Robert Balliett Meese

August 15, 1922 ‒ July 03, 2015

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD: Lifelong area resident Robert Balliett Meese peacefully passed away Friday, July 3, 2015 in The Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Center in Ashland. He was 92.

Bob was born August 15, 1922 in Mansfield to David Osborne & Kathleen (Balliett) Meese.  He was graduated from Mansfield Senior High in 1939 and attended Western Reserve Academy for a year before matriculating at Princeton University in September 1940.  In January of 1943 he requested active duty with the U.S. Army and served in field artillery using triangulation to locate enemy artillery. Bob’s five Battle Stars were earned at battles and campaigns including Normandy, Rhineland and Battle of the Bulge.

In high school, a beautiful young lady named Joan Watson caught his eye. The pair married on April 30, 1944 and shared 65 wonderful years of marriage until she passed away in 2009.

After the war he returned to Princeton to graduate in 1947, as a member of the Class of 1944, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics.

Bob came home to Mansfield to commence a 48-year career as an agent for The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company, earning recognition for his service to clientele.

Bob served his community and vocation in many ways, usually in a leadership capacity. He had a 20-plus-year tenure as member and chairman of the Scholarship Committee of The Richland County Foundation, during which the foundation granted financial aid to hundreds of deserving students. For 46 years Bob served as a trustee of Mansfield Memorial Park during which the park grew from a struggling cemetery to one in which the community can take pride. Bob was a 56-year active member of Rotary Club of Mansfield, serving as its president in 1954-55 and as a Paul Harris Fellow.  And, he took most satisfaction in serving five years as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop #10, during which 12 of “his boys” earned Eagle Scout rank, a level he had achieved in the 1930s.  His contribution to scouting continued long after his tenure as a Scoutmaster and he was later honored with the Silver Beaver Award.

He was a member and Past President of University Club, charter member and Past President of Life Group Underwriters, a charter member of Life Financial Planners, charter member of The Woodland Club, member and past Commodore of the Mansfield Sailing Club, a member of Hermit Club, and a member the Linden Road Presbyterian Church.

Bob was a voracious reader, skilled writer, formidable bridge player, competitive sailor and tennis player, and lifelong Cleveland Indians fan. Above all, he was family-centered and enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He is survived by daughters Marilyn Hixson of Columbus, Deborah (Ludwig) Schenk of Mansfield, Jane Meese of Mansfield, and son David O. Meese of Mansfield; grandchildren Gretchen (Mike) Pfeifer of Galion, Marilyn (Brian) Pcionek of Brunswick, Jennifer (Tom) Plaisted of Mansfield, Henry H. Hixson, IV (“Hal”) of Columbus, and Jane (Scot) Erbe of Dublin, OH; nine great grandchildren; brother-in-law Don R. Watson of Mansfield; sister-in-law Joyce Watson of Indianapolis; and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, and close friends.

In addition to his wife and parents, Bob was preceded in death by a daughter Kathleen “Katie” Meese in 1959; son-in-law Henry H. Hixson, III (Chip); a sister Nancy H. Meese; and brothers-in-law James T. Watson, Charles V. Watson and AJ Watson.

The Meese family will receive friends 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday, July 10, 2015 in the Finefrock Chapel of Snyder Funeral Home, 350 Marion Avenue in Mansfield, where a memorial service will immediately follow at 11:30 a.m. Pastor Tom Roepke will officiate. Interment will follow in Mansfield Memorial Park, where Richland County Joint Veterans Burial Detail will hold graveside military honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Richland County Foundation.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Bob’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them—and watch his tribute video—at SnyderFuneralHomes.com

  • Dear Meese Family, I didn’t know Bob as a friend, but rather as a very friendly person who I spoke with at the Woodland Club or on Woodland Rd. where I often walked past the Meese home. I have fond memories of speaking with both Joan & Bob at both locations in Woodland. My sincere condolences. Marian Blahnik

  • To the Meese Family: I didn’t know Bob as a friend, but rather as a congenial, friendly person who spoke to me at the Woodland Club or when passing his home on Woodland Rd. while on my frequent walks in the neighborhood. Mansfield was fortunate to have your family contributions of service through the years. My sincere condolences. Marian Blahnik

  • My deepest and sincere sympathy to the family. May God comfort you as you hold precious memories of your father close, now and always.
    God Bless.

  • Dear Debbie, Ludi and Family…..

    We are so sorry for your loss. He was such a special person and we had so many great conversations over our “working together years”.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Sharyl & Dave

  • I knew Bob from Rotary where he would periodically tell me some of his memories of his time on the Kingwood Center Administrative Board. I was particularly amused by his description of how insufferable some of the Board members were in his time as they insisted on rare duck and just the right wine for their post Board meeting meal. My how things have changed.

    Bob was a kind and generous man, I am so glad to have had the opportunity to have known him.

    Chuck Gleaves

  • Dear Meeses, Hixsons and Schenks,

    We all here share your loss. Bob was someone I knew my whole life and it’s much like losing an Uncle. Bob will be missed by all who had the privilege to know him, yet we can take comfort knowing how full and rich a life he led and the legacy he leaves behind that is his family. Our prayers are with you.

    Kurt and Benita Munger

  • So sorry to hear about Uncle Bob’s passing. I have fond memories of the powwows around the campfire with Bob’s scary stories and the many songs we enjoyed with his smiling face and skilled ukulele playing. I’ve never met anyone with the dedication to family traditions as Uncle Bob. There is no doubt in my mind you remaining generations are carrying many of them along. Bob was one of the great ones in the greatest generation. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • My sincere condolences to all of you for the loss of your loved one, Bob Meese. He was the sweetest man and always had a smile for me. My husband Bob knew him before I did. His kindness and generosity will be missed. He left a legacy for your family and Richland co for being a man of integrity,love of family, church, community and a passion for bridge. He will be missed. Pat Brook

  • My memories of your dad were Mansfield Sailing Club and him playing that little ukelele while we all sat around singing the songs our parents frequently sang, like Shine On Harvest Moon. What a childhood we had there, and at Bay Point in those cottages along the beach! As I have been thinking about that, I have recently been singing the song “K-K-K-Katie” that we all sang to her – remember? And the wonderful picnic dinners we had at your house on Sunday evenings after sailing and what fun we had. Your dad had a good long run, and I enjoyed looking at his tribute photo album you put together. I hope you are all doing well. Fondly, Lynn