Jeff's Paddle Out at Santa Monica, June 27, 2015. Twenty-five in the water and a hundred on the beach! For more pictures of Jeff's Memorial Wake and Paddle out,

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Jeff Meyer Eulogy

Speeches delivered at the Memorial Celebration, (Wake) March 22, 2015

Hello, My name is Katie McLaughlin, daughter of Jan and John McLaughlin. 

My family and others are used to my father speaking before crowds both large and small.  But in this particular instance my father has asked that I speak for him.

My father's words:

Today there will be stories shared about my friend, Jeff Meyer.  I also intend to share a story or two.  But, I also need to share a few observations I have made over the last four decades.

 I found Jeff to be devoted to his wife, Penny, dedicated to his son, Patrick, his daughter, Kelly and his granddaughter, Rafaela.

He loved his parents, brothers, nephews, niece, first cousins, second cousins and anyone else related to him.

As upset as he might be, he did not curse or swear.  I, of course, made up for that throughout our friendship.  It was the least I could do!

He was patient.  Whatever problem faced him, he would persevere until he found the solution.  There was no quit in Jeff.

He was a diagnostic master.  Be it an electrical problem, plumbing problem, appliance problem, heating problem or a car problem.  Jeff knew what to do and usually did it himself. 

You might be surprised to know, but Jeff liked a bargain.  Why pay more, when you can get that same item from Goodwill, with only one small stain on the front, for one third the price?

He was a Rescue Ranger.  You called seeking help and he was on his way.

If there were two ways to fix something, and one was more expensive than the other, even though the more expensive way was the best way to go.  Well, you know which way Jeff picked.

Jeff loved Fresh and Easy.

Jeff loved the Cooking Channel, in particular, Martha Stewart and her desserts.

Jeff loved cookies, cake, pie, Jenny's Ambrosia, Peanut Butter cups, ice cream, frozen pops, every kind of candy, sugar, sugar substitute, food, period, and BEER.  His last favorite beer was Tecate.

Jeff had a wicked grin and a wicked sense of humor.  He was quick on the uptake and had the most memorable one liners!

Jeff was a Recreation major.  That made him an encourager of all.  He wanted all  to join in and enjoy.  He loved to teach.  Softball, volleyball, surfing, unicycle, you name it.  He enjoyed and reveled in the success of others.

We all played on the same softball team for years.  I mentioned a 10 K in Redondo Beach.  Jeff had the entire team running and preparing for the race.  My teammates told me to keep my mouth shut from now on when it came to suggestions.  Twenty of us ran the 10 K.  No one died.  A collective victory.  By the way, Jeff ran the race in his softball cleats.  Jeff and I ran that race for thirty two more years.

We went to Santa Monica Beach every weekend for the last twenty five years to run, surf, tell stories, drink beer and to just hang out.  The city of Santa Monica soon figured out they were missing out on revenue by not collecting from the surfers early in the morning. 

Tickets started to be given and we were all paying ten dollars each time we parked. Paul Adkinson bought a year pass for $135.00.  Jeff had an idea.  When the year was over he took Paul's old pass.  Paul paid the next year and got a new pass.  It was a different color.  Jeff borrowed the new pass, went to Kinko's and printed the pass in the new color.  A little glue and a razor blade and Jeff had a forged pass.  Pretty soon we had a number of passes.  So very Jeff!  Why pay when you can go for free!!

Jeff was a good man.  He was always planning his defeat of his illness.  He was positive he would win. He was a friend to many and he was a special friend to me.  He was always a winner.


 Jeff was a leader not a follower. One could always count on Jeff to do the right thing. Jeff was like a brother to me. We purchased a trailer and had it moved onto a park behind what was then Busch Gardens. Jeff helped me get started on my own. Jeff and Penny gave me a place to stay in Hawaii. They were always supportive and did everything they could to help me get going in Hawaii. Jeff was always helping others help themselves. He was a Physical Education major at Hawaii U. I asked for help with a speech class at Leeward Community College, relating to volleyball. He helped me get an B in speech class. The only B I received at Leeward. Jeff was always upbeat. Being around Jeff raised one's consciousness. My love and thoughts to the whole Meyer Family, and extended family and friends, we are many.

