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Robert W. Mezger, 91, died surrounded by his loving family in Klamath Falls, Ore., Jan. 9, 2014.
A service of tribute and love will be at 2 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, Friends may call for visitation on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Eternal Hills Funeral Home. Cremation and inurnment will be at Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens.
Bob was born Dec. 8, 1922, in Jersey City, N.J., to Carl and Daisy Walter Mezger. He grew up in that area with grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Family was very important.
After he graduated from high school, he started at Penn State University. He took a leave from college and entered the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he served as a second lieutenant from 1942 to 1945.
On Aug. 4, 1945, he married Patricia Cosley in Rutherford, N.J., after meeting her at a USO dance while in the service in Denver, Colo.
Bob returned to Penn State, where he graduated from the forestry school in 1947 and then received his master's degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
He became a forester for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and, after living in several locations that included Gray's Harbor, Wash. and Lapwai, Idaho, he took a position with the Klamath Indian Reservation in 1952, followed in 1959 by a position at the U.S. National Bank Trust Department, where he worked until he retired at age 65. He remained in the Klamath Basin since.
In 1978, he began purchasing forest property, first with a partner through the Whiskey Creek Timber Co. and then, in 2003, with family through Mezger Forest Inc. He was named the American Tree Farm's Western Region Tree Farmer of the Year in 2008. He published a book in 2013 titled "A Forest History of the Oregon's Klamath Basin 1910-1980." He continued to work daily in the industry he loved until the day he died.
Bob and his wife, Pat, were members of the First United Methodist Church in Klamath Falls since they moved to town in the 1950s. Over the years, he taught Sunday school, worked with the youth group, sang in the choir, played hand bells, went to a family camp and was always active in the administration of the church. He loved the church and his family gathering with other family members for holidays, celebrations, games and weddings. All four of his children were married in this church. This was another significant part of Bob's life.
Bob was also a member of Rotary Club, YMCA, Society of American Foresters and many other forestry organizations and held board positions over the years.
He enjoyed traveling with his wife for vacations and to see family wherever they lived, including Europe, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea; he celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with his family in Hawaii. He also enjoyed fly fishing and playing bridge. Most of all, Bob enjoyed being with his family and his trees.
People loved Bob's sense of humor, his patience, work ethic and his appreciation for diversity.
He was preceded in death by Patricia, his wife of 65 years, and is survived by their four children and spouses, Alan and Diane Mezger of Dallas, Texas; Peggy Mezger and her partner, Arlene Logan of Talent, Ore.; Donna and Jim Roberts of Bainbridge Island, Wash.; and Sally Cordle of Klamath Falls; grandchildren Leslie, Josh, Robbie (aka Robert W. Mezger II), Jason, Matt, Arthur, Kenneth, Charles, Joseph, Michele Mary, and Mindy; and 18 great-grandchildren.
Those wishing to do so may send memorial contributions to First Methodist Church.
Eternal Hills Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Please sign the online guest book at www.heraldandnews.com/obituaries.
Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens
4711 Highway 39
Klamath Falls, OR 97603
Published in Herald And News on Jan. 11, 2014