Obituary: Donald Casler

Donald Casler
Donald Casler
Provided Photo

May 30, 1932 – June 2, 2023

On June 2nd, 2023 our beloved father, Don Casler, passed peacefully into the arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He lived in his home, surrounded by his family till the moment he peacefully passed.

Don was born in Chicago Illinois on May 30th, 1932. At the age of 5 his mother Elenore moved he and his older brother Buddy, from Chicago Illinois to Hollywood Ca. Don graduated from Mark Keppel High School, in Alhambra CA in 1950. He met our mother, Diana Jean Frantz in high school and married her in 1953. They had five children, Denise, Doreen, David, Danny and Doug. At the time of his death, dad had five grandchildren, Mike (wife Megan), Andrea (husband Jerry), Sydney (husband Stephen), Jake (wife Satu) and Sierra, and four great grandchildren, Maverick, Kate, Molly, and Stone. His granddaughter Sydney is expecting his fifth great grandchild in late July 2023. No man has ever loved his children and grandchildren more than our dad. He often said we were the richest part of his life.

He was a tool and die maker till he obtained his Real Estate License around 1960. He was elected to the Covina Board of Realtors in 1966 and voted Director of the year in 1966 and 1968, and State Director of the California Real Estate Assoc. in 1968. He was co-owner of Armor Realty in West Covina. He was active in Lions club, and a member of the P.T.A of West Covina High, Merced and Cameron School. Don was on the ski patrol at Mt. Baldy in So. Calif. From 1955 till 1973. That made it possible for his family to ski for free and stay in the huge Ski Patrol cabin on the weekends. So many fond memories were made in that cabin. They taught each of us to ski as soon as we could walk. Don and Diana were integral in putting on the Annual Ski Swap in So. Calif, making it possible for families like theirs to purchase used ski equip. They were also members of the Grindelwald Ski club from the 1950’s on and eventually took a trip to Switzerland with members of that club in 2004. In the summer months we could be found waterskiing on various lakes in So. Calif. or camping in our camper somewhere in the Western United States. How they had the energy for all of that we don’t know, but we are very thankful for the amazing childhood they gave us.

In 1973 Don and Diana moved their family of seven to their new home on Donner Lake, in Truckee CA. Leaving So. Calif was not easy, it meant leaving behind Don’s mother, his beloved brother Buddy, his wife Nevada and their nine children. We were a very tight knit family, and the parting was difficult. But they wanted to move their family to the mountains to be closer to all the outdoor sports we enjoyed. Living right on Donner Lake meant we waterskied all summer, and with mom working at Squaw Valley, we snow skied all winter for free. We enjoyed an amazing life due to their hard work and dedication to their family. Dad originally went to work for Boice Countryside Realty, but eventually opened his own office, Don Casler Realty in downtown Truckee. He developed 80 acres of land into 1-2 acre parcels with underground utilities now known as the Ponderosa Ranchos. He then turned the old yellow gas station in front of the Gateway Motel into his Century 21 Real Estate Office. Years later he built the Century 21 Building on the site of the old A & W across from the Fire Station & middle school.

When he moved to Truckee he continued as a member of the Truckee Lions Club, serving as President several times over the years. Both he and my mother were passionate about serving in their community to help those less fortunate. Our mother Diana served in the Lioness Club and Soroptimist club. They organized many fundraisers over the years bringing relief to those in need, one of their favorite fundraisers was the Annual Bingo and Spaghetti Feeds put on by the Lion’s and Lioness club to raise funds for the senior meals on wheels program. Dad was integral in bringing the annual Sled Dog races back to Truckee for many years. At the time we moved to Truckee, there was no Buddy Warner Ski program in Truckee so they drove my brothers to Tahoe City to participate. Tired of the commute to the lake, my dad decided to pursue starting the Truckee chapter of the Buddy Warner Ski program. He pitched the idea to general manager at the Park and Rec, secured sponsors to fund the program, and solicited parents to coach the kids. Dad was a ski coach in that program for many years, and he loved it. Dad also coached little league teams for many years both in So. Calif and here in Truckee. Years later, kids who played on his teams would call from time to time to stay in touch. He also served on Ski Patrol at both North Star and Squaw Valley for many years. He was section chief for several years including the year the Tram derailed in 1978. He was a key member of the team that rescued the victims stranded in the derailed Tram. Dad helped found the D.A.R.E. program at Truckee High School in the 80’s and 90’s designed to teach youth about the dangers of drugs. Dad was also well known for his acting skills. He played a starring role in the play Oklahoma in So. Calif, and played various roles in the Truckee Follies over the years. He also enjoyed both building award winning floats and participating in the Truckee 4th of July Parades in the 70’s and 80’s. Dad’s love for playing Poker was legendary. He loved playing with family and friends, and in tournaments at the casinos. Family gatherings centered around playing poker, Tripoley or Mexican Train games, lots of laughter and good food.

These are just the highlights of some of the contributions our parents made to our lives and our beloved Town of Truckee. We are proud and thankful for the incredible sacrifices they made to better our lives and the lives of so many in our community. Dad had an incredible zest for life, love for family and friends, and had a wonderful sense of humor that made him a joy to be around. We miss our parents terribly, but we rejoice in the blessed assurance that we will see them again someday.

We would like to thank Kari Wurst and Bernie Hunt along with Heidi, Alena, and all the amazing staff of the Tahoe Forest Hospice Dept. for their loving care of our father. They made it possible for us to keep dad in his home and we are forever grateful for all they did for dad and our family.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Don on Saturday August 19th @ 12 noon at our family home on Donner Lake. We invite all those who knew our dad or our family to please come join us. Please bring a salad or dessert to share. Please call Doreen @ 530-320-8131 for details.

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.