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Carlton Meyer

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Carlton "Cotton" G. Meyer, 86, of Jackson died Friday, Jan. 28, 2005, at the Monticello House in Jackson.

He was born Oct. 28, 1918, in Cape Girardeau County, son of Charles W. and Erna Lowes Meyer. He and Clemency Horn were married April 22, 1944.

Cotton was inducted into the U.S. Army Air Force in 1942 and served in the European and Middle East theaters. A radio operator and air gunner, Meyer flew 50 missions on the "Screaming Eagle" before returning to the states. His most distinguished decorations were the Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Stars for the battle campaigns and a unit citation. Upon his honorable discharge in August 1945, Meyer was first sergeant of Company A. He was instrumental in establishing the National Guard unit in Jackson, where he served as second and first lieutenant for a total of 31 years with the guard and 35 years of service to his country.

In conjunction with his military service he was an active member and past commander of Altenthal-Joerns American Legion Post 158 in Jackson, a member of the Honor Guard and Past Commanders' Club and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3838 in Cape Girardeau.

Meyer owned and operated Jackson Frozen Food Locker for 35 years. He served three terms as alderman from Ward 2 during the 1950s and again from 1971 to 1973. In 1973, he was elected mayor of Jackson and served 20 years.

During his tenure the city recognized expansion of the power plant, improvements in the waste water disposal plant, erection of traffic signals at the highway 61, 25, 72-34 junctions, expansion of the city park, construction of the swimming pool, tennis courts and band shell and acquisition of the land and facilities for the Jackson Family Clinic and Jackson Manor Nursing Home.

Meyer's sincere interest in the advancement of local and world communities led him to become active in numerous civic organizations. Some affiliations include Jackson Chamber of Commerce, Jackson Retail Merchants, Southeast Missouri Hospital Association, Missouri Association of Meat Processors, Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities, Jackson Senior Center, Cape County Transit, Jackson Heritage Association, Jackson Boys Baseball League, Jackson Benchwarmers Club and Scouting.

His membership in the Jackson Rotary Club spanned 56 years. He especially enjoyed the club fellowship and was always interested in Rotary International's organized efforts to help the less fortunate around the world. In addition to holding each club office he was a Paul Harris fellow, a district governor's aid from 1982 to 1983 and district governor from 1983 to 1984. Also in 1983, the Jackson Chamber of Commerce honored him with the R.A. Fulenwider Memorial Award for Distinguished Community Service.

Cotton served St. Paul Lutheran Church in the capacity of president, vice president of the board of elders, Sunday school teacher, men's club chairman and district president of the Walther League.

Loving survivors include his wife, Clemency, of Jackson; two sons, Charles and Craig Meyer of Jackson; a daughter, Carla Moore of Alcoa, Tenn.; six grandchildren, Carmen Simpher and husband Brad of Jackson, Michelle Clayton and husband Kevin of Louisville, Tenn., Chad Meyer of St. Louis, Jayson Moore of Knoxville, Tenn., Adam Meyer of New Wells, Cody Meyer of Jackson; three great-grandchildren, Cassie and Brandon Simpher, Ella Clayton; a sister, Dorothy Ficken of St. Louis; a brother, Harold Meyer of Springville, Tenn.; and a stepsister, Mary Crites of Jackson.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Nelson "Butch" Meyer; and three sisters, Altha Smith, Betty Hessenflow and LaVern Bangert.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at McCombs Funeral Home in Jackson. An American Legion service will be held at 7 p.m. Friends may also call after 9 a.m. Tuesday at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jackson.

Funeral will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the church, with the Rev. Robert Henrichs officiating.

Interment will follow in Russell Heights Cemetery with graveside military honors.

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to the organ fund at St. Paul Lutheran Church or the American Cancer Society.