Lt. Col. Alton “Al” Benno Meyer passed away December 24, 2017 at the age of 79.
Al was born January 2, 1938 in Fredericksburg, Texas on January 2, 1938 to Benno C. and Lina (Schmidt) Meyer. His family was one of the original settlers of Fredericksburg, and Al was very proud of his German heritage. Growing up on his family’s ranch, he was very involved in hunting and outdoor activities. He attended Cherry Mountain School until the fifth grade when it consolidated with Fredericksburg schools. In high school, he was a member of FFA and 4H, showing sheep and steers at stock shows. After graduating, he went to Texas A&M, where he became a member of the Aggie Corps of Cadets and received an Air Force commission upon his graduation in 1960. Al met his future wife Bobbie Jean Smith while attending A&M. They were introduced by friends at the MSC and had their first date at Bonfire. They were married October 22, 1960 at TAMC All Faiths Chapel and were blessed with two sons.
Al started his training at James Conley Air Base in Waco. He then moved from base to base until he received orders in 1966 to report to Nellis Air Force Base outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. He received a very quick training before being sent off to jungle survival training in the Philippines. From there it was off to Thailand to fight against North Vietnam. He was assigned to be a part of "project wild weasel" (electronic warfare officer) It was during his 36th mission over North Vietnam that Al’s plane was shot down and he became a Prisoner Of War. For the next five years, eleven months, and ten days, Al was held as a POW in North Vietnam, until his release on March 4, 1973. He was awarded two Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts, a POW medal, and numerous others for his service to our country. He came home to find his family still intact and waiting for him. He retired from the Air Force in December 1980.
Upon his return from Vietnam, Al went back to Texas A&M. He received his MBA in Business Management in 1975. He worked with various oil companies in gas pipeline telemetry before founding Alton Meyer Consulting. He was a very active father, making up for the years lost by being involved in their Little League and Scouts. Al never lost his love for the land, and was involved in cattle ranching. He enjoyed taking his grandkids on tractor rides.
Al was a very strong willed man, which helped him out when he was a POW. He was very patriotic and was a proud member of the VFW, American Legion, BSA (Been Shot At) who are Retired Military Officers, NAM POWs, and the Retired Military Officers Association of America. He had an amazing memory and remembered dates for everything. He watched FOX News daily, and stayed up to date and current on world events. Al and his wife Bobbie traveled around the world together and enjoyed many cruises. They were season ticket holders to Aggie Football, and were proud of his alma mater. Al was a member of the TAMU Quarterback Club, the College Station Morning Lions Club, and Quiet Birdman.
Al leaves behind his wife Bobbie Jean (Smith) Meyer, his son and daughter-in-law Robert and Melody Meyer of College Station, his son and daughter-in-law Ron and Suzanne Meyer of Rowlett, Texas, his grandchildren Ana Meyer, Brendan Meyer, and Corbin Meyer, his brother and sister-in-law Lee and Marvis Meyer of Bakersfield, California, and his sister Verdie Pezzaro of Fredericksburg.
Donations may be made in Al’s name to American Cancer Society and the Brazos Valley Hospice.
To honor Al’s life, a visitation will be held from 5-7 PM on Friday, December 29, 2017 at Hillier Funeral Home of College Station with Life Celebration Services, Military Honors and reception to begin at 11 AM on Saturday, December 30, 2017.