Fritz "Fred" Meier
Fritz “Fred” Meier Sr. of East Wawanosh Township passed away on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. He was in his 91st year.
Beloved husband for 64 years of Johanna (Hanny), Fred was the loving father of Fred and Linda Meier, Oscar and Mary Ann Meier and Chris and Jane Meier. He was the cherished grandfather of Heidi (David) Laing, Laura (Greg) Blackwell, Kerri Meier, Nicole (Pat) Donnelly, Ryan and Jeff Meier, Jason and Emily Meier and the treasured great-grandpa of Aydan and Hailey Laing, Andrew and Nigel Blackwell and Sam, Beth and Camille Donnelly.
Fred will be remembered by his family in Switzerland.
Fred was born on March 20, 1928 in St. Gallen, Switzerland to Johann Jakob Meier and Elisabeth Minna. Following the accidental death of his mother, he, along with his siblings, were placed in foster care when Fred was just six years old. There, he learned the value of hard work.
When Fred was 11, World War II broke out and he took advantage of the many farm jobs left behind by those men called to be soldiers.
When he was 18, Fred began to learn how to make cheese, but that learning process was interrupted when he was conscripted into the Swiss Army for 17 weeks. It was then that he learned marksmanship and a number of other skills.
Once he had done his duty, Fred took up a three-year internship near Zurich to further his cheese-making education.
While in Hausen, a small village near Zurich, he joined a Swiss men’s choir and a first aid club, which is where he would meet his wife.
Fred then decided to put his education on hold and travel to Canada to explore its economic opportunities. He left in 1924, promising Hanny he would be back in two years to marry her.
Once in Canada, Fred worked for a short time as a cook at a hotel in British Columbia, but quickly moved on to farming near London. He worked there for a year before he caught wind of a cheesemaker job available in Blyth.
In 1953, he returned to Switzerland and he and Hanny were married on Saturday, Feb. 13, 1954.
When the couple landed in Canada, they found a position for a married couple with Tom Patrick, Middlesex North MPP and farmer, who helped them assimilate into Canadian life and to read English with the help of local newspapers.
Fred would go on to work a number of jobs before buying the farm of Walter Oster on Hwy. 4 between Westfield and Nature Centre Roads, moving in at the end of 1965.
The next year, Fred began working at the Gay-Lea Co-op in Blyth until it closed in 1969. Then, the Meiers renovated their home barn to accommodate dairy cows, which they would keep for decades.
Fred served as an East Wawanosh councillor from 1980 to 2000. he also served as a member of the Gay Lea Foods board of directors for 16 years, three of which as chairman of the board.
Friends were received at Blyth United Church on Monday, followed by the funeral service on Tuesday with Hillary MacDonald officiating. A spring inurnment of ashes at the Brandon Cemetery in Belgrave will take place at a later date.
As expressions of sympathy, the family would appreciate memorial donations to the Blyth United Church or the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Arrangements entrusted to Falconer Funeral Homes – Clinton Chapel.
Messages of condolence for the Meier family are welcome at falconerfuneralhomes.com.