Obituary: James Meineke
November 10, 1932 – January 13, 2021
James Donald (Jim) Meineke, age 88, of Craig and Grand Junction Colorado went to meet his wife Vi in heaven on Jan 13, 2021. He passed away in his home of natural causes, ultimately succumbing to a broken heart. He was surrounded by family in his final moments.
Jim was born in Hayden, CO in November of 1932 the third child to Urbin and Juanita. Urbin moved the family to Orland, CA in 1937 to own and operate a dairy in support of the war effort. The family would later return to Moffat and Routt counties to continue in the dairy business. Jim and his childhood best friend Ned Miller enlisted in the USMC in 1951. He would see heavy action in Korea and was wounded 3 different times. He was awarded the Bronze Star and 3 Purple Hearts for service to his country. He parted company with the Corps in 1955 achieving the rank of Sgt in the UDT Marines, a precursor to the Navy Seals. He would eventually return to work in the oil fields of Moffat County. During that time he met and fell deeply and madly in love with his beautiful bride to be Viola Aragon. They married in 1958 and enjoyed 62 years of wedded bliss until Vi lost her battle with cancer in March of 2020. They made their home in Craig, where they owned and operated the M&M Amoco station and raised their two daughters.
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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Jim was an avid outdoorsman and had intimate knowledge of rural Moffat County. He used this knowledge to give back to his community by serving in the Sheriff’s Posse Search and Rescue team. He served as a volunteer firefighter EMT/ambulance driver from 1964-1996. He also belonged to many service fraternities within Craig including the Loyal Order of the Moose, the Lions Club, the Benevolent Order of the Elks, the Kiwanis Club, a Master Mason of the Masonic Lodge, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion. Additionally, he served on the Craig Planning and Zoning Commission. He was passionate about volunteerism and led by example. He was recognized numerous times and earned many awards for service to his community including The Craig Daily Press/KRAI citizen of the year award.
Jim and Vi loved to travel and covered much of the United States by car and motorhome. They visited their daughters and grandsons in Europe. Jim also held a private pilot license and loved to fly his airplane.
Jim was preceded in death by the love of his life Vi, his sisters Joy Jean and Shirley and his brother Joe. He is survived by his brothers Bob and Jack; his daughters Laurie and Sherry, their husbands Ben and Dave, and his grandchildren Tyler, Zachary, and Shoshana.
The family will hold public services in July (exact date TBD pending the pandemic) at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church of Grand Junction followed by a memorial at the GJ Veterans Cemetery with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made in Jim’s name to Hope West Hospice as they did an excellent job in providing care for him in his final days. https://www.hopewestco.org/memorial-gifts/
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