With the passing of my brother Rex Allen Meier on Monday, Aug 27, 2018, I lost, as Bob Segar may say, “My oldest and my best friend.” Growing up together in the Michigan countryside we floated in boats, caught crayfish and frogs, built forts, played in barns and communed with nature in the way of the small town and small farm community with divine nature and all its beasts both animal and human. As the midwestern industries of the 1970’s began to rust, we went out into the world to find our way as young men exploring, forever boys, but eventually facing the reality of what time has wrought. I realize now that I hold in my experience a broad view of his long life of which so many only had a glimpse, and so I share here in memory.
Rex built cable TV networks in Michigan and Florida and strung cable and fiber across the country in places like San Francisco and Boston. With an astute technical mind he could master satellites and dishes by using the most sophisticated equipment or if necessary a piece of scrap from a junk pile. Always creative, he was a true master of the gadget. I think he was most proud of his work in North Carolina at Corning Glass on setting up the instrumentation in the process of optic fiber cable production.
Early out of high school he was quite the traveler and always stopped to visit me in my travels to places like Arizona, California, and New York. Undaunted, he was truly fearless when it came to meeting, accepting and enjoying folks from all walks of life, and because of it was rewarded many a fine adventure story, like the night he took me to his favorite blues bar way down on the south side of Chicago on a deep dark night in the[CM1] heart of the heat with song filled joyful bliss and soul.
We hunted the Alaska tundra together and fished its icy rivers. In the village he taught GED classes and helped young people get there GED using creative methods that worked. Over the years many have asked me to extend their thanks to him for this. He also worked with mentally challenged adults at a halfway house in Bethel, AK. He loved that job and showed them the times of their lives with crafts, games, outings, hunting, fishing, etc. all the time filled with joking and general glee.
I remember at the Barry County fair Rex walked away with a pink giant stuffed animal nearly as large as he was – how does someone do that? He would meet a person once and remember their name and story forever, which helped him all those years selling real estate with his mother in Florida. Always generous, he would give you the shirt off his back, or give yours to someone else in need. He didn’t always have it, but if he had it, he would share it.
His last years were plagued with health problems, both physical and mental. Unlucky at love, with a big heart he helped raised his daughter Kayla as a young girl, and with a broken heart he had to let her go. As his brother I continued to love him even through the difficult times, and I thank my mother and family who never gave up on him. As I think of his passing I sit and listen to one of his favorite old record albums by Bob Segar “Beautiful Loser” and I remember the good times. Thanks Rex for being there. “Peace man.”
Funeral services are being conducted privately. Rex will be intered at The Delta Hillside Cemetery privately.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Daniels Funeral in Nashville, MI. For further details please visit our website at www.danielsfuneralhome.net.