Chugiak’s Terry James Meader died Sept. 5, 2013, at the 673rd Medical Group on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson after a battle with cancer. He was 68.
Meader was born Dec. 8, 1944, in Yakima, Wash. He is survived by his wife, Susan Malekos Meader; daughter, Wendy; step-daughters, Vicki, Valerie and Pam as well as many grand and great grandchildren; mother and father-in-law, Emma and Dick Powers; step children-in-law, Sophie and George Malekos; niece, Kimberly; cousin, Corky McGrew and wife Kathy.
Meader was preceded in death by his mother, Avis, father, Jack, younger brother, Victor, and former wife, Rose.
“Mentoring and guiding surrogate son Michael Lajcsak was a big part of Terry’s life, and he felt privileged to have had a role in helping Mike become the man he is today,” his family wrote.
Meader joined the Army in 1962 and served for 13 years until a potential transfer out of Alaska led to his retirement. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross with Palm and Overseas Bars.
Meader made Chugiak his home in the mid-1980s and worked as a master fabricator, inventor, craftsman and builder in many materials.
“The quality of his work and ideas will keep them in use across Alaska for generations,” his family wrote.
Meader’s work led to a lifelong friendship with Hilltop Recycling owners Sam, Ben, Robert and George Gardner.
When he wasn’t working, Meader could be found on his motorcycle, snowmachine, hunting or spending time cutting and milling logs for cabins with his good friend, Gary Maness, on Johnson Creek.
He looked forward to riding his snowmachine each winter and riding the “Trek Over the Top” from Tok to Dawson City, Yukon Territory.
“For Terry and friends, it was a wonderful party from start to finish and Terry was the party, with a little help from Larry Radspinner, Sam and Ben Gardner, Sean McIlvenna and many others,” his family wrote.
Meader’s motorcycle took him up and down the Alaska Highway many times.
Convincing his wife, Susan, to ride with him and friends Doug and Tina Ford was the highlight of Meader’s summer, his family wrote.
“Terry’s gift of friendship encompassed many others: You know who you are,” his family wrote. “Terry loved you.”
A memorial service was held Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 on JBER. Donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org).
Arrangements made by Cremation Society of Alaska. Words of comfort can be shared at www.alaskacremation.com.