Gerald Meister

Obituary of Gerald H Meister

HINSDALE, NH - Gerald Harry “Gerry” Meister formerly of Hinsdale, NH was born in Denmark, New York on September 2, 1930, the son of the late Harry and Ruth (Hancock) Meister of Deer River. Gerald died peacefully on January 17, surrounded by his loving family. For 9 years he bravely lived with Parkinson’s Disease, later complicated by dementia, and in September of last year was admitted to the Memory Care Unit at Langdon Place of Keene, NH. The family is thankful for the caring and dedicated caregivers at Langdon Place and Compassus Hospice. Gerald will be remembered for his gentle ways and kind heart, the beautiful property he expertly cared for where he planted over 30 trees, some decorative, most rare or unusual. He was well known for his nut and fruit trees and for many years sold blueberries, apples, and peaches. He loved spending time with family, all of the Meister cats, hiking, enjoying bird watching and nature, listening to jazz, following the stock market, and watching New England sport teams, his favorite being the Boston Red Sox. He especially enjoyed returning to New York State and attending Meister Family Reunions. Gerald graduated from West Carthage High School in 1948 where he played basketball on the team that won the Frontier League Championship in 1946 and 47. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1948 and during the Korean War was a radio operator aboard the troop transport ship USS Freemont. After his discharge in 1951, he worked a variety of jobs, including working for the New York Central Railroad. In 1956 Gerald moved to Florida to work for RCA on the Polaris Guided Missile Test Project and was stationed at Cape Canaveral and downrange on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. He later “went to the dogs” in 1960, working as a chart writer and racing secretary at several Florida tracks. When Hinsdale Raceway introduced greyhound racing in 1973, Gerald got the job to get the program going and the family relocated to New Hampshire. He was later promoted to Director of Racing and retired in 1990. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Susan Meister of Walpole, NH and two daughters, Jill Meister and her husband Sean McKernan of Ansonia, CT, and Jennie Meister and her husband Jeff Vose of Walpole, NH, granddaughter Genevieve Rogers of Walpole, sister Mary Elizabeth O’Neil and husband Al of Laurel Springs, NJ, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by former wife Miriam Meister, and his sisters Gertrude Vaccaro and Marion Wilkinson. No funeral services at this time. A family celebration of life and burial service is being planned for spring at Sunnyside Cemetery in Croghan, New York. Donations in memory of Gerald may be made to the Monadnock Humane Society, 101 W. Swanzey Rd., Swanzey, NH 03446 or Parkinson’s Disease Research, APDA, 135 Parkinson Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10305.
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