Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Good Bye Uncle Bill

My husband's uncle passed away last week.  I honor him today.

Bill was born (June 10, 1927) and raised in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts. Encouraged by his parents, William Henry Meanix and Genevieve Augusta (Burns) Meanix, he became an accomplished scholar-athlete, graduating with distinction from Roxbury Latin ‘44, US Naval Academy ’49 and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Public Administration ’61.  A lifelong learner, Bill studied various subjects on his own such as math and physics but had a particular interest in foreign languages.  Bill loved jazz and classical music and was known for being quite a dancer and the life of the party.  He also greatly enjoyed following politics, the one subject that could elicit great passion in a conversation. He married Leona (June) Higgins on his birthday in 1959 in California.  Bill thrived in the Navy and commanded any room he entered with his full head of Irish white hair, easy smile and a thundering authoritative voice which masked in contrast, a very gentle and compassionate soul.  He had a fabulous sense of humor and particularly enjoyed the good pun.  After a distinguished thirty year career in the US Navy, Bill went back to school and earned his Juris Doctor in Law from the University of Maine ‘79.  In his law career, he found private practice most satisfying.  Perhaps the only accomplishment he sought which eluded him was mastery of the game of golf.  Bill enjoyed helping and rooting for the underdog, which is probably why he was a lifelong and avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and Washington Redskins.  After semi-retiring from Law and moving to NC, he supported many social causes but gave the majority of his time to the Pacolet Area Conservatory addressing environmental and land use issues.  When he wasn't training for track Master's competitions himself, Bill also lent his significant experience and expertise by working countless hours with middle and high school hurdlers in Polk County, whom he spoke of fondly and with great pride. 

From his daughter Kim:
"My father graduated from High School about the time WWII was ending, his service coincided with the Korean Conflict and Vietnam wars. Here's some of his bio...EXECUTIVE OFFICER WILLIAM H. MEANIX, JR. COMMANDER, U.S. NAVY \ Nf " tiW-li II C23 \ia V After graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1945, he reported on board U S S. CAPELLOTTI ^APD-136). Successive communications operations duty aboard U.S.S. BOYD {DD-544) ond U.S.S KIDD (DD-661), where he had two de- ployments to WESTPAC during the Korean conflict, lead to command, as a Lieutenant, of PCER-856, now the U.S.S. WHITEHALL. In September 1954, he became Officer in Charge of the U.S.S. SEQUOIA, the Secretary of the Navy ' s yacht based in Washington, D.C.. After a tour as the first gunnery officer of the U.S.S JONAS INGRAM fDD-938), he assumed command of the U.S.S. DYNAMIC (MSO-432), 1958-1960. His first shore duty was at Harvard University ' s Graduate School of Public Administration. In September 1961, he was ordered to duty with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as Assistant Head of the Arms Control and the United Nations Branch of the Politico-Military Policy Division. On 21 July 1963, he reported on board CAPRICORNUS as Executive Officer, where he was promoted to Commander in February 1964. 65 Destroyer Lloyd Thomas, 73 USS JUNEAU"

Good Bye Uncle Bill, you lived a full and amazing life, you will be missed. They certainly don't make them like you any more.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sounds like an all around wonderful man. My sympathies to you and the family.

  3. What a full and wonderful life Bill has has. You have written a very special tribute.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story Kelly. Those special aunts and uncles really have a last effect on us. He seemed to be one of those very special people.

  5. what a lovely tribute.
    The greatest generation has lost another hero

  6. My thoughts are with you and your family. Uncle Bill was a wonderful person, obviously.


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