William Morrison Meyers
COVINGTON - The United State Marine Corps motto is "Semper Fidelis" or as the Marines say, "Semper Fi" which means "always faithful" or "always loyal." William Morrison Meyers, who passed away on February 22, 2013, lived his life according to the Marine motto. Bill was faithful to his family, his country, the Corps, his profession, and his school.
Born in Lafayette, LA, on May 17, 1922, to Frank W. Meyers and Eleanor Slocomb Meyers, Bill was the third of four children. He is predeceased by his parents and his siblings, Eleanor Meyers West Domingue, Frank W. Meyers, Jr., and Gloria Meyers Cunningham Roper.
He graduated from Lafayette High School in 1939 and later graduated from S.L.I. (now U.L.L.) before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942. After going through boot camp at the Marine Depot at Parris Island, S.C., Bill was sent to Officer Candidate School at the Marine Barracks, Quantico, Va., and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on March 22, 1944. His primary military specialties were infantry unit commander and sea duty officer. After training, he was ordered to report to the Marine Detachment aboard the battleship U.S.S. Washington (BB-56) where he served as a gunnery officer.
The U.S.S. Washington saw action in the Pacific Theater and served as naval support for the Marines in their amphibious assaults including the landings at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Four battle stars were awarded to Bill - Battle of Leyte Gulf, Luzon Operation, Iwo Jima Bombardment, and Okinawa Bombardment. At the conclusion of the war, he was relieved of active duty in 1946, but remained in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve until honorably discharged at the rank of Captain in 1958.
Following the War, and while attending LSU Law, Bill met Lorraine Holleman. The couple married in 1948, and together made the perfect team raising six active children.
BIll graduated from the LSU Law Center in 1948 where he was Associate Editor of the Louisiana Law Review, and a member of The Order of the Coif and the Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity (President). He became a member of the firm of Liskow & Lewis in Lake Charles, and was associated with that firm for over 41 years. He was one of the founders of the New Orleans office of Liskow & Lewis in 1959, and later became Managing Partner for several years. Blessed with a brilliant intellect, he specialized in oil and gas law and was known for his thoroughness and attention to detail. He was particularly active with respect to legal and environmental issues relative to offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and waters bordering the State of Alaska. In his representation of major oil companies, Bill was regularly involved in federal hearings across the country including Alaska. In 1980, he was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the American Petroleum Institute for his "outstanding services" in this regard. He was a frequent speaker at legal seminars pertaining to these matters.
Bill established a system for recording lease titles at the US Bureau of Land Management under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act which is still in use today. A long-time senior member of the Council of the Louisiana Law Institute, Bill was very active in the revisions of various portions of the Louisiana Civil Code and the Louisiana Mineral Code. In 1984, he was the LSU Law Center's first Practitioner in Residence where he taught for a semester. He was inducted into the LSU Law Center Hall of Fame in 1987. Bill was a member of the LSU Law Center's Chancellor's Council.
Bill is a former member of both the Board of Governors and the Board of Delegates of the Louisiana State Bar Association. He is a former research fellow and member of the Board of Trustees of the Southwestern Legal Foundation (now known as The Center for American and International Law)., and served for 11 years on the Board of Editors of the Oil and Gas Reporter, a publication of the Southwestern Legal Foundation.
Upon his retirement from Liskow & Lewis, Bill and Lorraine moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast where they spent many happy years enjoying time with dear friends and hosting their eleven grandchildren who visited regularly. For the last six years, Bill and Lorraine lived in Covington.
In 2012, Bill was honored by the LSU Law Center with a Distinguished Achievement Award. He was also inducted into the Hall of Honor for Distinguished Leadership by Cadets of the Ole War Skule at LSU in 2012. He is a former member of the LSU Foundation.
Bill loved LSU, especially the LSU Law Center. He cultivated a love for LSU in his own children who have fond memories of him driving the family to Baton Rouge on Saturdays, tailgating outside Tiger Stadium, and of course, leaving the game early in order to avoid the post-game traffic. So, we missed the Bert Jones touchdown pass to Brad Davis with one second left versus Ole Miss in 1972, but at least we beat the traffic.
Along with his family, Bill was inducted into the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012. He lettered in varsity tennis for LSU in 1948 while attending LSU Law School. He introduced his children at a young age to the sport he loved and fully supported them in their efforts to succeed in tennis and their other endeavors. He was a long time member of the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club and in the 1970s, served as a Board member and as President. He played tennis until he was 80 years old.
Bill leaves his beloved and devoted wife of 64 years, Lorraine Holleman Meyers, their six children, and their spouses and children: Dr. William M. Meyers, Jr. and his wife, Melissa Day Meyers, of New Orleans; Meg Meyers Smith, her husband, Michael, of Houston and their children, Taylor and Walker; Mark B. Meyers and his wife, Susan Hopkins Meyers, of Houston, and their children, Brent, Holly, and Anna; Andrew H. Meyers, and his wife, Erin McKay Meyers, of Lafayette, and their children, Kathleen, Andrew, Jr., William, and Matthew; Mary Meyers Howard and her husband, Michael, of Brooklyn, NY, and their daughter, Mimi; and John Cullen Meyers, and his wife, Susan Worrel Meyers, of Covington, and their daughter, Emily. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews whom he loved very much.
Bill would be the first to say that he was nothing without the love, grace, support, and patience of his bride, Lorraine. She was clearly the most important person in his life. Bill's children loved him dearly, but just as importantly, respected him greatly as he served as a superb role model for character, integrity, and honor. His grandchildren simply adored him for his quick-wit, sense of humor, and his constant concern and loving-kindness.
Visitation from 1:00-3:00 pm immediately followed by a memorial service will be held on March 16, 2013, in the Garden Room at Christwood Retirement Community, 100 Christwood Blvd, Covington, LA.
Honorary pallbearers are John P. Laborde, Gene W. Lafitte, Leon J. Reymond, Jr., John M. Wilson, Lester B. Shapiro, Tom Davidson, and Brainerd Montgomery.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Bill's memory to the "LSU Foundation--William M. Meyers Endowed Scholarship", and addressed to LSU Foundation, 3838 West Lakeshore Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808. SEMPER FI!
Published in the The Advertiser on Feb. 24, 2013