HARVEY - Delbert G. "Del" Meister, 87, entered eternal life Wednesday morning, April 2, 2014, at Marquette General Hospital.
Born Aug. 4, 1926, in Onekama, Mich., a son of George F. and Aili (Niemitalo) Meister, Del was raised in Onekama and graduated from high school there. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II and was stationed for a time in Germany. Following his honorable discharge, Del returned home and on July 10, 1948, married Virginia Mae "Ginny" Shady in Onekama. The couple made their first home with his parents and then relocated to student housing in East Lansing when Del entered Michigan State University. He received his bachelor of science degree in agronomy and then began a long career as a soil scientist. The couple resided in various locations throughout the state, mainly in southeastern Michigan, as his work took him to many areas. In the spring of 1955, the Meister family moved to the present location in Chocolay Township. Ginny was busy as a farm homemaker while Del served as district, and later area, conservationist for Upper Michigan for over 30 years. He retired in 1986. In retirement, he enjoyed his Meister's Tree Farm on County Road 480 and raising sweet corn. An avid outdoorsman who found great pleasure in all that nature had to offer, he enjoyed fishing, hunting, farming, and gardening. Del was an active member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Green Garden, Mich., a member of the VFW Kaleva Post, Richard Jopling Post 44 of the American Legion, and was a former board member of the Marquette Iron Rangers hockey team in the 1960s.
Del is survived by his children, Keren (Fred) Meister-Emerich of Cheyenne, Wyo., Lynn (Charles) Thomas of Gladstone, Daniel (April) Meister of Green Garden, Mich., Eric (Janice) Meister of Harvey, and Mark (Shari Miller) Meister of Green Garden; his grandchildren, Paige (Brad) Baker, Aili (Liam) Hewitt, Laura Ashley Meister, Marissa (Al) Pool, George Meister, Marci (Josh) Anderson, Alessa (Colin) Boes, Erin (James ) Rivard, and Nicholas Thomas; seven great-grandchildren; his brothers, Gerald (Lila) Meister of Onekama, Donald (Kay) Meister of Manistee, Ellis (Dawn) Meister of Grand Rapids, and Joel (Carol) Meister of Onekama; a sister, Virginia Koskela of Harper Woods, Mich.; brothers-in-law, Clayton and Dale Shady of Florida; many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Del was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia, on June 10, 2012; a brother-in-law, Clifford Koskela; and sister-in-law, Marie Meador.
A memorial service will be held at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Green Garden, on Monday, April 7, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Silas Schmitzer, pastor, officiating. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall. Burial will be made in St Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 6847 US Highway 41 South, Marquette, Mich., 49855 or the charity of donor's choice.
The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com.