EPSON scanner imageJohn Arthur Meister, a man devoted to his family and loved by his friends, went to be with our Lord on October 12, 2014 from complications due to renal cancer.  He was 71 years of age.

John was born in 1943, in Pasadena, California to Marjorie and John Meister.  John grew up in Monrovia with his younger brother Fred.  He graduated from Monrovia High School in 1961 and then entered Pasadena City College.  There he studied Graphic Arts and his main focus was on the printing trade.  He went on to take classes at a trade school.  He became a journeyman in both press work and pre-press stripping.  He loved his work.

While John was working at Terrick and Associates, he met his wife Ruth Scofield in October of 1970.  They would go on to marry in Pasadena in February of 1971.  John and Ruth moved to Portland, Oregon area about 7 months after they married.  John had always wanted to live in the Northwest.  Newburg, Oregon is where they would start their family.  In 1972 their first daughter, Gretchen Lee, was born.  Another special little girl would be born to them in 1974, Rebecca Lou.  After moving to Walla Walla, Washington for one year, they moved to Redmond, Washington, where their third child was born, John David.  They took him to their home on Tamarack Lane, were they have resided for 37 years.  During the 1980’s, the family would spend weekends up at Lake Kachess at Ruth’s folk’s cabin.  John loved  fishing and cross country skiing.  Many memories were made by the family there.

John worked at Heath Printers in Seattle for 16 years as pre-press foreman.  In the late 80’s, he was on the cutting edge of digital pre-press and Meister1color correction.  In the early 90’s, he moved on to LithoCraft for 20 years.  There he also managed the pre-press department.  He later became their IT specialist.  Customers would call into the “Ask John” phone line where he would give his expertise.  Both companies were family owned and offered the stability that was important to John.

One of John’s true loves was the Amateur Ham Radio community.  He learned to be a “Ham” in junior high.  Later he would meet other young hams in High School and would get his license.  He had many good friends throughout his many hours of talking to people around the country and the world.  He belonged to a Ham Club that met every third Thursday for breakfast in Redmond for many years.

Meister3In 2011 John was diagnosed with renal cancer.  For those 3 ½ years he was treated at Seattle Cancer Care.  He always had hope, had a wonderful spirit about him, and never complained.  His love of family and his desire to see his Grandchildren grow up kept him going.  He knew that he wanted to talk more to his friends, just one more time; he wanted to go to Cannon Beach, just one more time, and he more than ever wanted to be there at the future events of his Grandchildren.  We don’t know why he was taken so soon, but we rely on our faith that there is a plan and God is in control.

John is survived by his wife, Ruth, of 43 years of marriage; his brother Fred; his three children, Gretchen, Rebecca, and David; his five Grandchildren Saffron, Ava, Liam, Ian, and Madeline.


A special memorial service is being planned to celebrate John’s life.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution to the American Cancer Society would be appreciated.

6 Responses to “JOHN ARTHUR MEISTER”

  • Chuck & Dixie Zappala says:

    We will always remember John when he stopped by to visit during our moving sale in August. We pulled up a chair for him in the drive way and sat next to him. We talked about our mutual interest in ham radio, the meetings, events, accomplishments and the friends we’d made. Since we were moving to Arizona, John insisted that we hook up with his old school friend, Andre. We did and met his wife Linda. Through John, we’ve made wonderful friends that we would have never otherwise without John. We will miss John very much.

  • Debbie Mantha says:

    One of the many things I liked about Uncle John was that he always seemed interested in what was going on around him, and his enthusiasm was contagious.

  • Howard Burns says:

    I met John as a result of us both belonging to the same ham radio club — the Radio Club of Redmond (N7KE) — he was a longstanding member, I was a newbie. Though he was an experienced ham, he always showed interest in my ham radio experiences and our friendship rapidly evolved.

    My wife (Beth) and I had the absolute pleasure of becoming good friends with John and his wife (Ruth). Though our wives are not hams, both couples attended Sea-Pac together — staying in the same hotel, in rooms that were next to each other. While the guys (hams) went to the convention, the wives explored and had a great time.

    John is one of the nicest individuals I have had the good fortune of knowing. He was a kind and compassionate individual who spoke fondly of the unique activities he participated in with each of his 3 children, his love for ham radio and his experiences in the printing business.

    With respect to ham radio, John was always eager to share ham stories, assist a new ham with questions or proudly show and discuss his prized QSL cards. I was so grateful to John for taking my Seattle photo and evolving it into a great QSL card (the card that a ham uses to confirm a contact). He took an OK photo and greatly improved upon it (John was a Photoshop expert!), turning it into a great QSL card that I am so very proud of. Every time I send a QSL card, there will be a moment or two that I think of my wonderful ham friend John — W7JAM.

    John is immensely missed! One of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me, was during one of my final visits with John at his home. John said “Howard, it is like I have known you my whole life…” — those kind words touched me in ways John will never know!

    John was always about being kind and making someone feel good, even when he was not feeling his best…

    73, Howard

  • Greg Carey says:

    I worked with John at Heath Printers of Seattle for many years. He was always ready to share his printing knowledge and help an inexperienced pressman to be better at his craft. I will remember John fondly.

  • Deborah Freng says:

    I worked with John Meister for 15 years at Heath Printers. His Pre-Press and IT skills are legendary. He could be insightful, professional, funny and irritating simultaneously. He was an unedited jewel of a man. It was impossible for him to tell even a socially acceptable white lie just to keep the peace. He had a loveable compulsion to tell the truth at all costs. I loved him for that. He positively influenced the trajectory of my life for decades. Ruth, Gretchen, Rebecca and David–Your husband and father was loved and respected by anyone who had the opportunity to know him. Thank you for sharing him with us all for so long.

  • Jim Martine says:

    Remembering John Meister

    John was a very artistic soul. It was immediately apparent. His conversations involved HAM radio; a computer fascinated him and was always up on the latest pre-press equipment and ideas. He just wanted to talk about these subjects he had learned through some article or vendor. It just radiated from him like smoke from a fire. John Meister was a wealth of knowledge on these and God knows what other subjects outside my realm. He loved to share his knowledge and we took advantage of it. He was the artistic soul of Heath and a good part of its success. He could bring to life someone’s idea like none other.

    Away from the plant on far away Bainbridge Island I liked to participate in community theater productions. I loved being in front of people true, but it was putting all the parts together: sets, make-up, costumes, people and mostly the words someone had written. It would all come magically together.

    On several occasions I mentioned to John stories of productions all coming together with of course all the back stage drama he understood. John could see the similarities of community theater and a great printed piece.

    I was involved in a production and shared some of the goings on with John. Without any hint one night in the audience there was John! I spoke to him afterwards answering his many questions about lightening, timing, cues, props etc. He was fascinated the same way he was fascinated with a printing job. All the pieces coming together. Among the things he instinctively knew were the subtle nuances of the play itself. Character development and plot. A hand gesture can make a big difference he remarked. He got that too! John left and caught a late ferry home. It represented a considerable amount of time away from his family.

    I was terribly flattered that he would take the time and money to drive from Kirkland to Bainbridge, unannounced, to see a play I was in. He passed it off the next Monday with some minor observations but for years afterward would refer to me as Mr Kirby (the character I played in the play he saw.) I never knew if he was interested in my play or just curious about putting an artistic effort together. It was both. Thanks John.

    Jim Martine
    October 22, 2014

Leave a Reply

Please be respectful. Disrespectful comments will not be published

When you have successfully submitted a comment, look in the space above to see your comment.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

If you do not see your comment, click HERE