in memoriam

In Memory of our Sacramento Swiss Members and Family

Beloved Verena Mar (Steifenhofer) passed away peacefully on November 22, 2021. Verena was born in 1944 in Ilanz, Switzerland in the canton of Graubunden. When she was young, her family moved to Meggen in the canton of Luzern, where Verena attended primary school. Her parents owned and operated the Hotel Splendid, and Verena went to Hotel School to learn to take over the business operations. However, while working at the Swiss Lakewood Lodge in Lake Tahoe around 1967, Verena met her future husband, Larry. She moved to California where she was married and had her first daughter, Maria. Verena and her family briefly moved back to Switzerland, and her second daughter (Francisca) was born. The family moved again, back to California where Verena and Larry worked and raised their children. In 1989, the family moved to the Sacramento area. In 2013, Verena and Francisca joined the Sacramento Helvetia Verein, where Verena enjoyed Swiss Club meetings by talking to friends, sharing her Swiss history, hearing stories from other members, and eating delicious meals (especially the annual fondue meal!). Verena is survived by her two daughters, son-in-law, four grandchildren, and many friends and family members in California and Switzerland.

Beloved Otto Severin Gisler passed away after a brief illness on Monday, July 12, 2021, at the age of 87. Otto was known for his deep loyalty to his Swiss heritage, mounting Swiss flags at his home and on his truck for Swiss National Day and serving as flag bearer for the SHV Centennial parade. He provided 51 years of support and friendship to the SHV as former Sergeant-of-Arms and friendly bartender.
Otto was brought up among a strong community of Swiss immigrant families who lived in the Galt/Thornton area. Otto’s parents immigrated to California from Uri, Switzerland. His father Otto was a dairyman and his wife Anna raised 4 children. Over the years, Otto moved to Sacramento, worked as a construction plumber, and married. He was devoted to his family and was an easygoing friend. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing, hunting, and camping. He was also a train enthusiast, building model trains and train tracks. He also belonged to the California State Railroad Museum.
He is lovingly remembered by his children, Otto Jr. and Carl stepdaughter and caregiver, Jenna Carpenter brother, John Gisler sisters, Alice Mattice and Linda Stanley 4 granddaughters 3 great-grandsons, 3 great-granddaughters and several nephews.