John Henry Meier, 81, passed away peacefully Sept. 16, 2008, in his home surrounded by his family. John was a Crescent City resident for 30 years until he moved in 2000.
He was born Dec. 7, 1926, in Los Angeles to John and Mildred Stone Meier. While John attended Burbank High School, World War II was in full swing.
At age 15 he worked at Lockheed Aircraft. In 1944, his patriotism and love of airplanes influenced his decision to leave high school a year early and join the Navy at age 17. He served his country assigned to P.T. Boat Base 17 in Samar, Philippines. In 1946 he became a veteran at age 19 as Yeoman third class.
After returning home from the war, John graduated from Burbank High, class of 1947. John loved to play softball. While attending Glendale Junior College, John was invited to play on the LDS church softball team at the Glendale West Ward. As a result of good friends and influences, John was impressed enough to attend Brigham Young University, where he was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. John graduated from BYU in 1952 with a degree in education. He started his teaching career in Utah but soon moved back to California to teach sixth grade at Fremont Elementary.
John married Idora Marie Bickel on Feb. 21, 1957, in the Los Angeles LDS Temple. They had six children. John loved his work as a teacher. He was deeply committed to making school a fun place for children to learn.
In 1970, John and his family moved to a small farm in Crescent City, where he taught fourth grade at Joe Hamilton School. He loved the cool, clean air, salmon fishing and the beautiful redwoods. As hobbies, John enjoyed radio-controlled model airplanes, building and flying his ultra-light aircraft and communicating with his "old buddies" around the country on his ham radio.
As a member of the LDS church, John held the office of High Priest and served as a member of the Elders Quorum Presidency, High Priest Group leadership, Bishopric and Scout leader. He helped 8 scouts earn Eagle status.
In the summer of 2000, John and his wife moved to Salt Lake City. His greatest joy became seeing his grandchildren excel in school. "Be kind to your teachers" was his frequent advice.
John is survived by his wife of 51 years, Idora, his four children: Ken (Cecilia), Colleen (David) Evans, Rob (Laura), and Joan (Chris) Hansen; 17 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
John was preceded in death by his parents and two children, Markus and William, "the twins."
Funeral services will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at the Grand View Ward, 5017 W. Grand View Peak Drive in Riverton, where friends may call an hour prior. Interment will be in Herriman Cemetery.