Richard “Dick” Alan Meyer, age 86, beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle and friend, passed away peacefully at home on Feb. 19 in New Ulm, with his wife Diane and his favorite dogs by his side. He was born to Alfred William and Elizabeth M. Keating Meyer on Sept. 6, 1933, in Manhattan, NY.
Dick enjoyed his childhood days in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, NY, helping in his father’s veterinarian office, playing stickball, football and excelling at baseball. From an early age, he was a dedicated fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and took the subway to watch their games at Ebbett’s Field. When he was about 10 years old, he was lucky enough to have a private meeting with Babe Ruth, who encouraged Dick’s baseball dreams. He played catch often with former Brooklyn Dodger Fresco Thompson, and discussed baseball with Dodger executives Branch Rickey and others who were friends of his parents. Dick remained a lifelong “True Blue” fan of the Dodgers, watching their games or videos, and his wife read Dodgers news articles and fan blogs to him every day.
After Dick graduated from Fort Hamilton HS in 1951, the St. Louis Browns (now MLB’s Baltimore Orioles) offered him a baseball contract. Dick was persuaded by his father to attend Gettysburg College on a baseball scholarship instead of signing to play professional baseball. He played there as a 1st baseman and pitcher, “once striking out 18 of 21 players in a 7 inning game.” Dick joined the ROTC as a freshman and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. After graduating in 1955 with a Bachelor degree in Business, Dick entered the US Air Force as a Lt. Colonel. During the height of the Cold War, Dick lived in Texas and was a SAC Captain/Navigator of Boeing KC-97 strategic refueling tanker aircraft.
After his Air Force service, Dick was vice president and sales manager for several railcar industry companies, easily making many friends in cities where he lived or worked. He met the love of his life, Diane, when he joined the same sales management team of the Pennsylvania company where she worked. Better career opportunities allowed the couple to move to Kingwood, Texas in 1986. In 2003, they moved to New Ulm, after falling in love with the lovely rural area when visiting friends there. They spent many happy years raising and showing small Japanese Chin dogs in national shows. In 1997, their first show dog, Rocky, went to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, where he won the Japanese Chin Best of Breed award and the Toy Group, winning over all the other top Toy dogs in the country. Dick never tired of telling the story of watching that performance in person with Diane at Madison Square Garden, and he continued to enjoy the company of their dogs every day.
Dick’s other favorite story (of many) was telling about the amazing experience he had in 1993, when he played baseball and socialized for a week at the LA Dodgers Adult Fantasy Baseball Camp in Vero Beach, Florida, with many former Brooklyn and LA Dodger players, including Hall of Fame star Duke Snider.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents, his infant son Richard Alan Meyer, Jr., ex-wife Carol Rice Meyer, and father-in-law James L. Goughler, and close friends Virginia (Ginger) Bailey and Patricia Riegler.
Dick is survived by his best friend of 40 years and wife of 27 years, Diane L. Goughler Meyer, his son Scot K. Meyer, his daughters Bobbi A. (Barry) Love, Linda S. Meyer, his younger brother Robert E. (Joan) Meyer, grandchildren Wesley Love, Amanda (Brian) Buhr, Bryan Love, great grandson Jackson Buhr, nephews Todd Meyer, Brad Meyer, niece Leigh Meyer, two great nephews and two great nieces. He is also survived and will be greatly missed by his very large family of in-laws, mostly in Pennsylvania, including Diane’s mother Sedella “Sid” L. Goughler, her sisters Deborah L. (Mickey) Wagner, Lisa A. (Doug) Carson, Lori M. Goughler, nieces Megan C. (Shaun) Simons, Melissa R. (Alex) Bolea, nephews Tyler J. Carson, and Adam M. Carson, great nephew Cormac J. Simons, as well as her 25 cousins. Also surviving Dick are special longtime friends, Ronald Riegler, Bill Bailey, Bob (Sharon) Huette, and Bob (Diane) Yohe, as well as his favorite dogs Violet, Camellia and Zeke who helped brighten his final years.
Dick enjoyed a much longer life than his ancestors. During several years of fighting Alzheimer’s and other diseases, he maintained his sense of humor and engaging smile. He still loved his favorite things: having his wife and dogs right beside him, watching sports and detective shows on television, LA Dodgers baseball and animal videos, living on wooded acreage, eating Texas barbecue, pastas and sweets, telling stories, big hugs and being surrounded by love. There will be no memorial service at this time (as he would say “I’m running a little late”), but a celebration of his life will be held at a future date. Dick wanted all who remember him fondly to raise a glass of their favorite beverage in his honor, and to recall all of the good times that he has shared with so many people. Donations may be made to Alzheimer’s research, or your favorite veterans or animal rescue groups. Online condolences may be given at www.hennekefuneralhome.com.
“You are my angel, my darling, my star and my love will find you, wherever you are.”
Final arrangements are under the direction of Henneke Funeral Home of Columbus.