John Walter Meyer, 1949 – 2017

Funeral services for John Meyer, 68, of Jefferson will be held Monday, Sept. 11, at the First United Methodist Church in Jefferson. A graveside service will be held at that afternoon at Silver Valley Cemetery in Hancock.

John Walter Meyer, first-born son of Milton and Drusa Dell (Thomas) Meyer, was born on March 15, the Ides of March, 1949, in Council Bluffs. He died at home on Sept. 2, 2017, in Jefferson at the age of 68.

Naming him after his grandfathers, R. Johnson Thomas and Walter Meyer, Milton and Drusa brought John home to the family’s farmhouse near Hancock. Great-grandfather Ferdinand Meyer, who emigrated from Germany, originally bought the land, built that home, and started the family legacy where John and his siblings grew up.

Among other valuable lessons, John learned respect and love of the land from his father, and the love of music and social contacts from his mother. John played sports, played trombone in the band, participated in lots of activities, and made many lifelong friends in the Oakland High School Class of 1967. He then attended Iowa State University, majoring in agriculture, playing in the ISU band, and making lifelong friends. John always made it a special point to keep in contact with each group, often helping organize reunions.

John worked in soybean production most of his career. This brought him to Waterloo where he met his future wife, Laura (Lakin), while she was attending the University of Northern Iowa.They were married in 1976, living for three years in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area. While there, John became a member of SPEBSQA, now the Barbershop Harmony Society, and participated in many performances, shows, and activities with his Barbershopper friends. Their son David was born during a dress rehearsal, and attended their first International Barbershop Competition in Minneapolis at the age of 10 months.

John and Laura moved the family to Jefferson in 1979 to help start up a new bean plant, meeting and befriending many more people for the next six years. Their second son Kirk arrived as a Halloween treat. Neighbors, church members, Barbershop and choir singers, agriculture and other business associates and more were added to John’s collection. In 1985, the Meyer family moved to Marshalltown, adding to and starting more friendships and associations.

In 1988, John took a soybean plant manager position and transferred the family to Marshall, MO, for a 10-year sprint. John was still into Barbershop, choir, church, neighbors and associates, and added baseball and school to the mix. John and both boys joined in Babe Ruth Baseball, coaching, playing and scorekeeping. David graduated college with a degree in chemistry and physics education, and then started teaching right away. John’s extended list of friends and associates grew even larger.

John, Laura and Kirk returned to Jefferson in 1998, with the intent to some day retire there. John got involved with Little League baseball, choir, Barbershoppers, joined Kiwanis, Cribbage Club, the Greene County GOP, and started announcing HS baseball games. Professionally, he switched to the bookkeeping side of business. John spent much of the time in Jefferson helping friends in their businesses, volunteering with various organizations, and co-managing his inherited portion of the family farm with his brother. Kirk graduated from ISU in mechanical engineering, married his high school sweetheart, and started a family. John is overjoyed that the circle of his family is complete, even if his time to enjoy it has been cut short.

John was preceded in death by his parents Milton and Drusa, his uncle and aunt Delmar and Delores Meyer, his aunt and uncle Madeline (Thomas) and James Summitt, and his uncle Wayne Frohardt.

John is survived by his wife Laura (Lakin) Meyer; his son David, and son Kirk with his daughter-in-law Stephanie (Peterson) Meyer; and granddaughters Adelyn and Embree. Also surviving him are his brother and wife, Robert & Lisa Meyer; sister and husband Carol and Spence Lycan; his niece and husband Erin and Tim Ridley and nephew Ryan Lycan; and his aunt Lucille (Meyer) Frohardt; as well as numerous “favorite” cousins. He also leaves behind many, many other family members, in-laws, and friends who love and admire him.

Some statements frequently heard from John over the years:
• “I really love this class (OHS Class of ’67)”
• “They’re such a great bunch of guys (Meeker House)!”
• “I just love singing four-part harmony (with Barbershoppers)!”
• “Damn, that’s a big TV!” (Remarked for months after getting a new 27” TV from a 19” TV)
• “Smokin’!!!!” (Declared for months after the movie “Mask” came out)
• Various movie quotes from Mel Brooks, “Back to the Future,” and “Star Wars” movies.
• “I guess I have a collected a lot of ‘herds’ over the years. I gotta say, this is the strangest herd since Manny, Sid and Diego!”
• “It was such a miracle, finding the right Meyer in all of Germany! I now know my heritage for many more generations back, and have met and become friends with my own German cousin!”
• “I am so proud of both my sons. They’ve become such great adults!”
• “Family is everything. We’ve got to keep the Family together.”

The family is assisted by Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home of Jefferson.

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