Gwen’s early years were spent in Michigan and Malibu, Calif., with a couple years in Australia (her mother’s family home). On one trip by ship to “the land down under” she spent the days on deck reading “The Mutiny on the Bounty.” On an earlier trip (by sea) her father took them to see a Hong Kong bay full of rotting sampans, where the children scrambled for pennies to feed themselves. These were moments Gwen never forgot.
Gwen was an excellent piper (Scottish bag pipes). She competed as a solo piper and played with several bands in both Southern and Central California.
Gwen married Dick on March, 31 1979 and they were in the Foster house in Bootjack a couple days later. They named the property “The Pelennor.” This was the center of building, planting, bed and breakfast and piping exercises. For the couple, three buildings were constructed and many trees, vines and veggies were planted. She built a grand chicken coop and compound by hand. Gwen’s last project was an aquaponics system (about 95 percent ready to go).
Gwen had several jobs, retiring after 20-plus years as a civil engineer in the Mariposa County Public Works Department. Her main projects there included traffic planning, sidewalks and the airport. At home, gardening, chickens (now 20) and the aquaponics project occupied most of her time. However, disease in her final year slowed down some projects.
Gwen was preceded in death by her parents, Rosalind and Lawrence Aller; sister-in-law, Judy Foster; brother-in-law, James Foster; and step-son, Mike Foster.
She is survived by her husband, Dick; stepdaughter, Denise Burns; step-grandson, Sam Burns; two brothers, Hugh and Raymond Aller; niece, Monique Aller; three nephews, Mike, Larry and Jeff Aller; and many cousins.
A celebration of a good life well lived will be held on Saturday, March 31 at 1 p.m. at the Bootjack Stoppers Hall, 4662 Mormon Bar Crossing, off Highway 49 South across from the Mariposa County Fairgrounds.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to International Myeloma Foundation (myeloma.org); to the pipe band of your choice; to the Mariposa Lutheran Church; and/or to the Mariposa Revival Center.