Cadet Company: G1
Date of Birth: February 24, 1942
Date of Death: January 4, 2015 - View or Post a Eulogy
Our Classmate Peter Meyer will have a funeral mass and burial at West Point at 10AM on Tuesday, 13 January.
Assembly will be at the Catholic Chapel at 10AM, followed by a burial service at the West Point Cemetery.
At the conclusion, there will be a reception at the Officers Club, now called the West Point Club.
Jim Kofalt is escorting Pete to Massachusetts.
There will be a visitation and
memorial service in the Boston area on Saturday, the 10th. It will take place
at the Boston Harbor Home – JS Waterman Funeral Home, 580 Commercial
Street, Boston MA 02109.
Visitation is in the morning from 10 – 12, with a memorial service at noon. This will be followed by a reception at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
For those of you wishing to contact Phyllis, please send notes/cards to Phyllis Meyer, C/O Ms Susan Ross, 5 Mason Terrace, Brookline, MA 02446. Phyllis will be staying with her daughter Sue in Brookline.
For those of you who may have missed our earlier e-mails, Pete was tragically killed in a hit and run accident in Savannah on Sunday night while driving to his home in Florida.
Flowers from the Class have been arranged for the West Point service. The AOG POC will have our Class Flag at the chapel and the cemetery.
Please keep Phyllis and the Meyer family in your thoughts and prayers.
May Pete rest in peace.
Thank you all for being here. Something terrible has happened to all of us. Our loss is profound and deep. For my family, it feels like a cannonball has been shot through the hull of our boat and we are taking on water. But all of you - showing up here today, sharing your memories, feeling sorrow and shedding tears right alongside us - you are keeping us afloat as we make repairs and figure out how to go on. Your presence, your words, and your love are TRULY a miracle for our mother and for me and Sue and our families, and we are incredibly grateful.
You have all read our dad's obituary and know about his life and accomplishments - his high school athletic career, his time at West Point, his service in Vietnam, his successful business career, and his 50 year marriage to our mom, his high school sweetheart. It is a great life story and one I have been very proud to tell over the years and especially in the last several days.
But I want to tell you more about the man who was our father, the patriarch of our family, our pillar. I want to express to you what he meant to our family, to his friends and to the many people whose lives he touched. But how do you translate 72 years of living in full color into a 10 minute speech? Let me try to describe some of the qualities that made him the incredible man that we are all mourning today.
We loved HIM! What did he love? He loved US -- his wife Phyllis and me and Sue. He loved his grandchildren - Josh, Ben, Henry, Lily and Lizzie. He loved his son-in-laws, Andy and Chuck. He loved his dog, Chili. He loved his friends. He loved his country, West Point and Army. He loved football and would watch any game - professional, college or even a random high school game. He delighted in watching his grandchildren play on their teams. He loved road trips, newspapers, crossword puzzles, and Manhattans.
As you know, our dad was large AND larger than life. He was handsome and engaging and had charisma to spare. He was funny and he was fun. He always had a "story" to tell -- which was really code for some off-color joke. I loved it when he would tell the story like it was an actual story and not a joke, but was barely able to conceal his grin as he neared the punch line and waited for your reaction. He could work a room. He lit up the room.
Our dad LOVED people -- he loved meeting people and talking to people. We used to joke that he could talk to a wall and that to him, there were no strangers, just friends he hadn't met yet. He was an expert at making people feel comfortable, welcome and cared for. He was a great host. He loved to entertain and he threw great parties. He always made sure the bar was open, your glass was full, and that the band kept playing.
Our dad was a generous and caring man. He gave not only with his money but with his time, attention, and support. He donated to charities, but he also gave or loaned money to friends and family members who were going through hard times. People inside and outside our family knew that they could come to him for help, advice, and guidance, and they did. He was compassionate and caring. He showed up for those he loved, even when it wasn't pleasant or convenient. He visited sick friends and relatives and looked in on elderly family members. The week before Thanksgiving, he and our mom travelled to North Carolina to visit his cousin Judy in Hospice. For the last 45+ years, he has regularly checked in with the son and widow of one of his best friends from West Point, John Graham, who was killed in Vietnam. That son, now an Army officer deployed in Afghanistan, emailed this week to express his thanks for our dad's guidance through the years. And in the week before he died, our dad stopped on the side of the road to lure a kitten into his car that seemed lost and in danger. That was the kind of guy he was - always looking out for those in need and lending his strength and help.
Our Dad was our protector and provider. As a little girl, I knew he was big and strong and could fight the bad guys. I never had that typical childhood fear that someone would come into my house and hurt me - I remember lying in bed and KNOWING that if anyone came into my house, my daddy would get to them first and I would be safe. Our dad made a lot of people feel safe, just by existing in the world. We knew -- and perhaps some of you knew -- that he had your back - that he would be there for you - and that made the world a less scary place.
Our dad was the picture of strength and could be stoic. Over the years, I asked him many times to talk about his Vietnam experiences and he quietly refused. I think some bad things happened there that he chose to keep to himself. But our dad also had a gooey center. At my 40th birthday party, I came upon him talking to a group of my friends. He was telling them, with tears rolling down his face, that the best days of his life were the days that Sue and I were born. A couple of weeks ago, when we were all in Vermont together celebrating Christmas, Daddy, Sue and I were sitting at the table after dinner. We were talking about what we were up to and his eyes welled up and he told us that he was so proud of us - that he couldn't believe that his little girls were doing things in the world that were helping people in meaningful ways. And whenever we said good bye to each other -- in person or on the phone, he would say, "I love you, girl."
So something terrible has happened and we must go on. Our dad was taken from all of us too soon, but we are comforted that he did not suffer and he will NEVER suffer from disease or old age. As the remembrances and accolades roll in, Sue and I are seeing him somewhat differently - realizing in a new and different way how bright his light shined and how much he was adored by so many. Perhaps when you grow up so close to the sun, you don't realize how bright it is.
His light shines on in us, in our children and in you - those he loved. Our dad taught us to be strong, to be brave, and to face things head on. As kids, when we would fall down, he would say, "Recover, Ranger." And we would get back up. So we will soldier on and face the future with the courage and strength that he taught us.
Thank you, God, for giving us Peter - our wonderful father, husband, and friend. To quote the West Point alma mater: Well Done. Be Thou at Peace.