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Filer remembered for his zest for life

Lawrence William Filer of Rough and Ready was a man with an adventurous life. He was a rancher, horse trainer, cemetery foreman, miner, and mill manager. He was also the Nevada County Supervisor in the 1970s, a member of the Ready Springs School Board in Penn Valley, a member of the Rough and Ready Chamber of Commerce and the Nevada County Horsemen.

But more than anything else, to people who knew him, he was a lover of life.

“He wanted to live,” said Marilyn Meservey, Filer’s daughter. “He just loved living. He wanted to get out of this world alive, but there’s just no way to do that.”



Filer died Feb. 24 at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. He was 89.

With six children, 23 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren, and eight great-great grandchildren, Filer, to the very end of his life, was an undying optimist – always enthusiastic about trying new things.




“Recently at 88, he wanted a computer,” Meservey recalled. “My brother and I installed a computer. He was trying to learn how to check the stock markets online.”

Grass Valley resident Laurence Personeni knew Filer since the 1950s. He reminisced how when he lost his son, Filer came to offer his condolences and offered a fresh perspective into the tragedy.

“One of things he said was, it’s a terrible loss, and we don’t minimize it,” Personeni recalled. “But remember the good thing in life: You had that boy for 16 years, and many people do not have the opportunity to have children.”

“(Filer was) very much a philosopher because of the very way he looked at life, itself,” Personeni added.

Visitation for family and friends will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today at the Nevada City chapel of Hooper & Weaver Mortuary.

Services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Graveside services will follow at Greenwood Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Grass Valley.

Born in Aug. 27, 1916, in Pipestone, Minn., to Arthur Filer and Bertha Johannsen, Filer graduated from Pipestone High School in 1936, and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

He married Maciel on July 6, 1942, in Reno, Nev. She passed away in 1985.

He is survived by his brother, Charles Filer of Lebanon, Ore.; daughters, Margene Elliott of Grass Valley, Yvonne Chappell of Roseville, Maxine Swan of Oakland, Ore., Marilyn Meservey of Grass Valley, and Jacci Filer-Martin of Grass Valley; son, Gary Filer of Grass Valley. He was preceded in death by his grandson, Douglas Elliott in 1954; granddaughter, Diana Filer in 1993; and son-in-law, Gene Elliott in 2002.

Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. Arrangements are under the direction of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary.

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To contact staff writer Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.


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