Lanny Leon Gisler, 77, of Orange, CA passed away peacefully in his home on Thursday, May 1, 2014 from pancreatic cancer with family at his bedside. Lanny was born in Orange, CA on June 10, 1936 to Antone V. Gisler and Beulah M. Davison. He grew up in Santa Ana and later moved to Orange. He was born into a pioneering Orange County farming family. After graduating from Santa Ana High School in 1955, he farmed lima beans and alfalfa on the family land at Harbor Blvd. and Gisler Ave. in Costa Mesa. Later, he became a Caterpillar tractor mechanic and eventually went into business for himself as an earthmoving equipment owner and operator.
During young adulthood he enjoyed drag racing and flying. He obtained his private pilot’s license and owned a Taylorcraft airplane which he would land across the street from the Gisler farm. He retired in 1991 to pursue an eclectic set of hobbies and interests including his love for tools, metal and woodworking, beekeeping and storytelling. He also made wine using fruit he harvested from his home orchard. On occasion, he would further refine his wine into high proof distilled spirits from his bee’s honey, using a homemade still. He loved spending time in his backyard shop with friends, who would frequently stop by to share a beer and a good story.
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and Lanny’s philosophy was that if he didn’t have the proper equipment for a project, he drew up blueprints in his mind and crafted it with his tools and hands. He loved a roaring fire. The only thing missing was a way to split the wood, so Lanny crafted a slick hydraulic wood splitter that cleanly chopped the wood. He burned the logs in the wood stove that he invented for his back yard shop. He also loved to plow his orchard with his old Ford tractor, and frequently gave rides around the yard to the delight of his grandkids.
Lanny is survived by his wife Betty of Orange; daughters Kim Lawrence of Lake Forest, and Rhonda Gisler of Tustin; son Shawn Gisler and wife Sofia of Chula Vista; daughters Angel Tracy of Oregon and Amy deMontmorency of Orange. His grandchildren include: Erin Hulse and Scott Lawrence; Brandon and Brittany Bozarth; Matthew, Andrew and Eileen Gisler; Oscar Gonzalez; Tanner, Zachary, Logan and Elijah Tracy; Hailey and Hannah deMontmorency; and great-grandson Lucas Gonzalez. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Nancy State Gisler in 1987 and his brother Sherman in 1947. He also leaves behind his five beloved pug dogs and pot-bellied pig, Willie.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ronald McDonald House in Orange. Visitation will be on Friday, May 9, 6:00-9:00pm at O’Connor Mortuary in Laguna Hills. Services will be held on Saturday, May 10 at 1:00 p.m. at O’Connor Mortuary, followed by graveside services at Fairhaven Memorial Park.