Fred Coultas



I met Jeff in Kindergarten at Van Nuys elementary school just a few blocks from here. Since that time to use today's vernacular we have been BFFs (best fucking friends). By my count that is 64 years ago. How time flies when you are having fun. And, did we have fun over those years! We both moved to ST Elizabeth for the next 8 years and then to Notre Dame High School where Jeff exceled in multiple sports. During these years we along with many other childhood friends found a love for the beach and for surfing. Naturally Jeff was the best amongst us. And, he was a great teacher of the sport. I can't count the number of people he pushed into waves hoping to get them hooked on that unique feeling of catching a wave.   We continued to "get in the water" as he liked to say for the next fifty years or so until 3 or 4 years ago when he became too weak to fight the waves. We surfed/body boarded together from San Francisco to San Diego to Hawaii and Baja Mexico. He loved to go down to Shipwrecks below Ensenada where his son and some of his friend built a palatial estate and continue to get in the water.

The Atkinson and Meyer families grew up and old together. We spent literally many thousands of hours with each other and created or shared more stories than can be remembered. Those times are locked in my heart and will always bring a good feeling to me when remembered. Jeff was just a great guy and gentle giant of a friend. Over a lifetime he made me a better person in so many ways.

Jeff always had a smile on his face.  As many of you know I have been taking pictures for a long time and I have to say that Jeff was one of the easiest to get a good picture of. All I had to do was say "Hey Jeff" and he would turn with that great smile in place.
I will think of Jeff often as I do with my brothers and
I will miss him dearly..........

Paul Atkinson


E mails and words online

I am just one of many, many people who will miss Jeff and I am so sorry for all of the Meyer family and what this will mean to each of them.  Husband, Dad, Brother, friend.

Jeff was always a stand-up guy.  He had a heart of gold

and was willing to help anyone he could.  We have a 65 year history intertwined between the Meyer's & the Kuhner's.  And a lot happened to both families during those decades.  But Jeff's smile never faltered. His strong desire to live should be a lesson to all of us left.  What these past 5 years took mostly was bravery.  And he brought it.  God bless Jeff.  And when you talk to him, ask him a favor for me.  Jeff, please tell god or Buddha or Allah, whoever the supreme leader is out there, to cut out the crap going on in the Middle East.

Larry Kuhner


We're saddened by Jeff's passing, but uplifted with his own response to the path he was assigned and how it makes all of us as we also move down our respective paths to deal with what hand we're dealt.

Steve McAdam


I was so sorry to hear of Jeff's passing. I can not begin to imagine how deep your loss and pain is. Jeff was a really great guy and someone everyone wanted to be around. I never saw him without a smile on his face and a kind word. I always knew he would be there if he was needed as well as you would have been. I considered the two of you and extra set of big brothers. Please pass my condolences on to Penny and his children. Their loss is great and deep.

Judy Campbell Barnes



Jeff was one of the most gracious, caring, loving human beings it was ever my pleasure to know. Jeff’s great story about my mom letting him cruise down (I am not sure he was 16 yet but my mom wanted to go somewhere) Van Nuys Blvd in her Ford Fairlane convertible as long as he took Kathy along always makes me smile.

David Kuhner


Early one Saturday morning in the late 1980s I drove Jeff to Bay Street to surf. As I pulled up to the parking meter I ran over a paper bag with an empty bourbon bottle in it. My tire popped. “Oh boy,” Jeff said, “something to do while the tide comes in.” To mefixing a flat was just a big nuisance, but for him it was fun. Eager to help and positive in outlook, he liked to solve problems, get things fixed for people. He changed the tire in five minutes and we sat there waiting for the tide.

He liked to joke about his frugality, one time saying that he was literally a “Penny pincher.” And he loved explaining things, talking about machines and the details of mechanics in a way that went beyond anything I could comprehend. I just listened and nodded like I understood.

