Gilbert McAlpine Meissner
Aiken, South Carolina
Gilbert McAlpine Meissner, 91, of Aiken, South Carolina, died peacefully on Dec. 31. He was born in New York City, New York, the son of Harold Meissner and Anne McAlpine Meissner. He was preceded in death by his parents and his beloved wife Ruth to whom he was married for 52 years.
Gil grew up in Mt. Vernon, New York, and graduated from Davis High School. After serving in the occupational troops in post-war Japan, Gil graduated from Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, and earned two master’s degrees from Wesleyan University, Middletown.
Gil and Ruth made their home in Killingworth, where Gil served as a teacher and principal in the Clinton school system. Gil spent the majority of his educational career as the principal of the Lewin G. Joel School in Clinton. He retired after nearly 40 years of service; he and Ruth moved to Florida where they spent many happy years.
After Ruth died, Gil moved to Aiken, South Carolina, to live closer to family. He will be deeply missed by family and friends. Gil was an avid reader, a music aficionado, particularly the Big Band music of the 1940s, and a follower of most New York sports teams. He loved his wife, his children, his friends, his work, assorted family pets, and a big rambling red house in Killingworth, where life was well lived and many good times were had with family and dear friends.
He is survived by his daughter Connie Henrich (Michael) of Aiken, son Paul Meissner (Colette) of Bridgeport, and one beloved granddaughter, Airlie Virginia Loiaconi (Stephen) of Alexandria, Virginia. Airlie captured her PopPop well on her social media post:
“My sweet grandfather passed away last night. He was the first New Yorker I loved. A Mets and Giants fan until the end. The original (and greatest) mix-tape maker. A collector of one thousand records. An enthusiastic advocate of egg salad sandwiches. The world’s best whistler. A lover of big band music, public education, New England, and Scotch. A beloved husband, father, and grandfather.
I hope Heaven is filled with Frank Sinatra performances, cocktail parties with grandma, and an endless supply of World War Two books.”
The family extends heartfelt thanks to the staff at Trinity on Laurens for the outstanding care, devotion, and kindness they gave Gil every day. They are simply the best.
A Celebration of Life reception will be held at Trinity on Laurens, 213 Laurens St. NW, Aiken, SC, on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Inurnment will be held in Connecticut in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Trinity on Laurens Employee Appreciation Fund, Trinity on Laurens, 213 Laurens St. NW, Aiken, SC 29801. George Funeral Home, Aiken, SC (803-649-6234), has charge of arrangements. Expressions of sympathy for the family may be left by visiting www.georgefuneralhomes.com.