Meier, Jack 8/24/1960 - 4/22/2021 Comstock Jack R. Meier Jr. 1960 - 2021 An Eternal Wandering Spirit Has Journeyed Home Jack passed away unexpectedly, after suffering a brain aneurysm, in Abilene, Texas, on April 22, 2021, at the age of sixty. Jack was preceded in death by his parents Jack and Rosalee Meier, and brother, Joel. He will be forever loved, and dearly missed, by his wife, Mary Meier, daughter, Ione Keizer (Murray), her husband, Ryan Keizer, brother, Jeff Meier, his wife Krista, sister, Sheryl Meier, stepchildren, Domonic Caro, Christina (Caro) Powell, and five grandchildren, Olivia, Naomi, and Luca Caro, and Blake and Logan Powell, and mother-in-law, Lucille Harrington. Jack was the first-born child of Jack and Rosalee Meier. He was born at Borgess Hospital, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Jack was raised in the community of Richland and attended Gull Lake High School (class of '78) and Western Michigan University (class of '82). On the surface his upbringing seemed to be typical of rural Midwest flavors. He enjoyed academics and performed well in school and was a member of the National Honor Society. In addition, he participated and excelled in the Boy Scouts, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout and received the Bronze Palm award. He also volunteered during the summers at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, planting and nurturing the seeds of appreciation for the natural world around us. In addition to the measured accomplishments in his youth, Jack was also secretly nurturing a quick wit and disarming sense of humor – both appropriate and sometimes, not. To that end, if elements of this obituary border on irreverent, he would approve. Jack had a laugh that was resonant, guttural and infectious. You could not help but enjoy hearing his laughter. It was also in his teens that he sowed seeds of love for music. It was a passion throughout his life. For a brief time, he and some friends tried to form a band. And while it peaked for him personally as a hobby, music remained a theme in his life. In college, he wrote many concert/music review articles for WMU's newspaper, The Herald. It was an opportunity that basically fueled his avocation. He attended hundreds of concerts – amassing an enviable collection of both ticket stubs and memories – he could recall complete concert playlists and band rosters from decades before. His taste in music was eclectic, a very wide spectrum, indeed. It is not surprising that he greatly enjoyed seeing his daughter, Ione, develop her musical acumen. Following college, he trained and worked as a cardiovascular ultra-sonographer. He worked initially in the Lansing, Battle Creek, and Kalamazoo regions, before following his love for travel. Indeed, he was a human definition of wanderlust. He began working for a medical staffing agency that sent him, Mary and their dogs, on assignments across the country. He shared his skills and talents with hundreds of people over the course of the last fifteen years. In return he not only sharpened his skills but made many treasured friends all along the way. In addition to acquainting him with the diversity and beauty of the country, traveling allowed him to find his "second home" and favorite place, Hawaii. They enjoyed over two years on the islands of Oahu and Kauai. Jack has indicated his wishes for his final resting place to be in the Pacific Ocean, off the shores of Kauai. His favorite place to swim. Jack's work brought him great joy. Often seeing patients stressed by their health issues, he enjoyed the opportunity to help them and ease their concerns – not surprisingly, by injecting humor. More than once, he was asked by patients where he was trained, he would respond in his dry manner, "In Prison." He liked the social aspects of his work and took pride in his ability to interact with his clients and on a personal level. He was a sought-out commodity as multiple hospitals asked him to extend his contract or take a permanent position. He used his vast knowledge and experience, not only for medical diagnostic purposes, but also to teach, fellow co-workers and interns. He had a gift for working with others, patients and staff. Jack enjoyed connections he made at each local, except for Shreveport. "There's something wrong with that place." It turns out, Jack may have been a criminal. He may have been part of a group of one-and-done arsonists that torched a fast-food restaurant dumpster, possibly in the Kalamazoo are, and in one of his yearend Christmas newsletters, he reported killing a but, this may or may not be true. Among his more grown-up experiences was the pleasure of food and drink. Cooking was not only his hobby, but his passion. Sharing his cooking and wine pairing talents with others brought him so much joy, as did dining out with family and friends. There was nothing better than watching Jack's face as he experienced well-prepared meal. While traveling he was able to dine in some of the finest restaurants in the country, from New York City to San Francisco. However, even in all his travels, Jack's favorite pizza, by far, the sauce and cheese Focaccia at Martini's Kzoo. He coupled such domestic pursuits with his passion for exploration. Whether snow skiing or hiking in remote regions, touring the National Parks, or viewing landscapes from a hot air balloon, or just wandering, Jack found bliss communing with nature. Experiencing the outdoors was always on his agenda. An author once wrote, "The purpose of art is to provide that which life does not." This, Jack understood inherently. He spent much of his life absorbing not only what could be seen in art museums, which he enjoyed, but also appreciating the beauty that surrounds us and the more natural art of time well-spent with family and friends. Jack's passions aged with him, but those of music and patient care were probably the most steadfast. It is not surprising that he had so much pride in his daughter, Ione, who has applied her skills and interests in the field of Music Therapy. He was her biggest fan. Jack's soul found it's home with Mary. They met on January 7, 1997. He brought Ione to school that morning, Mary didn't see them come in, as she was staring out the window watching the snowfall. Suddenly, she heard his beautiful voice: "Isn't it a beautiful day?" That was how they began. They were married on, October 9, 1999, and had twenty-four years of a life well lived, together. He enjoyed watching Ione, and his stepchildren grow up, but one of his favorite roles was as a "Grandpa Jack". Although traveling made spending time with the grandchildren, not as frequent as he would have liked, he always, brought his full attention, patience and playfulness to share with them when he could. Grandpa Jack became a name he used while working with his pediatric patients, as well. Thank you, Jack! Thank you for sharing yourself so completely, your generosity, kindness, healing hands, gentle, laid-back ways, amazing memory, brilliant mind, your compassion and enthusiasm for life, and your ability to be fully in the present moment, happy or sad, and, of course, your laugher. We know, you would brush past the above comments with self- effacing humor, but it's all true, and so much more. Someone once said: We never forget the ones who make us laugh. If that's true, you will be remembered by hundreds of us, forever… …While Jack's obituary correctly indicates that he left us on April 22nd that is only partly true. You see, Jack was an organ donor. Through his expressed wishes and the heartbreaking courage of his wife and daughter, he provided his lungs, kidneys, and corneal transplants, providing life extensions to strangers as well as restoring vision to two other people, that he would never know. Would you consider doing the same? Or if not, perhaps plant a tree? ** Saturday, October 9, 2021, 2:00 – 6:00, please stop by our Comstock home, to toast Jack, and share memories of a life well lived.
Published by Kalamazoo Gazette from Sep. 20 to Sep. 21, 2021.