995. We both had small children and would go to the park together sometimes. She attended West Tokyo Union Church where I was the pastor. Beryl organized and taught some Japanese moms from the PTA of her girls' school to play handbells at church a couple of times. She also sang in our small choir at church. She was gifted in whatever she choose to do - from baking cookies and caring for her children to calling out the sexism in society and looking at gender issues in Japan. She enjoyed Japan, speaking Japanese, and liked Japanese food. We used to go to a tofu shop near her home for tofu. After she moved to California, I was able to visit her for a few days but her health had already started to decline. We did take some bike rides around Mountain View and she gave me a tour of Google. She was so proud of her three daughters and showed me photos of them. We also had wonderful chai each morning at her home and worked in her garden. She leaves behind many good memories and many friends who loved her.

From: patrick copeland Monday, October 26, 2015
I worked with Beryl for many years, starting in Hyderabad and then when she moved to Krakow. She was one of the most calm and thoughtful people I have known at Google. I appreciated her patience and kindness. Her focus on helping others, touched many people. A deep spirit who will be very missed. My heart goes out to her daughters, family, and friends.

From: Debbie Newhouse Sunday, October 25, 2015
Beryl made a big impression on me, and I also only knew her for a short while. I wrote to Beryl her years back when she circulated an article about unconscious bias at Google (I wrote with some trepidation because she was such an authority!). I was happy and impressed that she wrote back to me with a very thoughtful answer. I got to meet her in person at a Google Summit in early 2014. She was just moving to MTV from Poland. I gave her a lift here and there because she hadn't bought a car yet, so we got to talk a lot. She sent me several good ideas for how managers can better manage their own unconscious biases, microaggressions, etc. She had lived in Japan, and I studied Japan during college and spent time there. So we shared Japan memories in common. Beryl seemed to me to have a kind of quiet strength. She was an influential member of a tech group of managers, and she helped me present my work to this group enthusiastically, which was very helpful to me. I had hoped to get together with her for lunch to get to know her better, but as these things go, the months zipped along without us seeing each other much. Then, I learned Beryl was ill. I decided that although we hadn't had a chance to get to know each other as we as we had hoped, I would see if she was taking visitors. At that point (4 months ago?) she was accepting short visits, so I set up a time to see her. I wasn't sure what to bring or what she would enjoy, so I brought two ripe nectarines in a small pretty fabric satchel, because in Japan, a gift of a set of two (e.g. two melons, two sets of chopsticks) is considered good luck. She seemed pleased. Beryl could still walk and talk, but much more slowly, and she had already had a brain surgery for a metastasis as well as the kidney cancer treatments. She told me about having her viola rebuilt and played for her, which brought her a lot of pleasure. I asked her for advice about my family situation, and she gave me good advice. I began following her blog, and I came by another time to help her children get a load of boxes of old books to the library as a donation; Beryl was thinking ahead with a lot of bravery. I am so sorry that her life was short. She was a great gift to those of us fortunate to have known her. I will always remember her quiet strength (and directness!). My love to her family.

From: Manisha Jain Sunday, October 25, 2015
I have known Beryl for a few years now and every single interactions, I have found her to be stronger than I thought she was earlier. Her analytical, practical, and compassionate approach to problem solving - be it personal, professional or health related - has been inspirational; every conversation with her has been a life lesson for me. Last week when I saw you Beryl, between inhaling the stream and explaining to me that it was so that you could push the cancer cells back enough to make some space for breathing, you said that your one wish was that you could have done more towards generating more funds for research. Despite of being in such pain, you cared about the research towards earlier diagnosis. I will never forget to support the cause. Thank you for being you Beryl, I will miss you.

From: Anna Berenberg Saturday, October 24, 2015
I’ve met Beryl over video conference while working on the same project 4 years ago: Beryl was with Krakow team and I was in California. After couple of months, I came to visit Krakow team. Business trips are hard - long days and a lot of lonely nights. Beryl made that trip unforgettable for me: every night we would spend evening together, sharing different types of pirogi, so I can try more types; walked around historic downtown and just talked about everything. We became fast friends. There we trips to New York and Tel Aviv and lots and lots social gatherings where Beryl with her quiet but strong point of view influenced me on so many levels. She open my eyes on diversity problems and biases and stereotype threat… She has been a huge inspiration at work caring about people reporting to her and those who did not and she was as inspirational in her fight with cancer. She was so strong and she fought so hard till the last day … I will miss you Beryl.

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