[heading] by WYNNE LOVE | photos by Soul of Photography [/heading]

The Gafner family’s Leucadia roots run deep. Stan Gafner moved into the family home on Saxony Road in 1999, but his grandparents settled in the San Diego area in the early 1900’s and moved to Leucadia around 1940.

Stan’s grandmother ran a real estate office on Highway 101 and even helped develop the Leucadia sewer system. “The next time water goes down your drain, think about Forest R. Gafner,” suggested Stan. “She teamed with a couple of other Leucadia residents in the late ‘50s to establish the Leucadia County Water District.”

Today, Stan is pleased to be tending his own branch of the family tree. “I’ve wanted to live in Leucadia ever since

I can remember,” shared Stan. “My summer vacations here as a kid made settling in Leucadia one of my primary life goals, and I had no problem convincing Mary to join me!”

Stan’s wife, Mary, moved to Leucadia in 2004, after meeting Stan at a high-tech start-up where they both worked. “We always comment that our meeting was the best thing ever produced from that company,” shared Stan. “The company is no longer operating, but we are humming along quite nicely!”

Mary now works as an IT manager at Qualcomm and Stan is an artist and consultant. After they tied the knot in 2005, they set to remodeling the family home into an eco-friendly residence and art studio, highlighted on their website at stangafner.com/treehouse95zero. “Now the third generation of Gafners has built a new family home and Occupy Leucadia continues!” exclaimed Stan.

Stan and Mary enjoy hosting their children at the family home as often as they can: Stan’s three children – Amanda, 25, Travis, 24, and Dylan, 21 – and Mary’s daughter, Maren, 29, with whom she reunited in 2004 – twenty years after she placed her for adoption. Stan and Mary also make time to enjoy what Stan calls their “little piece of paradise.” “Mary runs like crazy…and I am working my way back to a daily dawn patrol surf ritual,” he explained. “We practice Sunset Awe almost daily.”

After 25 years of leasing land to the Franco family of Franco’s flowers, the Gafners sold it to them in 2011, following Stan’s father’s wishes. But the Gafners won’t be leaving the family home anytime soon. They expect that will be occupied by future generations of Gafners for many years to come.

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Parents:  Stan Gafner, 58, and Mary Healey Gafner, 46
Community:  Leucadia forever!
Year moved to Community:  1999 (Stan), 2004 (Mary)
Parents Hometown:  Stan – Houston, TX;  Mary –  Silver Spring, MD (D.C. area)
Parents Occupation:  Mary – IT Manager at Qualcomm; Stan – Consultant @ 515Management and Artist
Children:  Maren J. Nelson – 29 – Curriculum Coordinator @ Ashford University, lives in Scripps Ranch
Amanda Rae Gafner – 25 – Resides in the Arizona desert
Travis Cullen Gafner – 24 – Works at REI and taking classes @ Mira Costa College
Dylan Marley Gafner – 21 – Works at REI and taking classes @ Mira Costa College
Pets:  None…but we have lots of wild rabbits, skunks, gophers, opossums, crows, and an occasional coyote around here.

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