Leslie L. Thaler, Jr.
May 15, 1928 - August 15, 2016
Leslie Lee Thaler, Jr. was born in Washington, DC on May 15, 1928 to Leslie Lee Thaler, Sr. and Victoria Sasscer Thaler. He died August 15, 2016 at the age of 88 in Salem, Oregon following a brief illness. Les is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Elizabeth “Bette”. He is survived by his wife, MaryLou; children, Vicki, Jim (Nancy), Helen (Marv), and Lee (Marge); grandchildren, Allison, Austin and Matt; his in-laws Charlotte, Sue and John, and by several nieces and nephews.
Les spent his early years in the Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland area, surrounded by his mother’s family. His father’s work assignment in 1941 brought the family to northern California, where Les lived throughout his school years, and his parents stayed for the remainder of their lives. After completing school at Tulelake High School, Les returned to the Washington DC area in 1946. He began his work life stocking shelves in a local market, washing dishes in a neighborhood restaurant and driving a city bus in the Annapolis transit area. He fondly remembered the friends along his route who shared homemade treats with him during their rides. Leaving several friends behind, some of them lifelong connections, Les returned to California in 1949 to work with his mother at City Hall and in the local Bank of America branch until his induction into the US Army in October 1950. Les served at Fort Ord, California in the finance area until October 1952, when he was transferred to Reserve status, before his honorable discharge in 1956. He met MaryLou Nadine King on Christmas Eve 1952; they were married on September 25, 1954 in Redding.
Les began his banking career in earnest upon his return in 1953 to the Tulelake branch of Bank of America, working at branches in Redding, Anderson, and Cedarville, California and in Klamath Falls, Oregon. In May 1962, Les accepted a position with the Commerce Department for the State of Oregon as a State Bank Examiner, and the family began their life in Salem. Les completed his career as a Senior Bank Examiner, retiring September 1, 1990. He enjoyed the many people he met and the relationships that grew over those years of travelling throughout Oregon. Always seeing the best in people, Les valued the friendships and the professional associations his career offered. One of his proudest moments was being informed by a banking professional upon his retirement that “Les, you have never been known as an easy examiner, but you are known to always be fair.” Integrity and honesty were lifelong goals.
After his retirement, Les and MaryLou travelled throughout the western and mid-western United States in their trailer, to several of the Caribbean islands, to Alaska, and to the Washington DC area. His most memorable trip was a month in Australia which included a visit with the family of a pen-pal of 40 years. Les enjoyed all of his travels, but was always happy to return to his home and the Willamette Valley.
His children will miss his kind and thoughtful ways, his quick wit and humor, his intelligent conversation, his willingness to help others and his positive outlook. We believe his friends will feel the same.
We extend a heartfelt thanks to the family, friends and neighbors, and the staff at Salem Hospital, Willamette Valley Hospice and Cedar Village living center for your compassionate care during this last period of his life.
A Memorial will be held 11:00 am Friday, August 26, 2016 in the chapel at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 826 45th Street NE, Salem, Oregon. A brief graveside service with military honors will follow at 2:00 pm at City View Cemetery, 390 Hoyt Street SE, Salem. Family and friends are invited.