Roland Gregory Meinert, 84, of Columbia passed away on February 18, 2014.
Services will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, February 21, 2014 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Entombment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation will be from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Thursday, February 20, 2014 at Bach-Yager Funeral Chapel.
Roland was born December 3, 1929 to Gregory and Mary Ann Link Meinert in St. Louis, MO where he attended elementary and high school. He received multiple degrees in Social Work: Bachelors degree from Saints Joseph’s College in Indiana; Master’s degree from Loyola University-Chicago; and Doctorate degree from University of Saint Louis. While at Saint Joseph’s University he starred on the football team as an offensive lineman. Roland pursued his love of teaching at several universities and was the Director of the Schools of Social Work at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michigan State and Missouri State University.
He served in the Army with the Berlin Brigade in the military intelligence unit. While in the service he starred as a lineman on the Army’s semi-pro team.
In 1958 he married Shirley Ruth McCallister of St. Louis.
Roland was an excellent storyteller and passionate about writing. At each holiday or special family event he would prepare a short story or prayer specific to that day. He authored and edited many advanced educational books for professionals. He wrote many articles and editorials focusing on religious and social issues for newspapers including the Columbia Tribune.
A lifelong Catholic, he was pro-life and an advocate for social justice. He served on several social welfare boards. He was the longest serving president of Missouri Association of Social Welfare and chaired the board of directors of Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services. One of his proudest accomplishments was co-founding the Inter-University Consortium on International Social Development.
Roland, nicknamed “Duke”, was blessed with many lifelong friends including grade school friends from the “Walnut Park Athletic Association” and many Army and college buddies.
Roland loved classic movies, reading and exercise. He will be remembered as a kind man with a big soft heart, a pursuer of education with immense intellectual curiosity. Roland liked to ask questions and unlike most he actually wanted to hear your answer. A man of deep faith with honesty and humor he enjoyed the lives of friends and family. His last thoughts were of home where he spent his final days with family.
Roland is survived by loving wife, Shirley of 55 years; son, Matthew and wife, Jeana; son, Gregory and wife, Julie; daughter, Susan; daughter, Sharon and husband, Mark Elliott; beloved grandchildren, Natalia and Aaron Winberry, Benedict Meinert, Melissa and Danielle Meinert; sisters, Mary Jane Buescher (the late Ken Buescher) and Pat Dowd (Jack).
Memorial contributions are suggested to St. Francis House, c/o Bach-Yager Funeral Chapel, 1610 N. Garth Ave., Columbia, MO 65202.
Online condolences and tributes may be shared with the family at www.bachyager.com.