SALEM - On October 15th, 2011 America lost another member of "The Greatest Generation" when World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient Kenneth Meier passed away at the age of 86. Some might say he was promoted to a greater army.

Born to Edwin and Olga Meier in Jewell, Oregon, Ken was the eldest of three boys.

He graduated from Jewell High School and moved on to Oregon State University where he played baseball his freshman year and pledged Alpha Gamma Rho. WWII intervened and Ken enlisted October 6th, 1943 returning home February 21st, 1946 after receiving two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster for having lost his left leg above the knee, but refused to be handicapped. Back at OSU, he completed his degree in Agricultural Science in 1950 where he met a beautiful young woman from Brownsville, Oregon. Mona Dodge and Ken were married for 56 years and had four children, John, Karl, Lisa and Lorrie.

He was a farmer, a Marion County Extension agent, an outdoorsman, a patriot, a top-flight snow skier and Director of HooDoo's professional amputee ski instructors' school, a Master Gardener, a Master Food Preserver, a Rotarian with 53 years of perfect attendance and a dedicated Beaver and Seattle Mariner fan. He was a field man for 1st National Bank, Director of the Oregon 4-H Foundation, manager of Labish Brokerage Co., Assistant Director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and operated Ken Meier Companies. He could pickle, can, or jam anything he could grow. And he made awesome candy. But more importantly he was the center of our family.

Ken leaves behind his brother Glenn; son Karl (Denise), daughters Lisa Carkin (Jim) and Lorrie Sutherland (Bryan); grandchildren Brian Meier (Renee), Angie Petsu (Kevin), Kyle Meier (Kelsey), Jared Carkin (Stephanie), Matt Meier (Jamee), Andrew Carkin, Anna Oeffner (Scott), Tim Meier, Nick Carkin, Alex Sutherland, Amber Meier; great-grandchildren Lillie, Gunner, Ruger, Wyatt, Avrie, Keegan, Emma, Ethan, Samantha, Elizabeth; nieces DeeDee Moravik and Sherrie Johnston (Russ); "cousin" Faith Hardie. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin and Olga; wife Mona; brother Don; son John (Shirley); mother-in-law Daisy; sister-in-law Bea Strong (Dave); and grandson Tyler Sutherland.

A celebration of life will take place at Morning Star Church (4775 27th Ave. SE Salem, Oregon 97302), Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 11:00 am. Arrangements are by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service. His graveside service will be Sunday, October 30th at 1:00 pm at the Jewell Cemetery. Potluck to follow at the Jewell School cafeteria. In lieu of flowers, donations for Rotary Youth Exchange to East Salem Rotary would be appreciated. Arrangements by Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.

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