Arthur Reilly Weller
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Arthur Reilly Weller
  • March 23, 1924 - November 18, 2016
  • Valley Center, California

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Arthur Reilly Weller was born in Old Mercy Hospital in San Diego. His father was O. A. (Tex) Weller. U.S.N. of Brownsville, Texas, one of the early Naval aviators, and Maxine Reilly of Pensacola, Florida. They moved often to different Navy bases - Coronado, Panama, Washington, D.C. and Norfolk, Virginia, where he graduated from Maury High School. He entered Stanford University at age 16 in 1940, majoring in geology. He was a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Art joined the Navy, spent eight months in Midshipmen's School at Berkeley and Columbia University, and joined Underwater Demolition Team 12 which trained at Ft. Pierce, Florida and Maui before being part of the Iwo Jima invasion.
Art Weller as a young man. His team swam in the day before to prepare the beach for the Marines' landing, blowing up mines and obstacles. For this he was awarded the Silver Star. He also served on the U.S.S. Iowa for six months as she bombed factories in Japan. After the surrender, the Iowa was moored next to the Missouri, and he watched the ceremony through his gunnery director optics as if he were there -without the sound.
After the war he returned to Stanford for graduate work in Geology, and married Joan Fullinwider, (Stanford 1946). In 1947 he was employed by Shell Oil Company as a petroleum engineer and later as a geologist working on energy sources on the West Coast, Alaska, and South America. He retired as Exploration Manager and Operation Manager for Shell Pecten in 1977 after 30 years with Shell.
They moved to Valley Center and built a house on a five-acre avocado grove and owned an orange grove. He became active in community and church affairs. He was chairman of the Community Services District (now Parks and Recreation) for 11 years, on the board of North County Health Services, and was on the board of the Tennis Club for 31 years. He was a member of Rotary and Dos Valles Garden Club. He was on the Vestry and Finance Chairman of St. Francis Episcopal Church, Pauma Valley.
They traveled abroad most summers, and to their time-share on Kaui. They also had a motorhome for trips from Canada to Mexico, often with grandchildren. Art loved sports, tennis, golf, hunting and fishing, and he found time to take care of his groves.
In the Paradise fire of 2003 they lost their home and grove and moved to Skyline Ranch Country Club.
He is survived by his wife Joan, of 70 years, daughters Gail Weller (David Gregg) of Santa Monica, Suzanne Weller of Bakersfield, and he was predeceased by his son, William Lansing Weller. Grandchildren are Skye Sverdlin (wife Erin and one great-granddaughter, Abigail), Tawny Sverdlin, and Dr. Buck Sverdlin.