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Tahoe Nugget #120

Sandy Poulsen (1918 - 2007)
September 4, 2007

Gladys "Sandy" Poulsen passed away peacefully over the Labor Day Weekend; she was 89 years old. Sandy and her husband Wayne, who died in 1995, were the original founders of the Squaw Valley ski resort near Lake Tahoe. Sandy was known as the "First Lady of Squaw Valley" and revered for her support of community foundations and charities. Right up until her last days, Sandy could be seen going out for social activities and dining at her favorite local restaurants. She was truly a bon vivant!

Wayne and Sandy met at the Sun Valley ski area in Idaho where Wayne was working as a ski instructor and Sandy was a college-bound "snow bunny" out for a short ski vacation with some friends from New York. They quickly fell in love and were married in August 1942. Wayne whisked Sandy away from her upscale lifestyle living in a Manhattan penthouse and moved her into a tent in remote Squaw Valley with no indoor plumbing. After World War II, the Poulsen's purchased two surplus army barracks and converted them into a real home that could withstand the severe winters.

Sandy never regretted her relocation to the beautiful Sierra valley that she and Wayne would call home for the rest of their lives. They raised eight children; most them went on to be outstanding competitive skiers.  I recently entered into an agreement with the Poulsen family to write and publish a book about their family and Squaw Valley history. Despite Sandy's death, I expect that the project will move forward with the book expected sometime next year.

The attached photo is from Sandy Poulsen's recent 89th birthday party held on August 5, 2007, at the Poulsen home in Squaw Valley. Sandy is flanked by Fraser West (left) and Frank Titus. Fraser and Frank are the only surviving members of the 1939 University of Nevada championship ski team. Wayne Poulsen was their coach.

For more on Sandy Poulsen, click here.

For more on Wayne Poulsen's impact on Squaw Valley and winter sports click here

Nugget #120 West- Sandy- Titus Aug. 5 2007

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