Posted on: March 21, 2019
John S. Meyer, MD, died on January 8, 2019 at age 88 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Born November 21, 1930, the first child of John P. Meyer and Alice S. Meyer, Dr. Meyer is survived by his beloved wife of 47 years, LaVerna; four children; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and his siblings, nieces, nephews and cousins.
He attended Community School, John Burroughs School and Yale University. He graduated Washington University School of Medicine cum laude in 1956. In 1957, after completing an internship in internal medicine at University of Virginia, he returned to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis as a Resident in Pathology. In 1961, during the height of the Cold War, he was called to active duty in the United States Navy. He served as Chief of Laboratory Service U.S.N.H., Beaufort, S.C. In 1963, he returned to St. Louis to practice medicine and teach at Washington University School of Medicine, where he had a faculty appointment for many years, attaining full professorship in 1985. He served the Veteran’s Hospital and Jewish Hospital from 1970 – 1985, when he was appointed Chief of Pathology at St. Luke’s Hospital.
Until his death his mind and body were seldom at rest. He shared his love of the outdoors often with family and friends, taking many trips by canoe and portage trail in the Northwoods. He hiked the peaks of the Collegiate Mountains in Colorado and Grand Tetons in Wyoming. He loved paddling the spring-fed streams of the Missouri Ozarks. No matter the weather, he often bicycled to work from his Ladue home to Jewish Hospital in the Central West End and later to St. Luke’s Hospital. To adorn the Meyers’ rustic cabin in Colorado, he hand-crafted steps, walkways, patios, walls and tables from concrete and stone. He created furniture from trees which he felled and split by axe. His more whimsical designs included tables fashioned from up-ended high bush honeysuckle which he sanded, polished and varnished.
His contributions to the body of breast cancer research led to improved treatment and outcomes. He presented papers at scientific colloquia in the United States, Germany and Turkey. Dr. Meyer supported population control, environmental causes and universal healthcare. He served on the board of Affinia Healthcare f/k/a Grace Hill Health Centers for 50 years and as its president in 1971.
In addition to natural beauty, Dr. Meyer loved literature and poetry, classical music and opera. He studied violin for many years and held season tickets to the St. Louis Symphony and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. John Meyer was an exemplar of civility and courtesy. He was a soft spoken gentleman. His integrity was unimpeachable. His thirst for knowledge was unquenchable. His spirit will long inspire the many people whose lives intersected his.
Memorials may be made to The American Association for the Advancement of Science; Opera Theatre of St. Louis; the St. Louis Symphony; or the charity of one’s choice.