John L. (Bud) Meinhardt, passed away on the evening of Saturday March 5, 2016 at Mercy Hospital in Coconut Grove, FL. His sons Mel and Michael and daughter-in-law Lauren were with him when he passed peacefully. John was 85 years old and fought a long battle with multiple myeloma. His grace, resilience, positive attitude and ability to make new friendships over the last five years were a true inspiration.
John was born in Saint Marys, Kansas and grew up in farming household where they didn’t have running water in the early years of his life. He was the youngest of 12 children. John attended St. Benedict’s College and graduated from the University of Kansas. He was commissioned as a US Air Force pilot during the Korean War and served various tactical fighter and reconnaissance units overseas. John served the government for decades achieving the post of Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs for the US Department of Energy. He was conferred with the rank of Meritorious Executive by President Reagan in 1988.
John remained an active licensed pilot and aircraft owner until he was 80 years old. He participated in the Angel Flight Program providing assistance to needy parents and caregivers.
John is survived by his wife Eleanore, their 6 children (Mel, Maura, Matt, Michael, Marta and Max) and their families which include 11 grandchildren (Gretel, Smokey, Taylor, Chris, Mia, Jonathan, Alexander, Aaron, Brandon, Bradley, Luke) and 1 great-granddaughter (Ellie). He is also survived by sisters Dorothy Schuler, Lucy Breitenstein and brother Dick Meinhardt. He will be remembered with love by them all for his faith, his strength of character and his generosity to them.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, May 28, 2016 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. Marys. Inurnment will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Newbury. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and sent in care of Piper Funeral Home, St. Marys, Kansas.