Edwin Lawrence Merideth, Jr.
Merideth passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 13, 2004 in Mililani, Hawaii.
at the passing of Larry Merideth. His life was a
testament to optimism, service to country, and love of family. Larry
is survived by his wife, Pat; son Edwin "Butch" III; parents
Edwin Sr. and Lucelia; four brothers and three sisters. Larry was born
in Cheyenne, Wyo. I guess you could call Wyoming the eastern flank of
Big Sky Country and that is where Larry got his dream of flying. With
high school out of the way, it was off to the Air Force Academy and
a rendezvous with the Class of '68. well, we all somehow survived that
ordeal and got our ticket to Heaven's Gate-pilot training at Webb AFB,
Texas. That is where I first got to know Larry. Our careers would later
intersect again many times, where I had the privilege of serving together
with Larry. We later met, exchanging experiences, just as Larry returned
from Vietnam and as I was shipping out to the 'Nam. You would have expected
some swashbuckling tales among old buddies, but there were none. There
was no bravado. No swagger. That was not Larry Merideth. All I got was
the matter-of-fact comments
the "Been there, the done that's"
and the "
off to my next flying job
Offutt RC-135 reconnaissance job is going to be a good deal"
and "Oh, sorry
four spades!" if you never had a chance
to notice, Larry was 50 percent steamroller of a bridge team! An all-night
siege was normal to break this crew
if you were lucky. A comrade-in-arms
and classmate of Larry's, Al Dyer, paid the highest compliment to Larry
in a letter he recently wrote to Larry's wife, Pat. I was so moved by
Al's comments that I must share some of them. al and Larry were Pleiku
Covey FACs. "Larry and I arrived at Pleiku together and we left
Pleiku together. Let all know-there simply was no better man to have
your side in combat than Larry Merideth." No greater tribute is
there than to have the trust and confidence of a fellow warrior. A train-load
of DFCs does not come close. Larry's career continued in SAC with many
years flying and staffing in the Strategic reconnaissance RC-135 business.
Not the up-close-and-personal reconnaissance that Larry was used to,
but just as dangerous. Larry was happiest only with a challenge. If
the challenge involved flying, so much the better. He served his country
well; more than his fair share. Larry's next challenge was getting used
to living in paradise
spelled HAWAII! His door was always open
to classmates and friend dropping in
and many did. I enjoyed the
fellowship and love of all the Merideth household. Larry and Pat were
gracious hosts to all. We should not be saddened at Larry's passing.
We should let time erase
and fill that void with gladness
that he happened along our way. Larry rests at the National Memorial
Cemetery of the Pacific, the Punchbowl. He is among many like him
and servants of our nations freedom.