Lloyd Joseph Mokler, 89, passed away at home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Sept. 16.
Born on Nov. 22, 1922, to Ida (Zamboni) and Victor Mokler in what was then Clearwater, Calif., Lloyd lived in the area now known as Paramount during his youth. He attended Compton Junior College and was studying at the University of Southern California (USC) when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps the following week.
Lloyd flew in the European theatre in 1943 as pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress, in which he flew 23 missions. In September 1944, his plane was shot down, and he and his crew parachuted into enemy territory. He was imprisoned in the Stalag Luft XIII-D POW camp near Nuremberg, Germany. After seven months, Lloyd and three others escaped, survived for more than a month on the run, and were finally rescued by U.S. troops in April 1945.
Upon his return, Lloyd married his wife, Jerry (Eastland), to whom he was married for 67 years. He completed a degree in electrical engineering from USC. Most of his career was spent as president of Zamboni Electric Company, originally founded by his uncles, Lawrence and Frank Zamboni, Jr. Lloyd also developed commercial real estate in Southern California with his cousin, Don Bendetti, and others.
An avid horseman, Lloyd was a long-time member of the Los Caballeros and Rancheros Vistadores. He also raised cattle under the Bar Nuthin’ brand in partnership with good friend Joe Nab.
Lloyd also lived and was active in the communities of Rolling Hills, Rancho Mirage and Mammoth Lakes. He served as president of the Paramount Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club, as a member of the Rolling Hills City Council and on the Mammoth Hospital Board. Always quick with a pun, he had a humble, warm heart and exceptionally generous spirit.
He leaves behind his wife, Jerry; their six children, Mike Mokler (Mary), Greg Mokler (Janet Kerrigan), Jim Mokler (Stephanie), Scott Mokler (Roz Holler), Pete Mokler (Cecilia Hamilton) and Marty Banks (John); 15 grandchildren; and many great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Herman and Lynn, and sisters Ruth and Kathleen.
In lieu of flowers, send donations in care of Martha’s Village & Kitchen, 83-971 Date Ave., Indio CA 92201. A celebration of life mass will be held at Sacred Heart Church, Palm Desert, on Friday, Sept. 28, at 11 a.m. FitzHenry-Wiefels Palm Desert is in charge of arrangements.