George Frederick Fisler, PhD

November 29, 1931 - March 11, 2021


On Thursday, March 11, 2021, George Frederick Fisler, professor, biologist and avid bird watcher, and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away at the age of 89.

George was born on Nov. 29, 1931 in Saginaw, Michigan and raised in Pontiac, Michigan.

After high school he attended Adrian College where he was on the track team. He earned his BS and MS degrees from Michigan State University. He then attended the University of California at Berkeley where he did research on the salt marsh harvest mouse in the salt marshes of San Francisco Bay and earned his PhD in zoology. He also did research in ornithology for two years at the UCB Hastings Natural History Reservation in Carmel Valley, Calif. George taught at Portland State University for two years and then taught ornithology and mammalogy at California State University, Northridge for 30 years. He spent the summer of 1963 studying macaque behavior at the NIH monkey colony on Cayo Santiago in Puerto Rico. George retired as Professor Emeritus in 1994. He was a life member of the American Society of Mammalogists.

In 1996 George and his wife Janis retired from Santa Monica, Calif. to Port Townsend, Washington where they have enjoyed their retirement among many new friends. But they returned for several months of every year to their cabin in the desert at Joshua Tree, Calif.

George loved to travel and visited every U.S. state and at least 35 countries. His travels usually took him to exotic wildlife sites, often in the company of his wife Janis and other friends. He was loved by his family and friends for his ready smile, intelligence and sense of humor.

George was preceded in death by his parents, George and Ina Fisler. He is survived by his wife Janis of 54 years; his three children, Judy Ann Hjichristodoulou of Phoenix, Arizona, Catherine Dianne Fillebrown (Alan) of Humboldt, Ariz., David Paul Fisler (Joan) of San Diego, Calif.; his sister Phyllis Murray (Wallace) of St. Petersburg, Florida; eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

Honoring his request, George was cremated, and his ashes will be scattered by his family in the desert he loved in Joshua Tree.

Remembrances may be made in George’s name to the Jefferson Land Trust.