January 29, 1925 – May 5, 2018

Measner, Donald Allen – Passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Hamilton General Hospital, Neuroscience Ward, with his wife Josephine Meeker and his niece Wendy Nelson by his side.  Born in Osceola, Wisconsin on the St. Croix River, on January 29, 1925, he was the youngest of nine siblings born to Edward and Mary (Busch) Measner, two of whom died in early childhood.  He is predeceased by the others, but has many, nieces and nephews and grandnieces and nephews in Canada and the United States.  He was also predeceased by William “Bill” Meeker and Edythe Meeker.  His studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he studied Landscape Architecture, were truncated by the 2nd World War when he served his country in the European Theatre in France, Germany (Saarland) and Austria.  His battalion returned for redeployment to the Asian Theatre when the war ended.  After some time, serving as a Landscape Architect in Arlington National Cemetery, he taught Cartography in Fort Belvoir, Virginia in the Engineer School.  His next posting was to Turkey, where he was assigned as a Geographic Attache on a team with the American Embassy in Turkey.  The team traversed most roads in Turkey.  Describing by word, map, and photograph the physical geography and human aspects of the landscape from horizon to horizon.  On return to the USA he entered private life as a Cartographer and Map Editor at Rand McNally and Hagstrom in New York City.  He and Jo met in graduate school at Columbia University in New York City where both were studying in the Department of Geography.  He left again for Turkey where he was studying “The Role of Sugar Beets as an Economic Innovator.”  During this time he lived and studied the industry in many villages in Central Turkey in the region of Kayseri.  As the result of some publications in USA, claiming that North American Academics were really spies, all American academics in Turkey were forced to leave the country.  After his return to USA he and Jo were married at McMaster University Chapel on June 22, 1968.  They enjoyed many years of being Geographers together and theirs has been a marriage of true kindred spirits.  He was active in the Thorold Horticultural Society where he was a Director and was honored with a “Life Membership”.  He was also a Director on the Ontario Horticultural Society.  He was awarded the Queen’s Confederation Medal for his contributions to his fellow citizens and his community.  His best-loved work was as Cartographer and Map Editor on the National Historical Atlas of Canada Project, Volume II, The 19th Century which may be found in schools and libraries around the world.  He was a true renaissance man; he loved people and was often called upon to help others, which he did with a great heart and caring.  Cremation has taken place and there will be a private family Graveside Service for the interment of ashes, at the Meeker Family Plot in the Hamilton Woodland Cemetery.  A “Celebration of Life” will take place at a later date, as also, will the interment of ashes in the Measner Family Plot in Farmington, Wisconsin.

14 Messages to Measner, Donald Allen

  • Mary Vanstone

    Dear Jo: Your cousin from Whitby Ontario Gary Vanstone has just learned about the passing of your dearest husband. Our condolences to you during this difficult time. Would you please send me an email to give me your current address. I would love to share some family news with you even after all the years that have passed. As we too grow older we recognize the importance of capturing accurate historical family information for local families like the Meekers of Whitby. Our local archivist had a special relationship with Aunt Blanche Meeker – she provided a valuable resource with old newspapers and documents. It is quite an honour to be asked to be part of this research. Again we are sorry to hear about Don … take care – Mary and Gary

  • Liz & Doug Reeves

    Dearest Jo ~ Our hearts break with your heart on the loss of your kindred spirit, Don… We feel privileged to have known Don… a kind, gentle, wise, witty man. He will truly be missed by so many and, especially, by you… Our late Mom, Barbara, and our late Dad, Bob, always enjoyed Don’s company. We are here for you as you say goodbye to him and celebrate a wonderful life well lived. We are also here for you in the sad days ahead. You will always be his loving, devoted wife…
    With our sympathy and much love,
    Liz & Doug

  • Sheri and Paul Cappa

    Hi Jo. We are so saddened to hear of the passing of your dear Don. It was so wonderful to see you just a few years back and reconnect and hear about your current endeavours. We have such fond memories of our time at Brock University and the times we shared with you and Don. We think of you often. Our thoughts are with you. Take care, Sheri and Paul

  • Mary A. (Heurter) Brophy '53

    June 4, 2018

    Mary A. (Heurter) Brophy ’53

    My thoughts are with you. Take care.



    Josephine sorry to see of you loss. It has been a long time. We often talk about you Barbara (my wife was a student of yours “Talbot”)and of course Joanne when we discuss Ancaster Hope all is well with you Peter & Barb Cooper

  • Pauline O'Gorman

    Hello Jo. So sorry to hear of the loss of your dear Don. Remembering happier times in Thorold when you came in to our store in Thorold, Ascot Florist and Gifts. Cherish the memories from Pauline O’Gorman and the late Jack O’Gorman.

  • Gary Gibson

    Hello Jo,

    Our condolences on the loss of your soulmate, Don. We remember him well from our few meetings since that big Hill Park UN CLUB REUNION, more than a few years ago now. He was very much a gentleman and it so fortunate you had so many good years together.
    Gary and Pat Gibson

  • Eric Nelson

    As a teenager, adults were pretty uninteresting. Not Uncle Don. He had stories of faraway lands. He could tell you what bird or tree was above you. He remembered my interests. And he was this gentle giant of a man. Always looked forward to seeing he and Jo. And now Don is delighting others in the sky with his charm. He is missed.

  • Colleen Catling

    Hi Jo, We were away in the States at the time of Don’s passing. We are deeply sadden for your loss. Don was awesome to Alan and I at our home in Port Robinson where he brought his horticultural skills and 15 students to plant hundreds of Poplar and White Pine saplings on our 10 acre property. All grew! You took me under your wing and taught me Geography terminology when I first arrived in the Department. Not to mention the many occasions Don and you hosted functions outside the university. “Just Because”. Remember all the great memories you and Don cherished together. Such a wonderful kind gentle man. He will always be remembered and sorely missed. Hugs, Alan and Colleen

  • John Warkentin

    Dear Jo, I have just learned of your loss of Don. He was a gentle soul with a wonderful gift for friendship. Don was a talented creative cartographer, passionate about accuracy and getting everything right, and always generous in improving the work of others. I valued his common sense and concern for everyone. You and Don were a wonderful hospitable and stimulating pair of geographers, always making a person feel like one of your congenial McMaster group. Germaine and I send our condolences.

  • Sandy Nelson

    Jo, You have my sympathy, he was a wonderfu l man. I liked him as soon as I met him, he always held a dear spot in my heart. Love Sandy Nelson

  • Carol-Ann Farinacci

    Dear Josephine. Pat Cane just told me of Don’s passing. Seby and I are so sorry to hear this news. Don was always so kind and welcoming to both of us, as you both treated us as your own. I know your heart is sore as is ours right now. Take care of yourself, as we are thinking of you at this time. Love, Carol-Ann and Seby

  • Pat Cane

    Hi Jo, I have only just learned of Don’s passing. I am so sorry for your loss. Don was a remarkable man, always kind and generous to this very green out of school employee of yours. I will never forget the lovely lunch that he (and you) provided on my 21st birthday and other social events the two of you hosted in your home in Thorold (way too many years ago). Take care, Love Pat

  • Canon David Ricketts

    Good Afternoon Jo. Sorry that Don has left us. He was a true gentleman and will be missed. We really enjoyed his company at Saturday breakfast .

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