Gwen Lee Rosser {née Wisehaupt} |

Gwen Lee Rosser {née Wisehaupt}

Gwen Rosser, 85, passed in peace at her home in Tahoe Vista on Monday, July 23rd, 2018, after a courageous fight against cancer. In the last months of Gwen’s life, her four daughters and their spouses, along with many other dear relatives and friends, surrounded Gwen with constant love, support, and encouragement. The death of this formidably accomplished woman leaves an unbridgeable gap in the lives of all who have known and loved her. Gwen was curious and adventurous, and enjoyed hiking, kayaking and traveling. For Gwen, it seemed, the more difficult the goal, the more avidly she took it on! Gwen volunteered her time improving wilderness areas with the Regional Wilderness Committee, kayaked on whitewater rapids in Alaska, Colorado and Oregon, hiked the entire Tahoe Rim Trail, and traveled to a number of international destinations with Overseas Adventure Travels. Gwen set foot on every continent, climbed to the highest peak in the continental U.S. (Mt. Whitney), and at 82 years old, climbed to the Base Camp of Annapurna in Nepal. She was a natural leader throughout her life, and she inspired extraordinary trust and confidence when she was in the lead. Gwen was actively involved in supporting National Public Radio, The Sierra Club, the National Parks Foundation, Keep Tahoe Blue, Worldwide Fund for Nature, Defenders of Wildlife, Doctors Without Borders, San Francisco State University, Heifer International, and The Democratic Club, Truckee Chapter. She will also be sorely missed by the Fawn Rim Book Club and the Lifescapes Writing Class.

Gwen was born on June 26, 1933, in Los Angeles, California to John Daniel Wisehaupt and Elda Emma Wisehaupt. Early in her life, Gwen made many lifelong friends and also discovered her love of travel during her stint as a flight attendant for United Airlines. After receiving her B.S. in Chemistry in 1964 from San Francisco State College she served in the Peace Corps as a secondary school teacher in Ghana for two exciting years. Upon returning, she took jobs in her field of Chemistry, married, became a mother, and eventually got her M.S. from San Jose State University in Chemistry in 1979, after which she she worked as a Chemist for Balaz Labs and Syntex. From 1985 to 1993, Gwen taught Chemistry at Homestead High School in Cupertino, California, a job she loved to share stories about.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband of thirty-five years, Bill, by her son, Gregory Rosser, and by her beloved sister, Lela Grimes. Gwen is survived by her sister Jean Klippstein, daughters Ellen (David) Van Horn, Miriam (Michele DeClue) Rosser, Monica (John) Garnache, Audrey (Paul) Burdick; grandchildren Michelle, William, Benny, Sophia, Rachel and Libby; many nieces and nephews, and many beloved friends.

A “Celebration of Life” in honor of Gwen will be held August 18th at 2pm at the home of Diane Martin, 210 Rim Drive, Tahoe Vista, California 96148. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Tahoe Forest Hospice.

A more fully developed biography of Gwen will soon be uploaded to, where friends and family will be most welcome to leave their personal comments, photographs, and stories.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User