Gary Clifton Wisler

Gary Clifton Wisler

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, USA
Death 8 Apr 2006 (aged 55)
Plano, Collin County, Texas, USA
Burial Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA
Plot Garden of Roses, the northeast quadrant
Memorial ID 17384889 · View Source
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He was a North Texas schoolteacher who became a prolific author best known for his historical novels, most of them written for young adults.

He had written 73 books and 22 short stories and had contributed numerous articles to Boys' Life magazine for at least 20 years.

Born in Oklahoma City, Mr. Wisler grew up in Dallas, where he graduated with honors from Hillcrest High School in 1968.

He received his bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University in 1972 and began teaching at Denton High School, where his duties included the school newspaper and yearbook.

He returned to SMU, where he earned his master's degree in English and education in 1974. He later attended the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of North Texas, where he was writing his dissertation on a Civil War history of the 9th Texas Infantry Regiment for a doctorate in history.

Mr. Wisler had many 9th Texas Infantry artifacts on loan from people helping him in his research, his sister said.

Mr. Wisler taught at Ben Jackson Middle School in Garland. In 1979, he published his first novel, My Brother, the Wind, which was nominated for the 1980 American Book award.

In 1984, Mr. Wisler left teaching to devote himself to writing. Two years later, he briefly returned to teaching at Bowman Middle School in Plano.

Mr. Wisler's honors include the International Reading Association's 2001 Paul A. Witty Short Story Award for his work, "The Orange Armband," and an Association of Educational Publishers 2000 Distinguished Achievement Award for Bloody Pond.

He twice won the Western Writers of America Spur Award and was a finalist for the honor eight times.

Gary grew up in Scouting, in Troop 709 sponsored by Ridgewood Park United Methodist Church. After graduating from Hillcrest High School in 1968, he went on to SMU. While a college student in the 1970s, he served as Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 709. He also later served as Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 143, and as Scoutmaster of Troop 30 and Troop 106.

He kept his Vigil in 1982 and was given the Vigil name "Mane of the Buffalo Herder." Gary was recognized with the District Award of Merit for service to youth in and out of the Scouting program. Gary completed Wood Badge and served on staff at Camp Constantin. He received the National Silver Beaver Award.

Gary received the Phil Paul Award in 1986 and the Founders Award in 1990.

Gary was a contributing writer to Boys' Life magazine and other Scouting publications. Among his writings was the short story, The Orange Armband, published in the December 2000 issue of Boys' Life. It tells the fascinating story of American soldiers arriving to liberate Nazi-occupied Holland, and how outlawed Boy Scouts joining the fight for freedom. He contributed to and edited I Go To Prepare a Trail for You, Mikanakawa Lodge 1937-1987, the Lodge history book.

In addition, Gary was a popular writer for young readers, authoring more than 70 books, including Run the Blockade, Red Cap, My Brother the Wind, Massacre at Powder River, A Cry of Angry Thunder and Piper's Ferry: A Tale of the Texas Revolution. He traveled extensively to research his books, placing the reader often in the shoes of a boy growing into manhood amid difficult, historical times. His books are found in school libraries and public libraries across the United States. He was a noted Civil War historian.

Gary taught English and Journalism in both Garland and Plano public schools, educating many who have gone on to prominent careers in journalism. He lived most of his adult life in Plano.

In this life, he was taken all too quickly from us. He lived his life for others, devoting himself fully to the work of the Lord in all he did, living the Scout Oath, Scout Promise and more importantly, The Golden Rule.

Mr. Wisler is survived by his parents, Charles and Joann Wisler of Dallas; and a brother, David Wisler of Plano.
and sister, Karen Wisler Collins-Eiland of Granbury.

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  • Created by: Harry Bubeck
  • Added: 10 Jan 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 17384889
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Gary Clifton Wisler (15 May 1950–8 Apr 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 17384889, citing Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Harry Bubeck (contributor 46560247) .