Beloved farmer, Renaissance man and wearer of hats, Robert “Bob” Gisler died on May 23 at age 90. Bob was the grandson of Swiss immigrants who arrived in Southern California in the 1880s.
He was born in Oxnard, California, grew up, attended Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai, and raised strawberries and vegetables on the family farm in Oxnard.
In 1950, Bob took a four-year hiatus from farming to serve as an electrician in the Navy during and after the Korean War. On October 14, 1954, Bob’s ship, the USS Rockwall, survived an intense battering by Hurricane Hazel in Chesapeake Bay.
After he returned from sea, he married his wife, Mary, started a family and moved them in 1964 to a family farm on Kiger Island in Corvallis, where he continued to grow strawberries, vegetables and various seed crops until he retired to a peaceful life of community service, gardening and artistic wood and metalworking. Bob lived on the Kiger Island farm for over 50 years before moving to an assisted living community in Sherwood, Oregon.
Throughout his life, Bob loved to travel and delighted in learning new things. He was an avid reader, investor, artist, skeptic and speaker of wise sayings, such as his favorite: “moderation in all things.” Bob leaves to his children, grandchildren and friends a profound legacy of life-long learning, curiosity, “MacGyver”-style engineering skills and humility. He was the glue that held his family together and he will be dearly missed.
Bob was preceded in death by his loving wife, Mary, to whom he was married for 48 years; and two daughters, Cindy Gisler and Susan Gisler.
He is survived by his brother, Leo Gisler; sister, Patricia Galt; son, Mark Gisler; daughter, Heidi Meslow; and grandchildren, Sylvia Gisler, Elaine Meslow, Halle Meslow and Max Gisler.
A celebration of Bob’s life ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on June 21 at St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, Oregon, followed by a reception.
Tributes to or memories of Bob can be posted at https://www.attrells.com/obituaries/.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association would be greatly appreciated to continue the search for a cure for a disease that currently afflicts one third of Americans over the age of 85.