John R. Meidinger (Bud)
1941, 4726, American Island, SCS-1 Member
Memorial services will be held at 10:30 AM, Friday, August 12, 2011 at the First Presbyterian Church in Avon, with Masonic Rites. Inurnment will be in the Baptist Cemetery, rural Avon, with Military Honors. A memorial visitation will begin at 7 PM, Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church in Avon.
John R. Meidinger was born August 8, 1924 on a farm in McIntosh County North Dakota, fifteen miles northeast of Ashley, ND. His parents were John R. and Sophia (Pudwill) Meidinger.
John was known as "Bud" or "Buddy". John received part of his elementary education at the Rosenthal Country School in McIntosh County. After his father's death in 1935, his mother, Sophia, and her seven children, moved into Ashley and John attended town school. He graduated from Ashley High School in 1941. John enlisted in the CCC Camp at Chamberlain, SD, in 1941. He then enlisted in the US Navy in San Francisco, CA in 1942. He was stationed at various locations including Farragut ID, Norman OK, Oakland Naval Air Station, Honolulu, and Guam Naval Air Station. He was discharged in 1946 as a 2nd Class Petty Officer.
John married Bettie Jayne Thesenga on October 18 1946, in Minneapolis, MN. John and Bettie lived in California and Pennsylvania during their early days, where they raised their two sons. In 1974, they moved back to Avon, SD. In the 1980's they began to spend their winters in Arizona, enjoying friends and sunshine escaping the harsh Midwestern winters.
John graduated from San Francisco Mortuary College in 1947 and then Healds Engineering College - San Francisco in 1953 with a Mechanical Engineering Degree.
John was baptized at Westminster Presbyterian Church, West Chester, PA in 1958. He joined the First Presbyterian Church in Avon, SD in 1977 and remained a faithful member including serving as Elder in the Avon church. John was a member of Masonic Bon Homme Lodge #101.
John was a mechanical engineer who worked in various prestigious firms such as Owings Corning Fiberglass in San Jose, CA, Rietz Manufacturing in Santa Rosa, CA, Envirotech (WEMCO) in Sacramento, CA and Kohlberg Mfg in Yankton, SD. John also owned a farm near Avon, SD where he was an active farmer for several years.
John's hobby was flying his airplane, of which he owned several in his lifetime. He would enjoy repairing, building and piloting them. He was a member of the National Ercoupe Owners Club and had over 5,000 hours of flying time in various types of aircrafts.
He leaves to mourn his dear wife of over 64 years, Bettie Jayne Thesenga Meidinger, of the Good Samaritan Society in Tripp, SD; two sons: John Richard Meidinger, Novato, CA and Mark David Meidinger, La Crescenta, CA; five grandchildren: Janel Biang, Washington DC, John William and Nicholas Meidinger, Sebastopol, CA, Sandy Jayne Meidinger, San Diego, CA and David Meidinger, La Crescenta, CA. He also leaves two sisters: Vivian Dent of Marysville, CA and Marie (Jimmy) Meidinger Jacob of Alamagordo, NM, plus a host of friends and family all over the country.
John was preceded in death by his parents, John R and Sophia Meidinger; three brothers: Roger in 1983, Calvin in 1994 and William in 1998; and one sister Gladys, in 1983. John passed away Tuesday, August 9, 2011 at St. Michael's Hospital in Tyndall, SD, at the age of 87 years and a day.
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