Mr. Landis B. Whitsel, 62, of 7286 Mentzer Gap Road, Waynesboro, died at 3:25 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, in his home following a two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer.
Born Nov. 19, 1948, in Three Springs, Pa., he was the son of Dixie Lee (Booth) Whitsel of Shippensburg and the late James P. Whitsel.
Mr. Whitsel graduated from Chambersburg Area Senior High School with the class of 1967. He later studied art at the York Academy of Art, Hagerstown Junior College, and the University of New Hampshire.
He and his wife of more than 31 years, Candice Ann (McMullen) Whitsel, were married Aug. 31, 1980. They have lived at their present residence for the past 20 years.
Mr. Whitsel has left an outstanding legacy to the entire region through his artwork. Always willing to share his extraordinary artistic skills and techniques with other artists, he has contributed greatly to Waynesboro Area Senior High School graduates through art prints of his original paintings. His research was painstaking and thorough as he depicted historic landmarks and events of the Waynesboro, Chambersburg, Harrisburg and Hanover communities. His paintings are prized by collectors of fine art, and he has won the admiration of artists throughout the Cumberland Valley. He will be sorely missed and the memory of this splendid, courageous man will long endure.
He was an entrepreneur who used his artistic and creative abilities and wide array of skills, including welding fabrication, to produce museum-quality World War I replica machine guns that were distributed internationally and used in motion pictures under the name of Repligun. Mr. Whitsel used his talents to bring our history, a huge influence for his life’s work, into the present through his artwork, Repliguns and many other endeavors.
Aviation was a lifelong dream that he fulfilled starting with ultralight aircraft. He earned his private pilot’s license in 1997, and continued his passion by building and owning a number of his own planes. He enjoyed taking friends and family flying, especially in his aerobatic plane.
Mr. Whitsel was a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the Experimental Aircraft Association, and he loved riding his Harley.
In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by two children, Micha Whitsel of Hagerstown and Wyatt Whitsel of Waynesboro; two sisters, Linette Mowry of Dauphin, Pa., and Tina Whitsel of Panama City Beach, Fla.; one brother, James Whitsel of Shippensburg, Pa.; and a number of nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, at Grove-Bowersox Funeral Home, 50 S. Broad St., Waynesboro, with the Rev. Dr. A. Robert Cook, officiating. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Hagerstown Aviation Museum Inc., 14235 Oak Springs Road, Hagerstown, MD 21742.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.bowersoxfuneralhomes.com.