Townshend- Walter F. Meyer, 87 years young, a longtime resident of the West River Valley died peacefully early Saturday morning, March 16, 2019 in the comfort of his home surrounded by his family following a period of declining health.
Walter was born on April 10, 1931 in Astoria (Queens), New York, the son of Hans F. and Mary (Lorang) Meyer. He spent his early years in Cranford, New Jersey moving to Wardsboro, VT with his family in 1945.
He was a graduate of Leland & Gray Seminary, Class of 1949 and went on to attend and graduate from the University of Vermont earning his B.S. degree in Animal and Dairy Husbandry. Following his graduation from UVM he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany until his honorable discharge from active service.
Upon returning home he became President and CEO of Mary Meyer Manufacturing Company and guided the growth of Mary Meyer at its original location in Townshend Village then to its current location on Route 30 north of the village.
Active civically, Walter was a Vermont certified EMT serving on the Grace Cottage Ambulance Service for many years. He was an active volunteer at Grace Cottage Hospital that included being a Fair Day organizer and supporter.
He was a volunteer firefighter with the Townshend Fire Department, served as a selectman and lister for many years for the town of Townshend and was a founding member and a past president of the Townshend Business Association. Walter was also a member of the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce.
He took a great interest in the area youth and was a member of the Leland & Gray High School and Townshend Elementary school boards.
Steadfast in his walk of faith with his wife, he was a longtime parishioner and supporter of Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Townshend.
Of his leisure time activities, he enjoyed pen and ink drawing, painting with oils, Townshend history and keeping up with current events and social media. He enjoyed communicating with friends on Facebook, reading, and never stopped learning, keeping up with the latest trends in technology.
In 1956 while attending art classes in Brattleboro he met Elaine Austin. The couple exchanged vows on May 4, 1957 at Saint Michaels’ Roman Catholic Church in Brattleboro.
Besides his devoted and faithful wife of 62 years he leaves his six children, sons Christopher (Laurie) of Williston, Kevin (Heidi) of Brattleboro, Steven (Karren) of Newfane, Michael (Denise) of Townshend and Peter (Holly) of Brookline, one daughter Linda Bursell (Michael) of Richmond, Vermont.
Additionally, he is survived by 18 grandchildren, two great grandchildren, plus many nieces and nephews from both sides of the family.
He was predeceased by a sister, Lorraine Schoellhorn who passed in 2016.
Walter always wanted to help his grandchildren further their education and their careers. He understood the value of a good education. He always said he graduated from the school of hard knocks.
Many local charities knew Walter was an easy target for donations of toys. He was always happy to help and very proud his company was able to aid so many organizations.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday at 11:00 A.M. at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Townshend. Burial in the Meyer family lot in Oakwood Cemetery will take place in the spring.
Friends are invited to call at the Atamaniuk Funeral Home this Friday, March 22nd from 4 to 6 P.M.
Memorial contributions in Walter’s name may be made to, Grace Cottage Hospital, P.O. Box 216, Townshend, VT 05353, or to Our Lady of the Valley Parish, P.O. Box 246, Putney, VT 05346.