Moritz Otto Scheibler was born in Lucerne, Switzerland on Jan. 15, 1927 to Frederick and Maria Scheibler. The youngest of three children, Moritz was raised in the town of Zofingen in the canton of Aargau. He graduated from high school at the age of 16 and then spent five years in technical school learning the repair of production machinery. He also served in the Swiss army ski-patrol corps during World War II. In 1948, at the age of 21, he left Switzerland to come to the United States to seek work and escape the grim reality of post-World War II Europe. He flew on a Constellation aircraft to New York and then boarded a train bound for Los Angeles. He spoke not a word of English.
Upon his arrival in L.A., Moritz stated he had found paradise. Orange and lemon groves scented the sunshine filled air. He could ski Mt. Baldy in the morning and be body-surfing at Corona Del Mar in the afternoon. He landed a job repairing machinery at a women's hosiery mill that paid the astonishing sum of $100 per week. More money than he had ever seen or could spend. It was here that he met the love of his life, and soon-to-be wife, Nadine Hankins. After a brief courtship, they were married at Lake Chelan in 1953 where Nadine's family had settled some years earlier.
They returned to California and settled in Orange County in the town of Anaheim. Their children Mary and Moritz, Jr. "Jim" were born there in a small hospital in an orange grove for the then bargain price of $300 each. After working repairing printing presses for a number of years, Moritz decided to form his own company in 1960 along with his brother Fritz who had also immigrated to the United States. The company was called Scheibler Brothers and they would repair sheet and letter presses. This decision would lead to a fateful meeting at a printing trade show in Chicago in 1968 where Moritz was asked to design and build a printing press that would print on pre-formed Styrofoam egg cartons. The first prototype was a success and Scheibler Brothers was off and running as a manufacturer of printing presses for egg cartons of all types.
In 1974, Moritz and Nadine and the kids decided to move to Leavenworth, Wash., to allow them to be near Nadine's family in Wenatchee and Moritz to be a gentleman farmer on the 200 acre farm they purchased in the Chumstick Valley. Scheibler Brothers continued to flourish in the 1970s and 80s and Moritz enjoyed the fishing, hunting and mushrooming found in the Northwest. In 1992, Mary and Jim took over the business and Moritz took the opportunity to semi-retire and pursue his interest in flying helicopters and trying to build one. In 1998, with the untimely passing of Nadine, Moritz took to the highway, and for the next 15 years, drove from Leavenworth to the casino at Manson and back, rarely missing a day. It was his way of coping with his loss and his life.
The lights of his life in the later years were his grandsons, Brooks and Haakon, children of son Jim and his wife Simone. They were his "stars" who brought a smile to his face and joy to his heart whenever he saw them, which was every Saturday at Jim and Simone's house for dinner.
Moritz was a seeker and a searcher of truth, knowledge and wisdom his whole life. He is loved and missed by us all.
Thanks for teaching us all how to live Moritz right to the end of your life. Rest in peace. We love you.
Moritz was preceded in death by his wife Nadine, his father Frederick and mother Maria, and sister Trudie Meier. He is survived by his brother Fritz (Marianne) of Brig, Switzerland, his children Mary of Leavenworth, Jim (Simone) and grandsons Brooks and Haakon, all of Leavenworth.
The family would like to thank all of those who helped care for Moritz the last four months of his life. Dr. Toby Long was his physician for the last 15 years. The staff at Mountain Meadows Assisted Living. Liz Ryen, his personal trainer, and Meredith Bless his cognitive coach. Donations in honor of Moritz can be made to Mountain Meadows Assisted Living, the Chelan Douglas Land Trust or the charity of your choice.
A Memorial Service of Commemoration to Celebrate the Life of Moritz Otto Scheibler will be held on Sunday Jan. 27, 2013 at 1 p.m. at Ward's Funeral Chapel, Leavenworth.