Karl Ludell Weiler

Former SGS Asst. Genealogist Karl Weiler Passes Away

Karl Ludell Weiler, 82, died on July 15, 2020. A life member of SGS, Karl was committed to genealogy and service and had served for several years as an Assistant Genealogist for the Society. SGS member Kathryn Seely of Castle Dale, UT, summed up his association with the Justus Azel Seeley Family Organization (JASFO) over the course of several years: “Karl never held formal office in JASFO, but he was a very active participant in many of our events. JASFO launched its website, www.jasfo.org, in 2002, mainly through the efforts of Karl and his cousin, Thom Wilcox. At one reunion, held at the Mt. Pleasant, UT, Cemetery, Karl dressed in a suit from the 1840s and even contrived a beard for himself as he portrayed his ancestor, John Henry Owen Wilcox, husband of Mary Young, a granddaughter of Justus Azel Seely. At the reunion held In August, 2004, in Castle Dale, UT, Karl and his sister Toots Brundage, also a life member of SGS, dressed in costume and marched in the local parade, pulling a handcart. Later in the day they cooked and served corn-on-the-cob and scones to complement a lamb dinner served at the reunion. A few years later Karl was chief cook for a Dutch oven meal hosted by JASFO in conjunction with the 2009 SGS Reunion in Salt Lake City. He and his sons Terry and Clint brought their equipment all the way from California and cooked, among other offerings, tri-tip beef that was “to die for,” according to longtime JASFO president Camille Seeley Bell. He also provided several interesting displays, including a huge genealogy chart showing his Seeley lineage.”

As Kathryn’s comments suggest, Karl loved to serve. He was born on February 8, 1938, in Kenilworth, UT, where his parents were both coal miners. He grew up in Compton, CA, and was student body president of both his junior high and high schools. As a young man, Karl spent two years as a missionary in 1958-60 for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the West Central States Mission, which covered Montana, Wyoming, and chunks of other states, a huge territory. Following his mission, Karl joined the United States Marine Corps, serving a total of four years in active duty and two in the Marine Corps Reserves.

Meanwhile, he became involved in Scouting. An Eagle Scout, he passed on his respect for Scouting to his sons, both of whom also attained the Eagle rank, as did Terry’s son. For many years Karl was active in Scouting’s Wood Badge program to train adult leaders. He also was a long-time Scoutmaster in troops sponsored by his church and received the Silver Beaver Award, which recognizes distinguished service by an adult Scouter at the council level.

Karl also knew the value of sports in molding character. In high school, he played football, basketball, and baseball. His church basketball team won an All-Church Basketball Tournament in 1955 in Salt Lake City, UT. After high school, despite a knee injury, he played softball as a star third baseman on church teams in Fresno, California, well into his forties.

Karl Ludell Weiler

As for service to his church beyond his work in Scouting, he was Young Men’s President in the Fresno Stake for a decade, a calling which enabled him to work with young men in several church congregations, helping to train their leaders to guide them through Scouting ranks as well as teach them how to become reliable participants in church and community service. He also served on the Stake High Council five different times and was Stake Executive Secretary for eight years.

Karl Ludell Weiler

As he aged, Karl devoted an increasing amount of his time to genealogy. He picked up enough knowledge of German to be able to translate documents written in that language for others and also to teach classes in German for the Murrieta Public Library in Murrieta, CA. He taught classes in genealogy to other members of his church for years. He was a frequent speaker at genealogical workshops organized by the Fresno Public Library in Fresno,CA as well as a teacher of classes in genealogy sponsored by the library. He also taught classes in genealogy at the Murrieta Family History Library, the Murrieta Public Library, and the Temecula Public Library in Temecula, CA. On several occasions he volunteered to cook Dutch oven meals at various reunions of the Mormon Battalion Association at the Mormon Battalion Visitors Center in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, even though he was not a member of the association.

Karl married Linda Joy Niswender in 1961. She died in 2011. He then married Janet Fraser in 2012. He and Joy had five children: Jill, Terry, Suzette, Clint, and a stillborn son, Jacob. His legacy of love of service, love of country, and love of family will live on.

Published in the August 2020 Seeley Genealogical Society Newsletter

Story by Jesse S. Crisler, SGS Second Vice President