Obituary: Annetta Chester

Annetta Chester, of Zephyr Cove, NV, and Scottsdale, AZ, passed away of heart failure in Scottsdale on July 10, 2013, with her beloved husband, Robert, at her side.

Born in Orange, New Jersey on September 10, 1942, to Matthew and Sarah Rosenhaus, Annetta studied at the University of Miami and received a Bachelor’s Degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. After her marriage in Morristown, New Jersey, to Robert in 1970, the couple moved to Los Angeles, California, and later to Sausalito, California, while maintaining a vacation home at Lake Tahoe. In 1986, Annetta and Robert chose to make Lake Tahoe, Nevada, their home.

Courageous, insightful and loving, Annetta was a constant example of the human spirit she celebrated and championed. Despite the challenges of living with a congenital heart condition, physical constraints never dampened her zest for life, her appreciation of others, or her commitment to philanthropic, artistic and humanitarian endeavors.

Known for her graciousness and generosity, Annetta was an elegant woman with an impish twinkle in her eye. Kind, open and accepting, she made everyone around her feel acknowledged, valued, and empowered. Many regarded her as a special, loving friend.

Annetta had a highly developed artistic and aesthetic sense, and enjoyed creating beauty everywhere. A great patron and supporter of the arts, she was instrumental in establishing The Tahoe Arts Council, bringing together artists and supporters of the arts in the numerous communities around Lake Tahoe. She was a Life Member of the Barton Hospital Auxiliary and served on the board of trustees of the Barton Memorial Hospital Foundation for 18 years, where she championed the transformation of the hospital environment into a more aesthetically pleasing and healing facility, from the hallways and rooms to the hospital gardens. Her love of the arts also inspired her to lead a project that brought donated artworks into the hallways for employees and visitors to enjoy.

Her concern for and commitment to improving the quality of life for people everywhere was expressed locally, in San Francisco, by her service on the Board of Directors of The Holiday Project, which brought volunteers to visit those confined to institutions in cities around the U.S., and globally, by her participation in the establishment of The Global Hunger Project in 1978. She continued to work as a major volunteer fundraiser for the organization after serving on its founding staff in San Francisco. Until her death, she was also a Director of Living Voices, a non-profit organization that brings trained actors and actresses into school classrooms around the country to “bring Life to History” by interacting with archival audio-visual material depicting major historical events in the U.S. and elsewhere.

She raised orchids, loved Shetland sheepdogs, and especially enjoyed spending time with her two adopted grandsons. Her eclectic aesthetic interests and collections ranged from Japanese Netsuke and other artifacts, to Native American baskets of the Southwest.

Annetta is survived by her loving husband of 43 years, Robert N. Chester, of Zephyr Cove, NV, and Scottsdale, AZ; her siblings, Larry Rosenhaus of Brielle, NJ, Harriet Grose of Morristown, NJ, and Albie Rosenhaus, of Morristown, NJ; Sarita Rosenhaus Coren, of Passaic, NJ, Hedy Schulder, of Clifton, NJ, and Loretta Rosenhaus Paley, of Teaneck, NJ; her many nieces and nephews; and her adopted grandsons, Blake and Derek Heldt-Werle of Zephyr Cove, NV.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Living Voices at:

A Celebration of Annetta’s Life was held at Lake Tahoe, July 29. Another will be held September 8, in San Francisco, CA. (For details, write to:

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