George (Red) Weiler
George (Red) Weiler
Waco, Texas, 1918
Photo from collection of
Lester Bishop
Courtesy of David Balanky
Waco, Texas, 1918
Photo from collection of
Lester Bishop
Courtesy of David Balanky

by email from his niece,
Sarah Keizers, 3-20-02

Dear Ralph:
Thank you for your quick reply.
I have done a bit of quick research and I can tell you the following:
I was mistaken in the year George died. It was on February 27, 1972. He was 76 years old. (George was 7 years older than my father- my father passed away in July 1973)
As a young man he attended Stanford University in the early 1900's. I have his entire photo album of that time period (in fact we were wondering what to do with it).
The story goes, according to what my father told me, that when WW1 broke out George tried to enlist as a fighter pilot in the RCAF. Because of George's reputation of being a wildman and daredevil, the airforce told him no. The airforce did not feel it could risk any of its planes to George. (He also built and drove race cars and apparently liked to drink while racing) - George was told if he could supply his own plane then he could join the RCAF. I guess they thought that would get rid of him! It didn't. George came back with his own plane. (This could be the plane he is pictured with)
I know he spent a lot of time in San Francisco. I have several pictures of George and Dad in San Francisco.
George was a big tall man, about 6' 3" with bright red hair and apparently a temperament to match. When my father was a young boy of about 12, his mother would him send out with George and friends so he could "take care of him".
George and his wife, Sis (she was from Georgia), never had any children. Some time after the Second World War, George settled back in Victoria, where he and Sis raised prize winning turkeys.
George lived a very full and colorful life. At the end he was in a coma in hospital ( he died of cancer). My father made the trip to Victoria to see George. He had not seen him in many years at that point. George had been in a coma for several days and was not expected to come out of it. Dad apparently walked in the room, up to the bed and said "Hey Red, you bum wake up!" and George did. He opened his eyes and said "Hey Squirt', what are you doing here?". He was conscious for a few hours during which time her talked to Dad. He was happy to see Dad. George passed away the next day.
I have a picture of the entire Weiler family ( Emma (mother), Otto (father), George, Vena and Ottie (my Dad), sitting on the running board of the very first Cadillac in Victoria, BC. It was in 1915 or 1916. My Dad's foot is in a cast because George had shot him in the foot. The story goes that there had been a community dance the few days before and George was quite drunk. He came in and told Dad to "Dance tender foot" ( like they did in old westerns) and Dad refused. George took a couple of shots at the floor and still Dad refused to dance. George took another shot at the floor and nailed Dad right in the foot. One of many stories of the escapades of George Weiler.
When I find out more I will pass it on. It has been a pleasure to talk with you.
Sarah Keizers
Editor's Note: This fascinating glimpse into the life and times of George are representative of the extremely valuable additions to my website which have come through contacts on the internet. In this case, I had found the snapshot of George, in front of his plane, (measuring only 1 1/2" x 2 1/2"), in the collection of Lester Bishop which had been loaned to me by Vicent Balanky. I had no other information on who he was or what the occasion for the photo had been, however I thought it was interesting and decided to put it online. As they say, the rest is history. Sarah found it while searching the net, made contact with me, and then sent the wonderful stories you have just read. My heartfelt thanks for the internet and for the gracious folks out there. RSC.

George Weiler died in February 27, 1972
Information from his neice, Sarah Keizers (nee Weiler)
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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