An incredibly giftedathlete, when we surfed I rarely ever saw Jeff fall off his board; for being such a big guy he was so smooth, every wave ending in a stylish pullout. And when we played together on George Saul’s softball team, I was amazed at how good he was at the game. One night some mean guy on the opposing team ridiculed Jeff in a nasty way. Jeff just ignored him, though he could have squashed him like a bug. I was amazed at how Zen-like he was; a gentle giant, not taking it personally, not seeing it as serious. Like he had nothing to prove.

As stoic and unaffected by things as Jeff could seem, he had a more sensitive side. Once as I slid into third base my cleats caught and I badly twisted my ankle. In pain, I lay on the infield. Jeff came over and lifted me up, dusting me off and guiding me back to the bench with a soothing, “You’ll be alright.”

On a walk after his father’s death, he opened up, sharing how he felt about the loss. On a drive to C Street one day he surprised me by saying that he was a worrier, a nervous person. I’d never seen that side of him. And last July 4th he spoke about his underlying sense of desperation given his illness, yet he faced it with such courage, never losing his interest in life and in every person he knew.

Generous in spirit, Jeff always asked about our daughter and her new life; he expressed interest in how Cheryl and I were doing and told me about events happening to his friends and neighbors. I’m deeply sad that I won’t be able to call him again and hear him say with that up-beat lilt in his voice, “Hey, George, what’s goin’ on?” He was always welcoming, enthusiastic and there for you, whatever you needed.I can’t believe he’s gone. He had such a strong,physical presence and a love of life. For him to be taken away forces the hard truth of life’s vulnerability and fragility.

            The last thing he texted me after his final birthday celebration a few weeks ago was, “Thanks for coming to the party. Best day for me, Jeff.”I replied, my last words to him were, “I’m glad. You’re a great guy.”

George Lough


All the letters written here eulogizing Jeff will undoubtedly conclude that he was a great man possessing great character while stressing his athleticism. This is my short story of just one of many memories of my friend Jeff. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not very athletic, sport fishing is not considered athletic and I don’t “catch” that many fish anyway. Speaking of fishing, Jeff used to say that if he was able to lay down in a row all his fishing licenses he had bought over the years, that line would be longer than any fish, head to tail, caught over the same period of time.

I used to absolutely hate going to some play ground to play baseball with the guys. First, all the players gather together to form a large group where the teams would be chosen. I never could figure out who chose the Captains, probably popularity, anyway as you might of already guessed, I was always picked last at most of these outings. Sitting or standing there while all your friends are being picked and you’re left till last is more than embarrassing, its humiliating. Kind of ironic, that’s the direct opposite of my position during Spelling B’s at St. Elizabeth’s always first down unless of course Tim D. was in class. I stated above that at most of these outings I was picked last, except for when Jeff was the (BBMFIC) Captain he would pick me at some midpoint not leaving me in another humiliating position. Jeff more than anyone individual that I know understood his friends and their feelings and he was not about to hurt anyone. One more example of how Jeff didn’t want anyone to feel inferior, he insisted he could teach me how to surf spending countless of hours trying to show me how to turn the board around once your set, waiting for the big one. I sucked at this also as the wave usually hit me in the face due to a total lack of coordination. I could not turn that fucking board around to save my life, but Jeff with his persistence and patience insisted I could do it as he rode off into the sunset.

This all brings into mind one question: Jeff in all his goodness could not have put that cigarette load into my cigarette somewhere in the distant mountains of Montana, now leaving Penny as the only culprit.

Terry Coultas, (Below,fishing with Jeff in Mexico)


We have lost our “Jefe”. Our leader. Oh my, how do you say goodbye to a friend, a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather when you still need him.

Like most of you I have known Jeff for many years. What drew me to Jeff was his heart, his mischievousness, his inclusiveness, his protectiveness, how much he wanted to have fun, to be competitive, his physical strength and agility, and his inconceivable 1-Y status that Thelma Cross and the Draft Board bestowed upon him.

We made, bottled and drank beer together before we could vote. The pool house on Runnymede served as his laboratory. But we did have to remember to not drink the last quarter of the bottle because it was all sediments. I guess today, and at our age, we would call it fiber.

