Arthur Merrill Meyer

December 30,1924 to April 21, 2021

Arthur Merrill Meyer was born on December 30, 1924 in Buffalo, New York, to Merrill Burleson Meyer and Margaret O’Dea Meyer. He was a kind, gentle soul, and a lover of ice cream, key lime pie, and Irish Mist. His adventurous spirit, open mind, generosity, sense of humor, and deep passion for social justice will be missed by all who knew him.

Some touchstones of his life were love of family, service to his community and country, and an optimistic vision of what the world could become. Arthur served his country in the military but later became highly critical of the government during the Vietnam War. He was a compassionate mentor to many but always eager to learn from others. He maintained a sense of gratitude and joy even after, at the age of 17, he lost his mother, “Peg,” and many years later his only sibling, Peggy, an accomplished Broadway actress.

He started college at Princeton University but left after two years for Officer Training School at Yale University, then went on to serve as an ensign in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force during World War II. After the war, Arthur returned to Princeton, earning degrees in mathematics and politics in 1946.

Following college, planning a career in the foreign service and awaiting the results of exams, Arthur accepted a position teaching math at the Park School of Buffalo, a progressive institution founded on the teachings of John Dewey. He discovered that he loved teaching so much that he changed his career goals and later served as Park’s assistant headmaster and head of the Upper School.

Over the course of his career at Park, Arthur became increasingly critical of social injustice and the war in Vietnam. He became active in protests against the war, participating in Quaker vigils in 1963 on the Peace Bridge between Buffalo and Fort Erie, Ontario.

Arthur studied at the Putney Graduate School for Teacher Education in Vermont, earning a Master’s Degree and leading a study trip for high school students to Germany, Scandinavia, Russia, and Poland in 1963 at the height of the Cold War.

Out of a conviction that understanding other cultures could lead to a more peaceful world, in 1965 Arthur joined with Morris R. Mitchell and other Quakers in founding Friends World College, a radical experiment in international learning whose mission was to help students become “global citizens.” He led the first class of Friends World College on a study trip through the Southeast during the Civil Rights movement, meeting with Stokely Carmichael and other movement leaders. The students then traveled to Mexico, where they studied with a faculty of American Quakers. Friends World students later went on to study in Sweden, Austria, Russia, Kenya, India, and Japan.

In 1969 Arthur moved with his family to a farm in rural New Brunswick, Canada, as part of the “Back to the Land” movement. He returned to Friends World College in 1972 to serve as its Director of Admissions. Soon after he met Mickey Kreutzer, an educator herself. They married in 1976, shared a deep love for sailing, dedicated themselves to their blended families, were engaged in Democratic politics, and enjoyed traveling.

Arthur is survived by his wife, Mickey; five children from his two previous marriages (to the late Susan Meyer Markle and Jane Evans Meyer), Alden, Turi, Alexander, Carey, and Megan; Mickey’s two sons, Peter and Scott; 14 grandchildren and six great grandchildren; and his step-sister, Joy Herrick. In his later years, he described his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren as his greatest source of joy. Collectively these children remember him as a fast driver, a flyer both of model airplanes and a single-engine Cessna, a good listener and an enthusiastic supporter of their projects.

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