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September-October 2010

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In Memoriam: Harold William “Bill” Meinert (1922–2010)

Bill Meinert, a life member of both the Michigan Mineralogical Society (MMS) and the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society (TGMS), passed away on 17 April of this year in Green Valley, Arizona, after a long illness. Lois, his wife of sixty-three years, still resides in Green Valley.

Bill was truly a Renaissance man. Born in the small town of Keystone, Iowa, Bill saw military service in World War II. He was awarded a purple heart for injuries he received there and spent some time in rehab afterward. He married Lois Brumm on 8 March 1947, after meeting her through a fellow wounded soldier. They had one son, who predeceased Bill by four years.

Shortly after their marriage, the Meinerts moved to Michigan, and Bill began work as a set designer and actor in summer stock theater. With a family to support, he went to work in the automotive industry, designing car parts for Ford Motor Company. After a number of years in the automotive industry, Bill felt the call to the ministry. He served for twenty-one years as director of youth and Christian education at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Birmingham, Michigan. Following retirement to Green Valley in 1988, Bill served as a deacon in his church there, the Lutheran Church of the Risen Savior.

The Meinerts' love of minerals was kindled in 1957. Lois tells the story of how they were encouraged by a friend to attend a mineral auction at the Cranbrook Institute, located in a suburb of Detroit. Sitting behind a twelve-year-old boy who was spending the then-astronomical amount of $10–$17 per specimen on “lumps of rock,” they decided that there must be more than meets the eye to this hobby. They joined the MMS shortly thereafter and were very active in the club, particularly on the show committee of the prestigious Detroit Show, until retiring to Arizona. While still in Michigan, the Meinerts became especially fascinated by microminerals, and both were part of the MMS Micromount Group. Gradually, their mineral collection began to be concentrated on microminerals—they even had “his and hers” microscopes so they could enjoy their finds simultaneously.

Bill served as president of MMS in 1974 and was show chairman the next year for the joint Midwest Federation–Canadian Federation–MMS Show. Once in Arizona, the Meinerts became active in the TGMS. They served on the TGMS Show committee for many years, and Bill was chairman of the Arthur Roe Memorial Micromount Symposium, a major gathering of international micromount enthusiasts, held during the Tucson Show.

Bill and Lois were always a team, sharing equally in work and play and in the hobby they both loved. Bill was a warm and caring man with a dazzling smile and a kind word for everyone. He is remembered with affection by many in the mineral hobby and is already greatly missed.

Barbara L. Muntyan is an active mineral collector, a founding member of the Colorado Chapter of Friends of Mineralogy, and current vice president of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society.

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