My father would be really proud that I was economical with his "official" obit in the newspaper. But he deserves far more than two column inches. So here's what I REALLY wanted to say about my dad.
Neil Russel Meyer of Issaquah, WA passed away peacefully, (but at least 6 hours later than we expected to prove how strong he still was) on March 11, 2018. Neil, as he was known by everyone including grandchildren and pets, was born in Springfield Ohio in 1937. He grew up in St. Paris, Ohio, where he graduated high school. After two years in the Navy, Neil went on to receive his Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of Montana.
Neil is survived by his wife Nancy, daughter Jennie and husband Dave, step-daughter Bambi and husband Kim, step-daughter Nancy and fiancé Jeff, along with grandchildren Brooke, Forrest, Chace, Sydney, Sam, Cassidy, Carson, and great-grandson Brayden. Neil is also survived by his brother David, wife Jane, and nephew Derek. Neil was predeceased by his parents, Rose A. and Elwood H. Meyer and many dogs, cats, horses and goats who he had a love/hate relationship with. Especially the Tennessee Walking horse who knocked his front teeth out as a child, and that one goat who chewed a hole in his underwear.
Neil had an impressive, 37-year career with Weyerhaeuser, working his way up from a “choker” in the woods to a Plywood Plant manager in Snoqualmie and White River, and later a Systems Management consultant throughout the Northwest. In the mid 80’s, Neil moved with Nancy to Sabah, East Malaysia for five years to manage the building and running of a Plywood Plant just outside Lahad Datu. Daughter Jennie attended school in Singapore during this time, sparing Neil lots of teen hormones and eye rolling. As a manager, (and in life) Neil was honest, kind, incredibly detail oriented, and so safe he was dangerous, always wearing his hard hat at a signature, jaunty angle.
Being from the forest industry, Neil. Loved. Wood. Which is evident from the temple of cedar home he built with Nancy, the two barns he built with Nancy supervising, and the neatly stacked piles of firewood, in descending order of size, everywhere around the property.
In his younger years, Neil spent his free time playing tennis, up-keeping the property, helping care for Jennie’s horses, swearing under his breath at Jennie’s horses, and going fishing. (But not nearly enough.) He could make a mean Margarita, a meaner Manhattan and a perfectly sweet Shirley Temple. Neil could also be found on rainy weekends puttering around the basement, organizing bolts and screws into an elaborate system of empty Beer Nuts cans.
After retirement, Neil devoted himself to cooking delicious, but eyebrow-singeingly spicy food, wine-making, fence and paddock repairs and keeping mice out of the horse feed.
Neil was a sweetheart of a man, and a loving husband and father with a sharp wit as dry as melba toast. He saved his occasional lectures accompanied by an impressive nose flare for his family, but to his friends and acquaintances, he was always kind, quietly funny, and incredibly polite. He will be remembered with love and missed by all.
A celebration for Neil featuring good, but reasonably-priced, wine is being planned for late May. In remembrance, please donate to Alzheimer’s research at alz.org.