We even owned a beauty shop together. Uh, If I could offer a bit of business advice Jeff and I learned from that experience, it’s to never to buy a business when you are in a bar and have been drinking.

What a journey and adventure we went on together. I’m sure that those of you who knew him, whom he thought of as a friend or loved one went on an equally exciting journey.

He was my brother. Oh how I will miss his spirit. He is now truly a “legend.” May his light never fade.

Dennis Watson

Jeff's 69th birthday, Feb 24, 2015, Van Nuys


1969, Honolulu Hawaii: Ace Painters were just finishing their first big job, just a couple of hours on a beautiful morning. The doctor who hired this crew had put off going in to his office to work so he could see the finnish of the job at his very nice home [ can u imagine[ and of course write us a check and get the 40 lbs of bear meat out of his freezer, oh yeah that was partial payment for the job!!!!    GREAT IDEA GENE! anyway we had a case of beer on ice back at the aloha dr. hotel & spa. walking to the front door I happen to notice the facial board around the entire house was nicely prepped but not painted, as we all looked up at the HUGE forgotten bit of work.Tom Campbell moaned were going to have to unpack a lot of shit to get the ladder out ! then unfold it and then get it backin!! well here's when ACE PAINTERS started their hawaiin legacy. Jeff Myer took quick action " Donnelly get the trim bucket fill it up about halfway get a 3in. angle brush and get over here".here I was Jeff said to me "Are you thirsty" " fuckin a" isays to him " we'll get on my shoulders and lets this shit done"  about 25 mins. later. we were packing up 40 lbs. bear meat and a check in Jeff's hand and headin down the road toAloha dr. hotel & spa  to have some cold ones. by the way it was a great day for ace painting crew who were at the time Gene & Jeff Meyer, Dennis Watson, Tom Campbell, Paul Atkinson, Freddy Coultas and me. what times those were thanks Jeff for showing that quick thinking way that became a fucking trademark of ace painters . Our motto after that job became "You bet your Ace were good"  T.D.

Just heard the SAD news.  Please relay our love to Penny, Kelly, Patrick, you and the rest of the family.  Jeff -- one of the nicest guys I've ever known ... always up: smiling and laughing ... and just plain fun to be around ... and the best damned softball hitter I've ever seen.

Again, Love to all the family,

Roger and Kathy Dorney

Gene, I just wanted to let you know that you and your family are in my thoughts. I spoke with Elena this week and she gave me an update on everyone. Allie just informed me of Jeff's passing. I can not convey enough what a pleasure it has been getting to know you all. When Jeff had his 9 month assessments Elena, Jeff and I had some very precious moments together where we hugged, talked and cried a little too. I am so thankful for that time, I knew then that it was Jeff's good bye to us. He told us both that even when he is gone he will always be watching over us.  I hope that you may find some comfort in knowing that Jeff is at peace now. What a wonderful man.  I know you will all make him proud and celebrate his amazing life and spirit.
How lucky he was to have his "brothers" always there for him.
Jeffkahuna will always be our Apollo 1.

Love, Jana

(Jana Arnett, Research coordinator, eStudy, the clinical trial Jeff was in for the last year at Grossmont Medical Center in La Mesa near San Diego). We appreciate all the professionalism, total attention, love,and friendship Jeff received during this trial.

Hi Gene
Such a long time since I have seen or contacted any of you. Sorry for that but I have a lot of health issues and am captive to a 10'X10' room at my house.
We are losing so many of the old crew of life long friends. So many stories still untold to so many of the new or younger guys. I have a lot of good memories with Jeff (and the Meyer boys) but the one that always comes to mind is from the Kester house when we all watched Crusader Rabbit cartoon with Engineer Bill.
Don't know what to say really, but we all will miss Jeff in our own way.
Sorry for your loss
God Bless you Jeff  R.I.P.

