James (Jim) Meler
James C. “Jim” Meler, 87, of New Franklin passed away January 4, 2019 at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital in Columbia, MO.
He was born in St. Louis, MO on May 3, 1931 to the late Birtus and Minnie Harrison Meler. Jim served his nation with honor in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict from October 25, 1951 until his discharge on April 21, 1954. During his service he was stationed aboard the USS Bristol DD 857 circumnavigating the globe twice while on board.
He taught auto-body repair at the Boonville Area Vocational Technical School for twenty-two years. He was also the owner and operator of Jim’s Auto Body in Pulaski County for many years. Jim was an avid historian and claimed his finest hour was working on the excavation of the riverboat Twilight at Orrick, MO, and had built many scale replicas of historic riverboats. His other interests included community service having served as a former Mayor of New Franklin, playing the guitar, building his own cars and designing an automobile frame measuring machine. Jim’s memberships have included the New Franklin United Methodist Church, the USS Bristol Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, National Education Association, Eagles Lodge and the South Howard County Historical Society.
Survivors include his wife, Kay Meler of New Franklin whom he married on August 1, 1986; his children, Dan Meler and wife, Chris of Columbia, Kevin Moser and wife, Melissa of Mokane, Bill Moser and wife, Kathy of Bunceton, Tammy Schafer and husband, John of Columbia and Teresa Bennett of Nashville, TN. Also surviving are his much loved grandchildren, Michael and Taylor Marvel, Ezra and Airilyn Schaefer, Jarrod Pound, Nicole Meler, Shelby and Austin Bennett, Chloe Moser, Will Linneman, Delaney and Samantha Moser and his great-grandchildren, Alana Marvel, Daniel Pount and Madilyn Humphrey. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister,Velma Dinneen.
Visitation was held from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, January 8, at Markland-Yager Funeral Home in New Franklin. Services honoring Mr. Meler were Wednesday, January 9, at 2 p.m. at the New Franklin United Methodist Church with Rev. Michael Keith officiating. Burial with military honors followed at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in New Franklin.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital or the South Howard County Historical Association.
Condolences may be shared at www.marklandyager.com.