November 3, 1918- August 26, 2013
Robert W. Meinhard, age 94, passed away on Monday, August 26, 2013, at his home in Winona, Minn. His daughters Darla and Nancy were with him.
Robert was born on November 3, 1918, in Storm Lake, Iowa, to Alfred and Minnie (Dushinske) Meinhard, the youngest of four sons, and grew up on the family farm. He graduated from Hayes Consolidated School in Storm Lake and continued his education with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and education from Buena Vista College, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Iowa, and a Doctor of Education degree from Montana State University. He taught and coached 7th and 8th grades in Cumberland, Iowa, junior high school in Grinnell and Fort Dodge, Iowa, history at Austin High School, Austin, Minn, and retired as a professor of history from Winona State University.
Robert married Iris Hart on August 23, 1942, in Keota, Iowa. They raised four children: Sheryl, Nancy, Robert and Darla, and in pursuit of his education and his love of the West, the family visited, camped and explored together most of the states west of the Mississippi. He had many hobbies and interests: fishing and fly tying, the Twins and the Vikings, classical, jazz and swing music, ballroom and old time dancing, and reading. He and Iris and dear friends danced across the United States, attending 100 or more dances each year.
He also found time to volunteer and was a founder of the Austin YMCA and a board member for 15 years. Robert was chairman of the Battlefield Preservation Board and served on numerous other boards: Civil War Round Table Associates, Buena Vista College Alumni Association, Winona County Historical Society, City of Winona Merit Board of which he was chairman for seven years, and Winona State University Foundation. He was founder and president of the Hiawatha Valley Civil War Round Table, moderator of the First Congregational Church of Winona, Chair of the WSU History Department, and founder of the Battlefield Preservation Advisory Coalition.
Special honors throughout his lifetime include Outstanding Service Awards from the Austin YMCA, Hiawatha Valley Civil War Round Table,Winona Area Ballroom Dance Club, Twin Cities Civil War Round Table, and the prestigious Dr. Frank Vandiver Award for distinguished service to Civil War history. He was a Buena Vista College alumnus of the year.
Robert was preceded in death by his loving wife, Iris (2001), parents, Alfred and Minnie, and three brothers: Karl, Dwight and H. Don. He was the Meinhard Patriarch and his zest for life and learning was an inspiration to all whose lives he touched, and will be much missed by his children Sheryl (Glade) of Worland, Wyo., Nancy (Robert) Earley of Cherry Hill, N.J., Robert (Tuyet Luong) of Brooklyn Center, Minn., and Darla (Edward II) Newell of Lander, Wyo.; grandchildren James (Stacy) Gilman of Powell, Wyo., Dr. Jeffrey Gilman of Arlington, Tex., William Earley and Laura Earley of Cherry Hill, N.J., Sarah Newell of Lander, Wyo.; great-grandchildren Kyle Gilman and Brett Gilman of Powell, Wyo.; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, cousins, nieces and nephews, and many dear friends.
Memorial services for Robert will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 21, 2013 at First Congregational Church, Winona, Minn., with Rev. Timothy Forester officiating.
Services entrusted to Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Winona.