Longtime Ladera resident, author and hiking enthusiast Jean Rusmore dies at 101 | News

Jean E. Heying Rusmore, longtime Ladera resident and hiking guide co-author Peninsula Trailsdied on April 1 at the age of 101 in Aptos.

Rusmore, who lived in Ladera for nearly six decades, was a person of varied interests, guided by his love for other people’s nature and this fascinating world, according to an obituary written by his family.

“It’s hard to say what I will miss most,” her daughter, Kaki Rusmore, said in an email. “His ability to see the good in every person and every situation, his deep love of nature and his gentle way of sharing it, his generous, kind and open approach to the world and to each other, his commitment to fairness, his never – his curiosity and zest for life are just some of the qualities that I and many others will miss.”

Jean Rusmore was born Sept. 13, 1920, in Anaheim to Mary Grim Heying and Oscar Heying, the eldest of four children, according to his family. Growing up, she helped with her father’s pharmacy and learned to swim and body surf at nearby Seal Beach.

In 1938, she enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in physical education and minored in French.

She met her husband, Ted Ruschhaupt, in 1938 at International House, where they both lived. They married in 1942 and changed their surname to Rusmore.

In 1948, the couple were one of the first families to buy from Ladera. Jean Rusmore was a member of the Peninsula Housing Association, the co-op that founded Ladera, according to a 2020 Almanac story. The couple built an Eichler-style house and raised six children in it, according to a biographical page in a book compiled by the Walkie Talkies, an all-girl hiking group founded by Jean in the 1980s.

“My parents were very committed to it being a welcoming, diverse, family-friendly and engaged community,” Kaki said, noting that she was happy to see covenants excluding Blacks, Indigenous peoples and people of color finally come to an end. been suppressed at Ladera. “I know my parents were both very committed to the diversity that was meant to be part of Ladera and were heartbroken when the banks refused to lend without this restriction. … She had a wonderful ability to form genuine friendships and continued to make friends in Ladera even after many of the original residents have moved away.”

Wanting to make cycling and walking safer for children, Jean Rusmore and Artemis Ginston advocated for cycle paths along the busy Alpine Road, and she was dubbed the “mother of cycle paths” for her role in generalization of cycle paths.

Kaki told The Almanac in 2020 that her father encouraged her mother to go hiking, and once she started, “nothing was stopping her.”

As a young mother, Jean Rusmore befriended Ladera’s neighbor, Frances Spangle, who introduced her to the League of Women Voters, according to a 2002 Almanac article. They took their kids go hiking and hiking in county and state parks, and Rusmore has joined the San Mateo County Trails Advisory Committee.

She was an early member of the Committee for the Green Foothills and as part of the Sempervirens funds and founding member of the Ladera Recreation Districtaccording to his family.

Conservationist Lennie Roberts quickly befriended Rusmore and her husband when she moved to Ladera in 1965.

“Jean was an early committee member for the Green Foothills and became San Mateo County’s advocate for open space protection in the 1970s,” Roberts said in an email. “When she decided to pursue a new career as an author, I returned to work as a lawyer. Jean was a difficult act to follow, as her enthusiasm, her warm smile and her laugh were considerable assets in convincing decision-makers to protect the Skyline and coastal areas of San Mateo County.”

When Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District was formed in the 1970s and began buying new open space, hiking opportunities increased dramatically, but were not well advertised, Rusmore told The Almanac in 2002.

Rusmore and Spangle wrote “Peninsula Trails: Outdoor Adventures on the San Francisco Peninsula”, first published in 1982. Then came “South Bay Trails: Outdoor Adventures in and Around the Santa Clara Valley” in 1984, followed by “Bay Area Ridge Trail: Ridgetop Adventures over San Francisco Bay.”

She lived in Ladera until 2005, when she moved to Palo Alto’s Vi Senior Living Center before moving to Aptos in 2017, according to The Almanac records.

Rusmore was predeceased by her husband Ted in 2004. She is survived by their children, Mary Lyn Rusmore Villaume, Teri Rusmore Coppedge, Barbara Rusmore, John Rusmore, Kaki Rusmore and Margi Rusmore; 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

To honor his memory, the family offers to walk a trail, contribute to a park or an environmental organization or share a vanilla ice cream with friends.

A celebration of his life is planned for June. More information is here.

Lola R. McClure