Meissner Jr., Walter Robert of Eden Prairie passed away on July 23, 2021 at the age of 84, after battling pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by his wife and family, and the loving arms of God.
Wally was born on December 30, 1936 in Chicago, IL. He moved with his family to Hibbing, MN at the age of 3, and then to Rush City, MN six years later. He became a star athlete in four high school sports: football, basketball, baseball, and track. He attended Dartmouth College for 18 months on a football scholarship until he was sidelined by injury. He completed his higher education at the University of Minnesota, ultimately attaining his MA in Music.
In addition to his wife and family, music was a lifelong passion beginning at an early age. He sang his entire life, played trombone in high school and college, and participated in and directed various church, professional, and community choirs. After obtaining his Master's Degree in Music in 1961, he taught music at the high school and college levels for many years. In 1972, he combined his love of music with his entrepreneurial instincts and started Meissner Piano Service. He tuned and serviced pianos for hundreds of people in the Twin Cities area and throughout the state for 49 years, until shortly before his death. He was proud and honored to eventually consider so many of his customers as friends.
Another passion was spending time at his beloved cabin in northern Minnesota. Built with his own hands, the hours he spent at Elbow Lake with family and friends basking in the rustic beauty of God's creation were surely the best of his life.
He enjoyed traveling extensively with Lois, exploring distant places in the Caribbean and Great Britain. Their travels within the United States included Florida and the southeast region states, California and the Southwest, Hawaii, and an amazing 26 trips to Alaska, where halibut and king salmon trembled at the sight of his tilley hat and his fishing line in the water!
Wally was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Alice Meissner; sister Janet, brother Roger, and brother Edward "Willy" Meissner (Linda). He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Lois; three daughters: Vicki Wehe (Wayne McGregor), Lori Beecher (Dr. John), and Kristi Copley (Jon); three brothers: Fred Meissner (Pam), David Meissner (Gene Chelberg), and Kevin Meissner (Linda); and his aunt, Arlene Hendrickson. "Papa Fish" is also survived by six grandchildren: Tucker Weisman, Shaun Wehe (Jessica), Stephen Wehe (Kelsey), Blaze Beecher, Cash McGregor, and Lilli Hoffman; and five great-grandchildren: Lillian Wehe, Cameron Wehe, Logan Wehe, Vincent Wehe, and Cayleigh Wehe.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, August 2 at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie; visitation at 1:00 p.m. and service at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to Compassion International or Samaritan's Purse organizations.
Wally participated in and/or directed the following musical organizations: King’s Volunteers; Calvary Memorial Church in Navarre; Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Virginia; East Range Choral Society in Virginia; Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis; Brooklyn Center Baptist Church; First Lutheran Church in Eveleth; Eveleth Male Chorus; Hoyt Lakes Male Chorus; Hope Lutheran Church in Brooklyn Center; Minnesota High School Musicians Project; Osseo Baptist Choir; Redeemer Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale; Christ Lutheran Church in Eveleth; Servant of Christ Lutheran Church in Champlin; the Watchmen Male Chorus; and the Twin Cities Masters Chorale.
Wally’s school affiliations were: Osseo Junior High School, Virginia High School, Virginia Junior College, Cedarville College (Ohio), Centennial High School, Anoka-Ramsey (Centennial) Junior College, Gilbert High School, Blake School, Aurora Elementary School, Aurora Junior High School, and Crown College.