Richard Twomey



Gene -
I’m so sorry to hear of Jeff’’s passing. A bigger than life kinda guy. Everything he did was with passion and joy. He seemed to do things effortlessly. I admired him for his honest, straightforward manner. He was always present. Like you Gene. I’ve lost brothers, but you two were so very close, it can’t be easy for you. You have so many who care for you, let them all help you through this. Be well and I hope to be there on Sunday the 22nd. All the best to Penny & family.

Your Friend,
Ed Flynn

I was on the Garden Grove freeway (22) when my car (VW Rabbit) blew an engine. I took the next exit coasting and managed to make it to a shopping center parking lot. I then found a payphone (pre-cell) and called My folks (Gene & Veda). Gene asked where I was, I couldn’t read the street signs, it wasn’t in English! So I mentioned what exit I took. Gene said he would call his brother Jeff and said he would call me back in a while. So Gene calls back and tells me Jeff is coming to get me and to stay put. I’m thinking great Gene’s brother has a tow truck or something.  So Jeff shows up in a Peugeot but he did bring back an extra tire and after inspecting my car, said “don’t worry about it, it will be easy to fix”. He said he would tie the tire to the front of the car and push me back to his house . . .  in Van Nuys! He worked out all the issues and  since my car is a stick it was easier. Jeff and I worked our way back over to Crescent Heights/Laurel canyon and back to his house, we had a few interesting intersection and hill issues but it was fun.  We were back in time to go to the pick-a-part place and find an engine from a wrecked Cabriolet. I spent the night, and the next day we proceeded to swap out the old engine with the newer one, like it was nothing. Of course before we got started, we went surfing in the morning. Jeff managed to find a wetsuit I mostly fit into and in typical Jeff Meyer fashion pushed me in to waves till I caught a few.

Jeff never thought about refusing, never said I can’t do it, Never used bad language and generally never thought for a moment of not being able to do something. Jeff was one of the most remarkable men I have known, he just didn’t seem to ever feel overwhelmed or make you feel like it couldn’t be done or even get mad. I loved/loved my uncle and will miss him greatly. I will always remember our adventure and what he taught me and all the other things I learned from and about him and will think of him often.

 Dan O'Dell


So sorry to hear about Jeff. Our lives never really crossed paths that much over the years, but he will always own one moment.  He's the guy who taught me how to swim.  Summer of  '61 or thereabouts.  I was 11 and he was about 16.  I was afraid to go in the pool, so in about 3 hours he had me in the deep end and jumping off the diving board.  He convinced me I could do it and I believed him.  Not much time out of either of our lives, but a milestone for me.

(continued) My initial encounter with surfing was also something that Jeff was responsible for.  It may have been a little too ambitious even by his standards.  While it was probably a foam board it was still twice my height and at least half my weight. (as my scarred memory recalls).  He put me on the board, swam out with me and left me 50 yards from the Malibu beach - in the ocean.  Nothing malicious mind you, I'm sure it worked for a lot of people.  I however felt kind of like an Eskimo on an ice float - with the same end result looming.  Keep in mind I had only learned to swim probably the day before.  After about 20 minutes he realized I wasn't going to come to him to he came out and got me before I drifted to Laguna.  I really haven't spent much time in the ocean since then.
Honestly it's a very fond memory.
Cousin Dan McCluskey
New Jersey

 Jeff, Jack & Friend

Below, Notre Dame Movers & Shakers, Class of '64

L to R: Jeff Meyer, Jim Armstrong, Mike Mullin, Ron Renaud, Bob Kelley

My daughter, Kelly


Below: Hawaii, 1969

Standing: Gene, Patrick, Evelyn & Clem Crow, Sherri Turner, Tom Campbell

Seated: Lou Watson, Jeff, Penny (Carrying Kelly)


Patrick & Family: Rafaela and Alesandrea


Here I am at the Do Dah Surf Party at Sunset Beach giving a morning blessing to another surfer. 

My dog, Buddy 


Watch out all you shortboaders! 

Celebrating my 60th with my girlfriends at Santa Monica Pier


Ron Metz, Emily & John Meyer (Jack's kids), Uncle Gene

and Patrick (The Groom) Meyer