Don Meier receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Stillaguamish Senior Center
August 27, 2008 · Updated 5:00 PM
ARLINGTON A former downtown Arlington merchant, City Councilman and airport manager, among many other things, Donald E. Meier has been recognized for his service to the community of Arlington with the Stillaguamish Senior Centers Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award was presented to Meier Friday, June 22 at Meiers Gleneagle home since Meiers health would not allow him to be the guest of honor at a large breakfast as per tradition launched last year.
The president of the board at SSC, David Duskin presented the award.
I am very sorry that you were not able to be honored with hundreds of people watching like for Howard [Christianson] last year, Duskin told Meier when he presented a handsome plaque honoring his service to Arlington.
Arlington has grown and thrived thanks to your many contributions, Duskin told Meier.
Meier was born in Snohomish County when his mother, Lille, crossed over the water from Whidbey Island to Everett to give birth to Don. He was in sixth-grade when his parents moved from Whidbey Island to Arlington. His father, Ernest R. Meier, had been a partner in Oak Harbor Auto Freight Company.
Meier founded Meiers Clothing after his military service, in 1954 and ran it until 1980, when he sold the store to his daughter, LuAnne.
Meier acquired Petersons Clothing Store after his friend, Dr. Dale Huber, notified him while he was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, that Jack Peterson wanted to sell his store on the corner of Olympic Avenue and Second Street.
Meier had told his friend that he would some day like to own a clothing store. A deal was struck, and in 1954 Don and LaVaughn purchased Petersons Clothing and renamed it Meiers Clothing.
Meiers Clothing thrived, and in 1962, Don and LaVaughn purchased two wooden buildings that housed a dress shop and a restaurant, in the middle of the 300 block on Olympic Avenue. The two wooden buildings were demolished and a new brick-front building (now home to Little Italy Market & Trattoria) was constructed to house Meiers Clothing for men and women.
While doing business in Arlington, Meier became active with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce indeed, it was his idea to convert the Arlington Commercial Club into a chamber of commerce and was elected the chambers first president.
He was elected and served as a City Councilman for seven years. With his continued interest in aviation, he was a natural to become the councils representative on the Arlington Airport Commission. After his final term on the Council, he continued to serve on the airport commission. After he sold his clothing business to his daughter, he was hired by the city as airport manager.
Don and LaVaughn have two children Richard and LuAnne and one grandchild, Alison Meier.
Upon his retirement as airport manager in 1986, Don was given a plaque in honor of his 20 years of dedicated service to the city of Arlington. Other awards and honors include a distinguished service award from the Arlington Jaycees. He was recognized by the Chamber of Commerce with a Community Service Award in 1986 and was made a lifetime member in 1990. Meier is also a past member and president of the Arlington Kiwanis Club and a past member and president of the Stillaguamish Senior Center Board of Directors. When a Rotary club was started in north Snohomish County, he jumped service clubs.
Along with all this community service, Meier has also contributed toward business education at Arlington High School. When volunteers were sought to advise the high schools Distributive Education Program, Meier stepped up to the plate. For his contribution, he was made an honorary life member of the Distributive Education Clubs of America in 1976. He also served the communitys youth by providing employment opportunities at his store.
Some of our current merchants got their first start at Meiers clothing, Duskin said.
Meier set a lot of precedents in his life. In 1940 he was a part the first graduating class to attend all four years at the then-new high school. While in high school he lived and breathed sports. He lettered in football as a fullback and played basketball and baseball, too.
It was baseball that took him to Washington State College on a pitching scholarship in 1940. He played freshman ball but his potential baseball career was cut short his sophomore year after the Japanese attached Pearl Harbor. He enlisted immediately in the Army Air Corps.
Assigned to a bomber squadron, Don became an instructor of all aspects of flying and operating bombers. He did not serve on the war front, but many of the crews he helped train played a major roll in the Pacific Theater. He served until December 1945, but continued as a reservist, teaching at an aeronautical school at the Arlington Airport. He also drove a gas truck for the Standard Oil Distributor. On Valentines Day, 1946, he married LaVaughn Staker.
During the Korean War, Don returned to active duty, once again as flight instructor.
Meier didnt work and serve at all times, however. He enjoyed hunting ducks and pheasants with his friends, Huber and Gordon Duskin, and his other companions, his German shorthair dogs.
I remember when you built the duck boat inside your garage and it was too big to get out the door, Duskin laughed.
Uncle Don was a very talented woodworker, said his niece, Cassandra Coolley, of Silverdale.
He built all the cabinets in my first house, LuAnne said.
Hes given this city so much, said his wife, LaVaughn.
Were all a lot better off because of you, said Mayor Margaret Larson.
When asked to offer up some advice for the future of Arlington, Meier suggested doing whatever possible to keep the people interested and involved in the community.
It takes a lot of people working together toward growth and betterment, Meier said.
Then he added, A lot of it has been fun.