Gerhard Meier passed gently on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, ending a fascinating life that spanned four continents.
Born in Chemnitz, East Germany in 1924, through his service as a lieutenant in the German air force, a brief period as an American POW, to his employment in 1947 with a little automobile manufacturing company, Gerhard honed his dedication to commitment and to his “just do it” approach to life. That little automobile company became Volkswagen in 1949. Once he became technically proficient in all Western European languages, Gerhard was promoted to Corporate Service Manager over their dealerships as they expanded around the globe. That position moved him to New Jersey in 1958 and Los Angeles in the '60s. Forty-two years after starting with VW he retired to Green Valley where he loved hiking with the hiking club, the many venues for music and gathering with friends to play the card game Skip-bo.
His thirst for knowledge plus his stamp collecting hobby made him a wealth of information. Even in retirement he continued to travel internationally and nationally, studying anthropology, history and culture, and he delighted in being a teacher and tour guide to anyone who shared his travels. When he could no longer travel, he enjoyed his summer home in MN where he created beautiful flower gardens and played cards with his many friends.
His first wife, Ursula, passed in 1997, having blessed him with a son, Norbert, and a daughter, Martina. He has five grandchildren. He is survived by his brother, Siegfried, and nephews Axel and Eberhard. In 1998 he began to share his life with Gwen. Using his home in Freiburg, Germany as a spring board, summers they enjoyed living and touring the surrounding countries and Scandinavia. From Green Valley, Gerhard and Gwen toured frequently with Fiesta Tours Intl. to countries south of our border.
Gerhard lived fully. Even with his physical limitations and Alzheimer's, he was tapping in time to the music of the Silver City Jam Band the Friday before his passing. Gerhard did not want a memorial service, however, later spring, there will be a gathering at the amphitheater in Madera Canyon for those who wish to send him off to his final resting place in his beloved Santa Ritas. Donations in his memory can be directed to Hospice Family Care or the Alzheimer's Association.