Stephen Paul Meyers
Stephen Paul Meyers, 84, of Medford, Ore. passed away Saturday June 11, 2016 of natural causes.Steve was born September 30, 1931 in La Grande, Ore. to Paul Frederick Meyers and Lillian Lucille (Sims) Meyers. His early years were spent in The Dalles, Ore. and Boise, Idaho. He first came to Medford at age seven. The family moved to Portland during WWII and Steve finally returned to Medford at age 14. He was a 1949 graduate of Medford High School.Steve joined the U.S. Air Force in 1950. After training he served as an aircraft mechanic in Las Vegas, Nev. Steve was accepted for primary flight training in the AT-6 Texan in 1953 at Spence Air Base in Moultrie, Georgia. He continued on with his multi-engine rating in a TB-25 Mitchell and advanced instrument training in the T-28 at Reese AFB in Lubbock, Texas in 1953. Steve was then commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He initially flew the T-29 (Convair 240) Navigator trainer at Mather AFB in Sacramento, California for a short time. In 1954, Steve was assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC) where he initially flew the 10-engine B-36 Peacemaker until transitioning to the B-52 Stratofortress in 1957 at Walker AFB in Roswell, N.M. Steve became the first 1st Lieutenant in USAF history to upgrade to Aircraft Commander. He accomplished this in the B-36.While in Roswell, Steve met the love of his life, Ardis G. “Jerry” Hamm. They were married in 1956 in Jerry’s hometown of Bird City, Kans. They celebrated 60 years of marriage in May of 2016. Steve and Jerry had a son, Michael in 1958 while in Roswell.Steve served in combat in the skies over North and South Vietnam from 1968-1969. He flew 105 missions in the single pilot EB-66 Destroyer from Takhli, Thailand. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, and the US Air Force Air Medal among other medals and ribbons for his service to the United States of America.After many years of night school, while working at SAC headquarters as a strategic planner and flying T-39 Sabreliners, Steve received a bachelor degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1972. After a brief stint at the Pentagon, Steve retired as a full Colonel in 1974.Steve, Jerry, and Mike moved to Medford in 1974 into the house his father built in 1947 about half-way down the first fairway of the Rogue Valley Country Club (RVCC). Like his father Paul, Steve enjoyed golf, but his handicap was a little higher. He, along with Jerry, was a frequent tournament announcer at the annual RVCC Championships. Steve served as President of RVCC in 1979.Steve was a member of the Quiet Birdmen. He was a lifetime Elks Club member and a Medford University Club member.Steve flew for several years as an air ambulance pilot for Mercy Flights in the late 1970s. He flew everything from a Cessna 180 to a Twin Beech Model 18. He was an admirer and friend of Mercy Flights founder George Milligan.At the personal suggestion of Glen Jackson, Steve became one of an early group of pilots for the start-up Air Oregon airline in 1979. He flew for many years and transitioned to Horizon Airlines when they merged with Air Oregon. He flew the Navaho, Metroliner, the F-27, and the Dash 8. Steve was the first Senior Captain to be “age retired” from Horizon Airlines in 1991. Farewell celebrations were held in Seattle, Portland, and Medford.After his second retirement, Steve and Jerry traveled frequently in their motor home. They purchased a cabin on the Rogue River at Union Creek, Ore. and enjoyed many wonderful years of hiking, exploring, and entertaining friends and family there. With their motor home they were frequent snowbirds to the remote community of Borrego Springs, Calif.Stephen is survived by his beloved wife, Jerry; his son, Michael; daughter-in-law, Diane; and his two grandsons, Cameron and Connor, of Amarillo, Texas; his sister, Mardi Marshall, of Maryland; his nieces, Jennifer, Stephanie, and Anastasia; and nephew, Geoffrey.Services will be held Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at the Eagle Point National Cemetery at 2763 Riley Road in Eagle Point, Oregon at the Committal Shelter. Stephen will be buried with full military honors starting promptly at 1:00 p.m.. Early arrival by 12:45 is suggested by the cemetery staff. A reception will follow the service at the Meyers’ household in Medford, Oregon.