The Atlanta residential real estate industry is mourning the loss of one of its pioneers, Cecile “Cile” Stockhausen. She died following a long illness July 27 at age 89.
The longtime Realtor worked in that field for over 50 years, rising to serve as senior vice president of Northside Realty’s Buckhead office.
“Georgia and professional women everywhere lost a Realtor who exemplified the best of her profession,” said U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-east Cobb, who worked with Stockhausen when he was Northside Realty’s president before getting into politics. “In her passing, Cecile Stockhausen is remembered as a great Realtor, a great manager, a great trainer and Atlanta’s best promoter as a place to live, work and play. … I remember her as tough but fair, a woman with boundless energy, one who never looked down on anyone and was every man’s equal.”
The longtime Buckhead resident moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2010 to be closer to her son, Rob Stockhausen, and his family.
During her career Stockhausen served as president of both the Atlanta Board of Realtors (today it’s known as the Atlanta Realtors Association) and the Women’s Council of Realtors. She won several accolades, including the association’s President’s Award, and was also one of the first female members of the Cherokee Town Club in Buckhead.
She started her career shortly after divorcing her first husband, Robert Goodhart, in 1960.
“She was one person in my life that was always with me,” said her daughter, Vinings resident Cathy Henson, whose parents divorced when she was only 5. “I never saw my dad after age 6. I felt like she always had my back and supported me in most all areas of my life in general.”
Henson even worked at Northside Realty for five years, with the last one spent under her mother’s tutelage. When Stockhausen started her career, she hit the ground running.
“She had to go out and support us,” Henson said. “I think she got maybe two months of child support (from Goodhart). She didn’t really get any money from him.”
Stockhausen’s career took off, so much so that she, as a single mother, was able to buy a new house in Buckhead, custom-built by prominent developer Billy Ivey, and other luxuries.
“She was fun,” Henson said. “She was doing real estate, and I remember being in elementary school and she got one of the first Mustang convertibles in Atlanta.”
Stockhausen married her second husband, Bob Stockhausen, in 1966 and they had Rob.
“My mother was incredibly loyal to and protective of her children,” her son said. “My mother certainly instilled in me that if there is an issue going on … in your life, it’s your responsibility to take care of it and take action to address it.
“My mother was extremely witty with a great sense of humor. She was extremely talented at selling but also to some degree, she could be tough. … I think the best phrase that describes my mother, without being a little bit corny, would be a steel magnolia.”
Betsy Franks, who recently retired as Harry Norman, Reatlors’ senior vice president and managing broker for its Buckhead office, served as Stockhausen’s first assistant broker starting in 1999, when both worked at Northside Realty.
“Cile was real,” Franks said. “She was one of those icons in the industry. She hired and trained some of the best agents in Atlanta, many of whom are still in the real estate business today. She was classy, elegant, smart. I think at some point too she was the president of the Atlanta Board of Realtors. Just a smart, elegant lady.
“She knew how to hire and train great agents and help them be successful. I’m thankful for the opportunity she gave me. She gave me my start in management. She was fun, too. She and her husband ‘Boom’ (Bob), their best friends were Harry and Amy Norman (who owned Harry Norman, Realtors). I think it said a lot about Cile and Harry and how they ran their businesses.”
Franks also said Stockhausen “cut the path for many (women) who came behind” her at a time when residential real estate was a male-dominated world.
Carolyn Calloway, who works at Harry Norman Realtors’ Buckhead office, worked for Stockhausen at Northside Realty’s Buckhead office starting in 1984.
"Throughout her career, Cile mentored hundreds of aspiring young professional women and men who entered the Atlanta real estate industry,” Calloway said. “She was the gold standard. She excelled and inspired all who worked with her to do the same. As a pioneer in Atlanta real estate with an encyclopedic knowledge of the profession, Cile rose to the top with grace and elegance."
In addition to her children and their spouses (Jimmy Eastham and Martha Stockhausen), Stockhausen is survived by five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. The family is planning a private funeral service, at her request.